Everywhere you look these days, you can find articles sharing why focusing on your strengths is more valuable than improving your weaknesses. Using your signature strengths in your role means you can be energized instead of drained, engaged instead of bored, and successful instead of struggling.

 

When it comes down to it, working in your strengths can completely transform your work day, your career, and your entire life!

 

But once you recognize this fact and identify your unique strengths, you may hit a roadblock. How do you actually land a career that allows you to utilize the strengths that will make you happy and help you flourish?

 

“I’m the perfect fit for this job!”

 

I remember the days before I started Happen To Your Career when I’d look through job postings for new opportunities. Every once in a while, I’d stumble across a description that left me internally exclaiming:

 

“They need me! It’s like they wrote this description based on my exact desires and strengths! I’m a shoe-in!”

 

Can you relate? Maybe you’ve had one or many moments where you felt as though you were the PERFECT fit for a job opening. But then there’s a problem…how do you get the employer to see you’re the perfect fit? What do you say and do to show that you are the answer to their needs?

 

Being the perfect fit and helping an interviewer perceive you as the perfect fit are two very different things. Many interviewers won’t directly ask you to list your strengths and even if they do, your answer may not stand out from everyone else’s. Before your next interview, you must figure out your strategy for showing potential employers who you are and how your strengths will bring value to the organization.

 

Serve Up Your Strengths on a Silver Platter

 

Whether you hop on the phone for a quick HR screening or sit down face-to-face with your potential boss, you want to finish every interview knowing you’ve communicated why you are a good fit for the role. (Side note: If you don’t believe you are a good fit—meaning your signature strengths don’t align with the company and role—you probably won’t be happy even if you get the offer!) Helping an interviewer perceive you as a good fit involves revealing and reinforcing your signature strengths throughout your time together. This can be accomplished through three main tactics:

 

1. Say what you love

 

Have you ever noticed that when you say you love doing something, people assume you are good at that thing?

 

For instance, if someone says they love to ice skate, it’s a natural tendency to assume they are gifted at ice skating. You don’t picture someone who loves ice skating flailing their arms about until they bust their ass on the cold ice. No, you picture someone gliding smoothly along the surface, balanced and experienced.

 

It’s the same thing with strengths. If you say, “I love to connect with customers in a way that allows me to identify issues and create custom solutions,” your interviewer will automatically believe you are gifted at that particular skill. Unintentionally and subconsciously, they will assign positive traits associated with problem-solving and communication to you.

 

 

 2. Share your story

 

Don’t stop with saying what you love or hammering off a bulleted list of your strengths. Instead, prepare to share a story that reinforces each strength. You can identify and practice telling these stories to your friend or spouse before you begin your interviews to make sure you are clearly articulating your abilities through your story.

 

For example, using the strength identified above, you might say, “Let me tell you about a time I developed a creative solution that transformed an angry customer into one of our biggest fans. The angry customer, Bill, had requested customizations to his sales platform and the web team failed to notify him that customizations take up to six months for completion. I called Bill, asked him to explain his business to me, and discussed the why behind his specific needs. As Bill talked, I realized his business needs were parallel with a client we had partnered with the previous spring. Bill’s requests were different, but his purpose was the same. I explained to Bill that his requests would take more time to build, but if he was okay with utilizing a previously built interface, we could refund his customization fee and copy over the code and update his platform to work how he needed within one week. Bill was thrilled! After the changes were complete, he posted on social media that he’d be one of our customers for life. The solution I created not only removed his anger but made him one of our best and most loyal customers.”

 

This story helps your interviewers see your strengths in action, and they are more likely to remember an anecdote than a simple claim about what you can do.

 

3. Step into your new context

 

Once you’ve shared what you love to do and shown how you’ve used your strengths in the past, paint a picture of your strengths at work in your potential new company. This will move your interviewers from just admiring your strengths to actually imagining you in the role.

 

Let’s say you’re interviewing for a role as a process improvement specialist for a medical center. Sticking with the story from above, here’s what this step might look like:

 

“In the same way that I effectively communicated and created a unique solution that transformed Bill from an upset customer to our biggest fan, I could quickly build rapport with the nurses, doctors, and administrators. I know you mentioned it can be difficult to get cooperation from these people, so I would use the same strengths that I used to help Bill see he could trust me. Once they began to share the issues they encountered on a daily basis, I could develop budget-friendly alternatives that cut non-value-added measures and capitalize on current resources. Viewing the medical team as my customer, I would solve specific problems in a way that meets business goals and leaves the direct care team happy.”

 

Preparing these answers before your interview gives you more control over your interviewers’ perception of who you are. Once you’ve defined what you love to do, shared your story of utilizing your strengths, and painted a picture of how you fit into their specific context, it will be almost impossible for them to forget you.

 

On our latest podcast episode, we share a live coaching call with Bree Hunter, an Aussie looking to move from her reactive and draining job to one that values her proactive, future-oriented strengths. Our call will give you an idea of what it’s like to work with one of our career coaches, plus give you a greater understanding of how to show your strengths and what to do with your weaknesses. Click the play button below to listen now!

Transcript from Episode

 

Scott: Every single week, we get a subtle really similar question again and again, and one of those questions in particular is, how do I use my strengths to get higher? Well, it turns out that this isn’t necessarily an easy answer and it’s an extended answer because it starts with you have to really understand your strengths in depth. And we realize that many people all over the world. Well, we think we understand our strengths and even as  we have worked with people that are really highly self aware, we know that we can get much more granular, much deeper level to get nearly anybody better understanding of their strengths. And when we do that, then that gives you some really powerful information to start with. But then more importantly than that is, when you understand how to apply your strengths that can completely change the world in a lot of different way, starting with more confidence in you know one or more particular areas and ranging to feeling of higher happiness, because we know from some really great work that Gallup has done and several other organizations that, when you spend even, as little as one to two more hours per day with working or with spending time utilizing your strengths, then that is associated with things like higher productivity higher feeling of happiness and y many other really great things but that’s not what this is all about what this is about is to be able to really understand how to utilize your strength got hired. We first have to understand your strength only then, can we start applying it to whatever it is that you want to accomplish? So we had been experiments with how do we actually help people understand the power of this for quite a while and we were entirely sure to be quite frank with you and then we realized well, let’s show them. Let them listen to a conversation where someone is actually discovering their strengths and they go and put those to use immediately. So that’s what we’re going to do in fact, you’re going to get to be a fly on the wall. In actual coaching conversation in this is with Bree Hunter. Bree Hunter, lives in Tasmania, Australia, and she had been in a role that was pretty great role but no longer really fit in what she wanted and especially going forward in the future. And it was really trying to understand how she’s leverage for strengths and understand her strengths in a way to make sure that she’s going after what she really wants and feels more happy more often and through this conversation I want you to pay attention to it and listen to how we get to a much deeper level and then as it goes on listen for how we actually utilize that in a way that she can benefit from it immediately, starting with some interviews, that she has coming up. Okay. There’s so much built into this one single conversation and I want you to take a listen so watch for all those pieces and so much more, here’s my conversation and coaching session you could get to fly on the wall with Bree.

 

Scott: Bree it’s  Scott from Happen To Your Career. How are you doing?

 

Bree:  Hi Scott, how are you?

 

Scott:  I am doing a really, really well. It’s been a good couple of months actually. How’s it going on your ?

 

Bree: Pretty good. Got a job interview later today.

 

Scott: I saw that.

 

Bree: Yeah. And just for the last several months really been doing a bit of soul-searching and came across your website and your podcasts and that’s been really helpful amongst a few other tools of pulled together. So yeah, I really enjoyed the StrengthsFinder test. I found that really useful to sort of pull a few things together and things that you’re a kind of already feeling, but haven’t really been able to articulate or put into some sort of framework.

 

Scott: Yeah. Very cool. And if I have this up here correctly, it looks like your strength themes from StrengthsFinder were learner, harmony, restorative positivity and individualization. Does that sound right?.

Bree: That’s right. Yup.

 

Scott: Very cool. So, then the other thing that I saw from the email that you sent a little bit earlier today for let’s see here was that you’re hoping to get a little bit better understanding of how you can actually leverage these. So now that you have the ability to articulate them a little bit differently. How do you actually use these things? And then it sounds like currently you are. Well, I mean, obviously you got another job interview coming up here. But your past role or current role feels like it is not the right fit for several reasons and you talk about workplace culture and did you use the term busy work. Is that what it was?.

 

Bree: I did? Yeah.

 

Scott: Okay.

 

Bree:  Is just that a case of, I’ve been in this role for two and half years now and before that I was still sort connected to this role and I loved it for a period of time and it’s just I’ve changed and grown I guess so it’s time to take on a new challenge and I was acting in the role on a plan for about interviewing for later today and that’s why I found it really energized me the things that I was doing and then having done the strengthsfinder. It’s just backed up why those particular functions were energizing me?.

 

Scott: What were some of those functions?.

 

Bree: Working with the community. So it was project managing the planning phase of new projects and I was working on the mountain bike tracks. So I got to do all the community consultation and the planning around that and I really enjoyed getting feedback from the community and advocating for what they wanted and also within our work first to the council pulling people together within countful to get the project going as I dulge hold claim to hold the expertise. I really rely on other people’s expertise and getting the right people together to make something happen and just sort of facilitating that process.

 

Scott: Okay. All right, that makes sense then. So. Let me ask you few a questions then.

 

Bree: Yes.

Scott: And then I think I can help with a few of these things. First of all.

 

Bree: Okay,

 

Scott: Quick just clarifying question. The role that you’re interviewing for is that in the same organization? Or is that a different organization?.

 

Bree: It’s the same organization, but it’s at the moment I’m in operations at like a depot solid sort of setting and that role would be in the town office away from operations.

 

Scott: Okay very good. So, let’s see if we can leave a little bit of time in terms of working up to how you talk about strengths in interview, because it’s different than how most people would think very often I find that many of us perceive that we’re going to need to talk about them extensively and use like the right words. So that it perfectly matches up to our strengths and everything. And I find that there’s much easier much more organic ways to be able to leverage your strengths in your interview, so let’s see if we can leave a few minutes to talk about that towards in the end and then in the meantime, let’s see if we can get to the bottom of some of these strengths and even understand them a little bit deeper. So, that we can figure out how to answer some of the other questions in terms of what is right for you. It’s that fair?.

 

Bree: Excellent. Okay.

 

Scott: Cool! So, along those lines, then you said, it sounded like a lot of these, when you read them do line up, are there any in particular that you find don’t match up for one reason or another, I guess that’s question number one.

 

Bree: No, I think they all line up. Yeah.

 

Scott: Okay great. What about something out of these five that you have on this list? Are there any that resonate with you more so than the others?

 

Bree: I would say learner, restorative and individualization.

 

Scott: Okay. So tell me about each one of those. Let’s start with  individualization. So what about that really feels like yeah, this is clearly high resonated or high priority.

 

Bree: Okay. It resonates because in my job, I manage a team of people, and I really enjoy leading people and I like resolving conflicts. I like tearing people together that you might not think through each other, but I can see they’ve got particular strengths or weaknesses. But counterbalance one another and a lot of that comes from because my own experience working in small teams, what else? I think everyone’s unique. I enjoy learning from other people’s experiences and learning from that and the same time. I really enjoy having responsibility that I  sort have control to the end product and making sure that things are completed.

 

Scott: Yeah, that makes sense. Those are those all things. Particularly I think that everyone is unique. Those are things that somebody who can help the individualized would say that’s very individualistic that have you Bree.

 

Bree: Okay.

 

Scott: So what about the other two and I want to just understand a little bit more and then I’ve got a few questions that I want to help take us a little bit deeper on this.

 

Bree: Okay. As far as the learner, I’m just sort of skimming what is it makes you stand out I love the learning but other than learning, which I thought was interesting. I actually enjoy the process of learning like I might not retain all the information, but I love the activity of it and particularly things that I’m interested in like, for the last probably 18 months. I’ve really been interested in leadership and management and learning tools and ways to grow in that space but I particularly like to learn about myself and how to improve myself and then helping other people improve themselves as well.

 

Scott: Where have you seen that really, what’s an example of what you’ve seen that really recently that like oh! If only I could do more of that.

 

Bree: Funny because I‘ve always been listening to every year coaching series. I find my favorite part of the day is not busy working getting things done, but it’s the interaction that I have with people and I can easily stop and spend a fair bit of time just learning about them and learning from them and seeing where they’re at. So somewhat taking conversations off track of work and really finding more about who they are and learning from their experiences and also asking them sort of question that might point out things but they hadn’t thought of before I realized and it’s a shame and I can’t. I’m very aware and trying to be in conversation with what I do. So, I only have so much time that I can take out to have those conversations.

 

Scott: That’s super interesting than one, that you have already recognized that too by the way. I totally forgot for a minute that we’ve emailed back and forth during the career coach series. And now I recall that now that you said that, but I just remembered that he had,

 

Bree: I don’t expect you to remember.

 

Scott: Well, it’s kind of a weird thing. I remember people’s names, email addresses a lot, because that’s why I see the most, but I knew that we’ve interacted and remember the email exchanges. I just remember what it was about necessarily, but I think that one of the things that as coaches that we look forward to seeing a glimpse behind the scenes, we’re looking for where are the anomalies and one of the places that we find anomalies a lot of the time is where are those places within your current work that you keep gravitating towards but don’t necessarily have enough time for and you feel like you’re perpetually don’t have enough time or so that’s in my mind as you say that, that’s one of the things I hone in on and want to know more because that is likely where we’re finding those anomalies you know from that as I’m explaining what I’m doing for coaching. I guess at the same time here.

 

Bree: Yeah.

 

Scott: So, tell me more about that and where do you find out of those types of interaction that you are adding value to someone else’s world to where you’re getting either feedback or thank you sort things like that with those types of interactions where you get to learn about them. And ask them questions as you said, but you’re sort of taking conversations on track and it’s not a normal part of your job per se.

 

Bree: I guess furthermore, the coaching style talked a lot about in management courses, these days.

 

Scott: Sure.

 

Bree: Pulling more information out and asking them like you doing to me, the questions that they might have in the back of their mind, but haven’t had to answer before and helping clarify things for them. And I don’t get to talk often deal with members of the public and so I don’t always get to do that with them because I might be trying to negotiate a particular issue is something that they’re not happy with. So, I often use this strength them on  to build a rapport with them quickly to let them know that I understand their issues. And I also realize often that people just want to voice their opinion, get something off their chest. So, I guess I sort of use coaching technique for that space to do the drill.

 

Scott: Can you give me example for that because it sounds like you’re thinking about a few different times. What’s the recent example where you’ve done that?.

 

Bree: I managed fire in reserves and managing and mitigating fire. Which is in the urban interface. So often were cutting down trees, or slashing vegetation, next to people’s houses. So they get upset. So I go out and say, you know this is what’s happening and we have to they might be planting trees on council land and we need to remove them. So, giving them, you know, I’ve mentioned how long have you lived here? Sort of getting a picture of their connection to the property, then explaining the changes in our policy and why now present we have to remove the vegetation saying, that you know, I completely understand if this is happening next to my home and then coming back to the facts of what’s really important? Is that we need to do this ? So I guess a bit of education, which option the public of aware you know of the facts as to why we’re doing particular things and I guess, just coming to an agreement and getting them to see more point of view as well and land manager and you know this land building issues and it  concerning trust and a place to deal with the situation. I don’t want to have feel it but it sort of safety.

 

Scott: So this is super interesting that ones set of examples uses every single one of the strength teams. So, we’ve break this apart for just a second here, and we look at that example where you’re going to go talk to it sounds like, you know, property owner or somebody who you know utilizing the piece property or whatever else it is and you know they’re planting trees or or whatever else is going on, you having that conversation, first of all you’re asking the types of questions other people don’t ask and I think that’s partially comes from your desire to learn but I think that also comes from, maybe even more so, your tendency to want to individualize and really understand kind of the uniqueness and then one has a tendency to happen is it sounds like you are leveraging that information that you accumulate through your desire to learn and you’re a tendency to individualize and then you have also have this desire in some ways or you can’t help it even if desires is a wrong word to have a higher degree of ability to bring things back together for harmony and interestingly enough. Like, I can probably anybody can tell within 10 minutes of talking to you, that you’re generally a positive person. So, I can see a lot of the positive pieces. We called the positivity and a few other strengths we call them umbrella strengths because they have a tendency to just sort of go over the top of whatever else that you’re doing and you can’t it says attention to be difficult to separate it out whether you want to or not. It’s just going to kind of be there working amplify other things in the background, but does that make sense how that one example that,

 

Bree: Yeah.

 

Scott: You gave me really is actually pulling from all five of these different areas. It’s not really just any one or two of these.

 

Bree: Yeah. Now that’s really interesting. It was good to go through that exercise.

 

Scott: Have you ever thought about it in that way before?.

 

Bree: No. I haven’t. I haven’t and that really makes it quite clear now that’s great.

 

Scott: What is clear to you now versus before?.

 

Bree: I guess stepping through the process that I have when I speak to landowners about these issues and again giving it that framework, which I often have trouble articulating highlights each one of those steps picks up one of those strengths that I’m really just stepping through those strength and bringing it all together at the end to create a positive harmonious outcome.

 

Scott: What you’ll find or, at least, I think you’ll find based on my experience in working with other people that have similar strength to yours, or this type of strengths combination is that, you probably flourish in areas where you get to be proactive versus reactive and here’s what I mean, by that and there’s a couple other words could use to describe it may be even better when you are faced with a continuous sort of problems that are coming from a negative standpoint. And that’s if that’s all you’re doing all day that’s going to feel  really draining on you because both your restorative nature and you’re harmony nature going to want to pull it back to harmony or want to restore those situations and if that’s what you’re doing all day long where you are perpetually out of harmony, then that is going to it’s going to feel really like it takes a lot of energy and it’s going to feel very much lacking training is the right word.

 

Bree: I think that explains it perfectly and that’s why I struggle with my current role because it’s all very reactive and it is draining. I don’t get that tan to be strategic or positive pushing things forward in a positive light and I think that’s what I really enjoyed about the role on the interviewing for a dollar so energized by you know, I’m planning something positive for the community to utilizing the future and that was really energize me.

 

Scott:  Yeah. So I think just to give you a little bit of validation that the more that you can align yourself with those types of roles and organizations that are putting you in that more proactive standpoint where you get to proactive and productive sample where you get to work more on. Hey, this is already good, but we need to make this even better or we need to take the situation which is generally a more on the positive side, and we need to move this agenda forward. Those are going to be better fits better alignment for what you need and better play for your strengths. So, I think one thing that, if you haven’t already, you know, got it written down someplace capturing that you definitely need to be on more of the proactive side, or the more positive making it better side is going to be something that is a must within your next role, if you don’t get to spend the majority of your time there, it’s going to be it’s gotta feel like it does now or worse.

 

Bree: Yeah. Now, that’s really good point and that’s what surprised me about the strength tests with the appeal is learner. I never had the confidence I guess or experience around strategic planning and I thought it was something that you know, I wasn’t going to be very good at but I think this is where that comes through its strategic being strategic it just focusing on those things to improve which is often in my current role. I get frustrated because I see all these things there that I want to improve and but I just don’t get the time. It’s not the focus of the  job

 

Scott: Yeah.

 

Bree: And that prior often feel like I’m not achieving things are blessing the team down because I’m not able to improve those things.

 

Scott: Yes. So it feels almost like you’re perpetually losing in some ways.

 

Bree: Yeah, even though others don’t say that or think that,

 

Scott: Yeah

 

Bree: Paid back my really internalized that.

 

Scott: So I think that there’s probably areas where we could dive much further, but I wanted to save a little bit of time so we can talk about how to leverage some of these things in the interview, but I think that the more that you can ask yourself those types of situations like in my past roles where have I find found those small tidbits that I am gravitating towards or where have I found the small tidbits of enjoyment or the things that I’m particularly great at and then break those apart and see which strengths are kind of coordinated with that then you’ll begin to get more answers about what really is going to be right for you within that. Next role to whether is all on your interviewing for or another one.

 

Bree: Okay, yup that’s a good advice.

 

Scott: So when you think of interviewing then to shift gears on now, when you find your having the most struggle and thinking about this idea of communicating your strengths, or getting across your strengths in interviewing. Help me understand the desire there first.

 

Bree: Oh, I got no it feel like actually, well it not likely to ask the question of what do you feel your strengths are because the company base question. So, I’ve got to be really conscious of knowing my strength, and throwing them into examples that I answer in the interview. So, if it’s problem solving question, then talking them through the example but being conscious of where particularly highlight and say, because one of my strength is such and such, I’m clearly I have the ability to do this very well. And this is where that came through, I guess it’s more  relation to this.

 

Scott: I have a couple if that’s the case, then I have a couple of ideas for you in terms of the things that I can teach you fairly quickly that might be really useful to you immediately this afternoon to give you a little bit of context, typically, when we’re teaching things for interviewing and something that has lots of different variables. Usually we’re taking like, four hours to teach that like for example in career change boot camp or going through in and doing much more proper  anything else but let me see if I can break this down into a way that can be useful to you immediately one of the things that I find is that when you communicate that? I enjoy, or I love something people automatically assume that you are good at it. That’s our,

 

Bree: Okay.

 

Scott: Tendency in a bit of our human nature. So they don’t necessarily always think about it in those terms, but that’s the association they get along with it, or the feeling that they get as well. That aren’t necessarily in their brain. Say. Well, she loves that. So, she must be good at that. That’s not how the self talk works necessarily.

 

Bree: Okay.

 

Scott: But that is one the of things that we find over lots of years of testing this stuff out and knowing some of the psychology behind it too. So, knowing that you can leverage that immediately in your next interview. So, if they ask, you know, what you’re about talking, like, a problem solving question. Right? So, you probably know a little bit about since you work there too, like, with the types of questions that going to be, like, a behavioral style question, where they say, tell me about a time, when you had to solve a problem, or are they going to say, hey, if you have to solve this problem, what are you going to do in this situation? Which do you think more those might show up?.

 

Bree: The behavior? Yes. So you give an example and talk yourself through the task scenario.

 

Scott: Okay, perfect. So if that’s the case and they say hey tell me about a time where you had to solve a problem  that popped up on short notice and you were successful with that at the end. So just that type of question. So instead of saying one of my strength is problem solving a different way that you can call that is be able to say well let me tell you about the time in my last role where  I had this particular problem and I got to tell you that one of my favorite things about this piece of my previous role was a b and c in this case. It might be getting to interact with people in a way that I got to understand their problem and I got to understand really what they need and then peace together a solution that was really individualized to them. And I found that every single time I got the opportunity to do that. They were actually pretty happy like it we went from a situation where they were quite frankly not excited at the beginning and you’ll want to use specific you know specific times or specific examples. You know, I was talking to Bob about the tree and Bob was telling me that you know, really after I ask the question like Hey how long have you lived here? You know, when did you plant the tree? And he was telling me all this situation and then I learned  that Bob didn’t realize that he couldn’t plant the tree there and if I would have crammed just making this self up on the fly, but if I would have gone down the road a little bit further and just started telling Bob that he would not like that. He can’t plant the tree there without asking all of this to try and understand then it would have been a terrible situation and quite frankly Bob was already irritated that I probably would have made him further irritated. But I love that opportunity to be able to understand what’s important to people and where they’re coming from and every single time. I look at that as an opportunity to be able to learn more about it and then figure out how we can get what we both need. And after I asked Bob what that was. You know we were able to talk about it and we figured out a solution and he was actually going to move the tree back five feet and that worked out really well in the end but I find every time I get the opportunity to have those types of interactions with people and take a situation that would otherwise be bad and really recognize where they’re coming from tha those are the things that I do very well, but also, their the times where I enjoy it the most. So one of the reasons that I’m excited about this particular role is because I perceive that I get to do more of that.

 

Bree: Okay. Right.

 

Scott: Does that make sense in terms of example, for how to go through that? But then you relate it to the needs of the other role and then you also related to your particular strengths not saying that these are my strengths. But these are the things that I enjoy the most and here’s how I’m actually using them.

Bree: Yes, now that was really good. And I was actually able to while you were speaking think about how I actually using my strength. I find the where the needs of landowners and the council proof and find the compromise that suits us both. I think all leverage that. Yeah.

 

Scott: That is fantastic. So that’s one very easy transferable way  to talk about your strengths and give people the impression of what your strengths are. But also at the same time, being able to relate it into their world, because you’re like literally showing them like, hey, here’s the element that I perceive is going to be helpful to you and putting that as a portion of your answer too so that your spelling it out for them. But at the same time, you’re not dirtying your own horn in a way that feels false.

 

Bree: Yup. Good advice Scott.

 

Scott: Well, I’m glad that it is helpful. How else can I be helpful to you.

 

Bree:  I guess how I feel way for a touchdown a little bit,

 

Scott: Yeah,

 

Bree: My current role. I feel like I’ve been battling with just trying to improve my weaknesses. And I guess that’s what I found really awakening with doing the strengthsfinder is no these are actually strength which can be perceived as weaknesses in your current role. And I guess that’s where you know, that’s your whole thing is if your values or your strengths don’t align with what you’re doing. But how do you balance using and harnessing your strength? But also you’ve got weaknesses and you’re going to have to utilize your weaknesses time to time like how much do you focus on improving those weaknesses?.

 

Scott: There’s a couple different lenses that we look at this through so in you know career change boot camp one of the things that we teach, pretty extensively is the concept of the, shadow side to your strengths, or we call them anti strengths. So, that is not your weaknesses so much. But negative things that are caused by your strengths. So, just really quick example of that like a really basic example like, I am the ridiculously future focused. Very futuristic like that of a thing that I cannot help. One of the things that has a tendency to be a huge challenge with is anytime I need to focus on like, small details in the past. Like, I just, I cannot comprehend. I cannot use them, I also am very much of a big picture thinker to go right along with that. And I may I see the forest not the trees. So I guess tons and tons of details. So, as you might imagine that gets really hairy in a lot of different areas and, you know, things like reviewing contracts when I used to work in HR or reviewing policies and stuff like that. I got at one point, put one of our organizations. I worked with into probably a potentially big liability situation, because I just don’t even see that stuff, but I was responsible for it. So, we have a tendency to look at it in terms of what does the shadows side of your strengths and once I do that, is, how can you better align what you’re doing is spending more your time on with you getting to operate inside of your strengths, partially because it just feels a lot different and it feels better. And quite frankly, I think it’s a better way to live there’s just doesn’t solve all your problems, but it does feel differently in terms of even if you are challenged, like, the stress feels different when you’re working with your strengths compared to stress. When you are not consistently working with your strengths, so there’s that side of it, but then there’s the other side where it just allows you to often be more successful within a given role because nobody is good in everything, so if you can and more of those pieces with those things that you’re going to be a more gifted at, because of your strength, then it just gets a lot easier in some ways. Even if you’re in a challenging role. So, there’s that alignment side, but then the other side is the the skill side so, even, if you do a lot of great work finding you know role and organization and all of those things that are very aligned with what you want and your strength, then there is still the skill development side of other things that you might need a really common version of that is being able to advocate for yourself or ask for what you want within work environment like that is related to strengths necessarily. I mean, it can be in some ways but for the most part like that’s a skill that people can develop over time but it directly impacts how you get to spend your time. You know, in my latter career when I used to work for other companies besides my my own I was much much better at saying hey, I’m really interested in these particular projects. I think that these would be a great fit. Here’s in thousand of organization will benefit from them. Here’s how  I think I will benefit from them and I would like to spend more of my time working on these projects and then routinely having them say yes versus at the beginning of my career and saying hey I think would be cool. If I did this kinda sorta and that felt really awkward. So you get the skill development side, but to answer your question directly. I think that the more time you can spend actually trying to align yourself with your strengths and try to spend more of your time there, we find that, that is going to take you further faster for nearly any goal that you have inside or outside of your career whether it is other areas of life. Whatever else is just going to get you further faster and got a lot of data and evidence to support that versus spending really any kind of time at all focusing on bringing up your weaknesses unless it is to figure out how you’re going to giving some thought for how you’re going to balance that out in one way or another maybe that is I’m great at this on the team and there’s this other person that there’s great at the other thing. So maybe we can share some of the workload or giving something of that kind of strategic thought or in my case. I mean, you know, I do a lot of that on our own individual team because quite frankly, I’m bad at a lot of things based on my strengths and that’s okay, but that type of strategic thought is useful around that versus me spending tons and tons and tons of time focused on things that I will probably never be good at and I don’t want to confuse that the skills. So strengths are different in terms skills.

 

Bree: I guess that’s what I’ve been utilizing in my own team posted last 12 months is you’re recognizing what I’m not as good at which others are and doing that same thing delegating those tasks to those people who enjoy doing those things more and they’re better at it which gives you time to focus more on the other things and I guess one thing about this job. I’m interviewing or to be a real shift because I won’t be managing a team or only be working on my own projects. But again pulling those other people in expert to help but that might require me to utilize some of those shadows strength a bit more because I’m relying on myself to get it done.

 

Scott: Yeah. I see what you mean so prior to again I think that’s a great interviews a great opportunity to find out more about that. Maybe it turns out it’s really not good fit and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I think if I’m in your situation, I’d rather know before accepting it versus after accepted it but I think that great opportunity to sense, you know, some of those things about yourself to ask for the areas that are of the highest priority for you and asked in a try and understand at a deeper level versus a lot of interviews. If you don’t ask then it’s going to gloss over because they don’t necessarily know what’s important to you.

 

Bree: Yeah, okay, as far as just quickly, you know, thinking of other career options with align with my strength with something like you know, because I’m just in leadership and management skills and things are kind of thing all maybe hey char would be interesting or would that just be more the same kind of busy work or policy trying to improve policy or develop policy. Do you think that would align with these particular strength from what you’ve seen from yourself or from others?.

Scott: I think situations in which you get to create an individualized experience for people you’re going to find those to be in a lot of situations more gratifying because it will hold on some different pieces your strength. There’s a lot of different types and ways that could look not necessarily just one industry but ranging from on one extreme, that could be like user experience designed for different types of software something on another extreme that could be like developing live events for people and in still another area that could be like designing training and learning programs for particular organization or working internally. A lot of times. It gets lumped into HR, but it a lot of organizations call it like learning and the development that have a couple other names for it too, but there’s some quick quick areas where that could be a fit. There’s also going to be some other variables in there in terms of is it the type of organization that supports the type of learning that you have a constant desire for and it does the individualization really actually matter to the firm because that one thing that’s valuable to them as well and not just to you. We don’t want to make sure that there’s not an out of alignment piece there too. And that really the same types of things that are valuable to them are those that they’re going to reward you for because when you have that be a fit, then it feels much better to and then you truly get to leverage some of those strengths versus it being face value or should matter.

 

Bree: Yeah.

 

Scott: So this is some really super quick ideas, but then beyond that too, again those situations where you get to focus on improving a situation or moving something that’s already good and making it better. I would say that you’re probably going to find that you have, unless you are acting as a consultant type role then if you have lots and lots of executables or tasks that are all supposed to be delivered by you versus with a team depending on what they are. You may find that draining as well because all your strengths are people focused as opposed to like ask a work focused.

 

Bree: Yeah.

 

Scott: Does that make sense?.

 

Bree: Yeah, it does. And I guess this job I’m going for it’s about improving things for the community and I would just have to accept that it’s not for particular individuals and you’re not going to make everyone happy in the community. So some people might not like what you’re doing and whether I’d be comfortable with that or that just frustrate me long time.

 

Scott: Yeah there would interesting I definitely would say a good opportunity for you to learn more about that and maybe even go out and talk to some of the community prior to if they offer you the role or if you decide you can run through role or whatever like do that as a little bit of an experiment and try and feel out whether that is something that’s empowering to you or frustrating to you about some of the issues that you would actually be working on and that would be a good way to kind of validate that hey is this going to be a lift me up type of thing or drag me down type of thing.

 

Bree: Yeah, cool. Now that’s really helpful. And even if it’s just a stepping stone in a different job to develop other skills or learn new skills to your time or something take those skills in the whole package and try something else or might lead to something else more fulfilling.

 

Scott: Yeah, absolutely.

 

Bree: Okay.

 

Scott: Was that helpful?.

 

Bree: That was. Oh you see me  I can word awesome.

 

Scott: That was awesome.

 

Bree: That was awesome.

 

Scott: Perfect. Alright. Fantastic. I’m glad it was awesome and if we hit on all areas that you want it.

 

Bree: Yeah. Now we certainly I know what exactly sure what I want to hit, but I’m now that was great that was very helpful. So, thank you. Scott I appreciate your time and your busy schedule.

 

Scott: Absolutely my pleasure. If there’s any other way that we can help support you then don’t hesitate to let us know and let me know what happens to this interview I’m interested to find out keep me posted.

 

Bree: Okay. I will. Thank you Scott.

 

Scott: Alright.

 

Scott: And I hope that gives you an idea of just how powerful this concept can be and how we can actually utilize a deeper understanding of your strengths and what we call signature strengths and actually begin putting them to work for us and not just one area but multiple areas of our life, the more that you can spend time working with your strengths, rather than against it, the more that you’re going to find that you just have a higher quality of life all the way around and even when you’re working in things that are challenging for you, it’s still going to allow it to feel completely differently. Okay. So, but it gets even better than what you just heard, because afterwards, I want, you to understand what happened. Guess what? Bree sent me an email a very shortly afterwards and said,

“Hey, Scott. I want you to know what came out of our last recent session here?” And she’d said that, well she got the job, she’d been offered the job and not only that but, in this particular case, obviously, we recorded this session, and she had a copy this session and one of the things that she said that was really powerful for herself is that she had this fairly limiting belief she said. “You see? I actually never heard myself speak before and I always believe that I wasn’t able to articulate my thoughts very well. And it was pleasantly surprised to hear that I sounded way better than I expected and this is helped me feel much more confident when speaking to my team and my other colleagues” and then she goes on to say, thank you. So this is far ranging. Really deep understanding of your strengths and how it connects back to your reality can completely changed, not just your career, not just opportunities that are coming your way or that you’re taking advantage of but your entire lense that you look at life through. I hope this was really helpful to you. And if you want to hear more like this let us know what you thought of that episode, you can email. Hello, at https://happentoyourcareer.com  and share any feedback, or, like, I said, if you want to hear more episodes like this, we’d love to hear from you and also, by the way, thank you so much. We’ve had even more people that have gone over to iTunes and stitcher  and other places where you can play podcast and left us rating and reviews. This latest one comes from Krose55 such as a hidden gem for any career change or coach. I was so surprised that the high quality of this podcast, is someone who’s consuming quite a few different career advice puns in articles. I’m used to having to squeeze out value from a bunch of fluffy bullet points or upselling type of  content with this podcast they advised feel juicy relevant and really intuitive all at once thank you. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and that helps other people be able to find the show, which means that we can, then in turn to get more people to work that they absolutely love and is meant for them in this world which works well, for all of us. Hey I really appreciate you spending your time with us. We’ve got so much in store for you coming up right here, next week, on Happen To Your Career.

 

“There’s all these more on out there making tons of money like if they could do what’s my problem you know I mean there’s a lot very smart wonderful people doing it, but seriously, because I was like how hard can it be?”

 

Scott: Hey all that in plenty more in store next week, for you will see then until then I am out. Adios!