How to Find Your Strengths?

Going into a workplace, even if you’ve been there a while, can sometimes feel like you’re a small fish in a big pond. When everyone is striving for their best, it can often feel like you’re floundering, and trying your hand at everything, i.e. being a ‘jack of all trades’ but not showing and leveraging your best qualities and not letting not only your boss and colleagues, but yourself know where your strengths lie. Whether you’re being too hard on yourself and can only highlight your weaknesses, or truly don’t know your own strength, we’ve enlisted the help of Arielle Carrara to give you the solution.    

1.“My boss asked me what my strengths are, and I found it very difficult to answer her question, because I was not sure of the answer. Why is this important?”

    Arielle: It’s important to know what your own strengths are, not just so you have an answer during interviews (because this is a common question hiring managers will ask), but for your own self-confidence. Knowing your strengths is an integral part of having your own back. When you know your strengths, you know what you bring to the table - always. You know why you’ll be okay if the worst case scenario were to happen. You know what is unique about you, even in an ‘overly saturated’ market. Knowing your own strengths allows you to know yourself better, and when you know yourself, you can give yourself what you need. Hiring managers want to know that you know yourself. When you’re confident in yourself, they will be more confident in you and that hiring you is the right decision. The relationship will already begin with trust.    

2. “I tried to list out my strengths & weaknesses on a piece of paper and I was able to list only 1 or 2 strengths, but 5 weaknesses. I feel bad about myself after doing this. Is there any other method of finding my strengths?”

    Arielle: Think about times when you felt most motivated in your career, or any time in your life. You felt sure there were things you could accomplish because of certain aspects of yourself and things you are good at. Ask a few friends and family members what they find most inspiring about you. Ask colleagues that you love and trust to tell you what they think you do really well. Think about what your values are, which can help you see where your strengths lie as well (I have an exercise on my website to do this). It’s natural that seeing more weaknesses than strengths on your list would make you feel badly about yourself. Having awareness of areas of opportunity and improvement for you shows you strive for excellence and doing better. That’s a strength.

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