Knowing and being able to identify your key strengths comes with time and experience. Your current position may pose challenges which may force you to adapt new skills and find strengths naturally. Understanding your own strengths and capabilities in the workplace is an important part of growing in your career, utilising your strengths in the right areas and it will help you make career choices that will help you to succeed.
As well as strengths, you will inevitably have weaknesses too. Weaknesses are not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows like any other candidate or employee, there are always areas to improve on. You may be asked at interviews: “What are your key strengths” – this is an opportunity to emphasise on your strengths, whilst acknowledging your weaknesses.
If you’re having trouble identifying your key strengths, we’ll look at a few ways in which you can find them and utilise them to the maximum.
It’s inevitable that in any line of work, you’ll receive some feedback. Of course, receiving positive feedback only would be the ideal scenario for everybody – but that’s very unlikely. A good way to find out about your strengths, is by listening to feedback about what others say about your work. Pay attention to what your co-workers say about your positive traits and the feedback they provide on your work performance. By taking this information in, you’ll know what you’re doing well.
Find out what you’re doing well and how you can keep doing this to ensure you’re getting the best out of your work.
When you do something you’re passionate about, naturally, you’ll develop your skills in that area as one of your strengths. This is mainly due to the fact you enjoy doing it; what are you passionate about?
Find out what you enjoy doing and spend some extra time practicing those activities and paying attention to the skills you use during those activities. Some people may be naturally talented in some areas, but anyone can develop their skills given time. For example, if design is your passion, you may spend some extra time being creative, you may naturally be creative with patience as your key strength. However, you may spend some extra time using different software design platforms to enhance your knowledge and skill-set.
Someone may naturally be patient, whereas another will have to develop the skill of being patient to ensure a successful and satisfying outcome.
Throughout your day, make a note of the times in which you are most productive whilst you carry out your day-to-day activities. There may be activities in there which you enjoy the most and as a result, you feel more productive. When you enjoy a task, it feels as if time moves very quickly and you are likely utilising your biggest strengths. If you feel like time is dragging as you carry out activities, this is likely due to the fact you don’t enjoy them.
Find out what motivates you and perhaps how you can improve on the skills for tasks you don’t enjoy as much.
As mentioned before, feedback is a great way to see how others notice your strengths, but if you’d like to find out, you could just ask your colleagues directly. Depending on how senior you may be, you could ask your supervisor, manager or even someone that you supervise to gain their perspective.
If you’re very active within the work environment, maybe even colleagues who do not work directly with you will notice some of your traits. It could be a good idea to get your team or office write down or discuss their strengths with each other so that a common employee strength can be identified.
There are various other ways in which you can identify your key strengths in a practical manner. Based on working environment and the sector you are in, daily tasks and various projects will open up opportunities for you to not only identify your current skills but also develop new ones.