So how would you like to wake up every day and really look forward to going to work?
In Career Sweet Spot Part 1, I outlined the importance of identifying your Values for a happy work life.
In Part 2, we look at identifying your Strengths.
In a nutshell, your Strengths are what you are naturally good at.
What are your strengths?
Buckingham and Clifton of Gallup fame have built a great reputation around encouraging people to know their strengths and then apply those when at work.
Whilst it seems intuitive, many of us have been taught to improve our weakness areas, (e.g. via SWOT analysis) rather than focus on what makes us unique or special through capitalising on our strengths.
Several years ago, I learned from 2 Japanese Change Consultants who proposed that you look for your ‘kokorozashi’ – Japanese for ‘your something special.’
Your Kokorozashi is your natural Strength at your deepest, spiritual essence.
In mystical Kabbalistic terms, Strengths and the essence of kokorozashi is similarly and elegantly addressed by the Hebrew term Tikkun Olam: repairing the world.
You cannot repair the world or act from your something special, if it is from your weakness. You can only do so when you come from your strengths.
So how might you discover or find your Strengths?
There are several well-known strengths finders. A free resource is the VIA Signature Strengths Survey, which has been taken by several hundred thousand people so far, and devised by Drs. Neal Mayerson and Martin Seligman.
1. Once you have registered an account at VIA, you will directed to answer 120 questions about yourself online.
2. Upon completing the 120 questions, you will receive a report which arrays 24 Signature Strengths, from your most dominant (No.1) to least dominant (No. 24).
3. Take your first 10 Strengths and rate yourself how well you are using that Strength in your career out of 10. 1 is not at all. Whereas 10 is the absolutely all the time. Any rating less than 8 is significant.
However you discover your Strengths, the important thing is to use them in your career.
Consider the following for a happier career life:
- What are your Top 5 Strengths?
- Determine when you are best as you exhibit each Strength in your Career.
- Consider how often you use each Strength at Work.
- Consider how to bring more of each Strength into your current job.
- Find a role that allows you to exhibit your Strengths optimally.
Strengths are the second step in getting to the sweet spot of your career move. Once you are clearer on your own strengths then you are in a stronger position to make a more informed decision on the likelihood of an overlap or mismatch with an employer.
The next step is to work on your Purpose.
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