Now that I am on the job search again, I have been updating my resume. Also, you wouldn’t believe how many people have asked me what my strengths are (think Strength Finders).
Strength Finders is a book that most college students read. As a student at Northwestern College, I had to read Strength Finders 2.0 and take an online test.
At the time, it seemed like a meaningless assignment. However, since then, I’ve found three excellent reasons to visit my strengths test:
1) My best friend’s dad asked her husband what his strengths were, back when the hubby was a boyfriend-to-be.
2) My last employer asked what my strengths were.
3) I didn’t know how to discuss my strengths. (Ex: “Me? I enjoy talking with people, making them feel good about themselves, making them feel important. I enjoy listening.”)
With that, here are my top five strengths (descriptions are copied from the Strength Finders Website):
Driven by your talents, you spend considerable time examining exactly why something has gone wrong. Whenever you experience a personal or professional loss, make a mistake, or experience failure, you tend to investigate. You are likely to be restless until you have answers to all your basic questions: What? How? When? Where? Who? Why? Because of your strengths, you often consider what you need to do better so you can rank in the top tier of performers. Being “number one” is of less interest to you than making continual progress in your personal and/or professional life. Instinctively, you frequently promise yourself to do something better than you did it the last time. As you examine the consequences of your words and deeds, you usually recognize ways you could perform a similar task or problem the next time with a higher degree of knowledge or skill. Simply put: You are determined to gain insights from your mistakes so you do not repeat them. It’s very likely that you intentionally keep abreast of current events. You study areas of special interest to you either personally or professionally. You consistently acquire new information to make needed upgrades. You seek to understand things that most people do not comprehend. You want to make things better tomorrow than they were today. By nature, you repeatedly decide you need to do things better. You hope these upgrades will prompt many your teammates, classmates, coworkers, or family members to befriend you. You want them to view you as a person of influence and/or importance.
Driven by your talents, you now and then pause to envision what you want to accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Perhaps you think in terms of possibilities. Maybe this allows you to recover from certain kinds of setbacks, problems, disappointments, or disasters.
People may marvel at your ability to remain somewhat upbeat in the face of life’s difficulties and its unpredictability. It’s very likely that you may be viewed by some people as an innovative and original thinker. Perhaps your ability to generate options causes others to see there is more than one way to attain an objective. Now and then, you help certain individuals select the best alternative after having weighed the pros and cons in light of prevailing circumstances or available resources. By nature, you create detailed and vivid images of what the future promises. You can describe it long before others can imagine it. Instinctively, you routinely imagine what you can do better in the coming weeks, months, years, or even decades. You envision in vivid detail the things you need to enhance and perfect. These could include your environment, yourself, another person, a system, a project, a product, or a job. Because of your strengths, you may be enthusiastic about the future because certain visionaries describe it so clearly. Perhaps their ideas for products, medicines, or inventions increase your determination to take action.
Driven by your talents, you occasionally tune in to another person’s subtle or perhaps not-so subtle yearning to be cheered up, supported, motivated, or inspired. When you take an interest in someone, maybe the individual is inclined to acquire knowledge, engage in unfamiliar activities, make needed changes, or gain new skills. By nature, you encourage people express their innermost thoughts and feelings, and you refrain from judging them. You like knowing that others depend on you to listen. Moreover, you have noticed that individuals come to you for advice. Because of your strengths, you might bring an emotional awareness to certain kinds of conversations. Sometimes you can ease the stress of individuals if they are about to make an important decision. Perhaps you can calm those who are struggling with the uncertainty of change. Once in a while, you pose probing questions to direct the thinking of others. To some degree, you refrain from telling people what they should or should not do.
Instinctively, you occasionally have insights into what individuals are thinking or feeling. Even so, you might refrain from invading certain people’s privacy by commenting on their moods or ideas. You might be more comfortable if they introduce the subject. Chances are good that you occasionally sense your own feelings of regret, failure, disappointment, or loss.
Perhaps some of your talents help you deal with certain negative emotions, people, or experiences.
Driven by your talents, you usually prefer to partner with others to accomplish things rather than work alone. This explains why you welcome a wide range of personalities into your life.
Instinctively, you prefer the company of people to being alone. You automatically welcome a wide array of individuals into your workplace, classroom, team, family, club, or social circle.
Chances are good that you may perform at an optimal level — physically or mentally — later in the day. Perhaps you have figured out the exact hours during the late afternoon or evening when your concentration and your capacity to work hard are strongest. It’s very likely that
You gravitate to situations where you will be in the company of others. You are much less inclined to be solitary or a loner. By nature, you may notice that life is better for you when people accommodate your innate need to work in the evening. Perhaps you produce optimal results during the evening or in the hours after midnight.
By nature, you automatically establish links between people. This usually requires much persistence and patience on your part. You argue that relationships should be nurtured slowly, not rushed. Instinctively, you choose to associate with people whose philosophical perspective gives them both balance and courage in the face of adversity. It’s very likely that you may feel that your life is more meaningful and you are happier when you can dedicate yourself to something important to humankind. It might be something simple rather than something grand. Perhaps you sense that your acts of kindness influence certain individuals to perform good deeds. Maybe you inspire generosity in some people. Chances are good that you spontaneously connect diverse people with one another. You approve of individuals as they are rather than as you wish them to be. This surely frees your mind to search for ideas, interests, or personal experiences you have in common. Because of your strengths, you demonstrate a heightened sensitivity to the challenges facing various members of the human family. The faces you see in the news often strike you as familiar, not foreign. You usually feel a strong bond between yourself and these individuals. You intentionally refrain from being surrounded only by people who remind you of yourself.