Do you bring your strengths with you?

Bill was an IT Project Manager, very passionate about his work, and life in general. His mother was sick and in the hospital, and he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He went to work every day during this time, because the project he led for over a year was nearing completion. As is often the case at the end of a project, there were unexpected problems to be solved. Elisabeth, his boss, called him into her office first thing one morning, demanding an update on the latest problems. At this point, Bill hit his limit of frustration and snapped at Elisabeth. He told her he was doing everything that needed be done, and she needed to be patient and wait. Elisabeth went silent, and stared at Bill for a few minutes. Then she said to him, “Bill, you need to pull it together. I know you have things going on at home, but you can’t be emotional here. This is work.” Bill took a deep breath, taking in what she’d just said. He then responded, “Elisabeth, exactly which part of me would you like me to leave at home? I’m a person, I don’t come in pieces.” At this point, it was Elisabeth’s turn to pause and take a deep breath. She realized Bill was right, you don’t bring part of you with you to work, and part of you to play, and leave another part at home. You bring all of you with you, wherever you go.

When people ask me how they can possibly consider changing careers, after investing all this time in the one they have. They’d have to start at the beginning again. All their hard earned experience in their current career would be wasted. I ask them, “Which of your strengths and skills would you leave behind if you left this career?” They look puzzled, then smile as they realize their strengths and skills are theirs, and are with them wherever they are. They may not all be in use at every place, but they are all there, readily available and accessible. That’s when I smile, too. Their strengths and skills which they have developed over time belong to the person, not a career or a company.

If you are not yet convinced, I encourage you to do this exercise. Choose 3-5 people you trust to speak the truth to you. Ask them to list your top 3 Strengths (your innate talents), your top 3 Skills (things you’ve learned), and a description of your impact on others. Most people are surprised to see the themes that show up. Your strengths, your skills, are with you all the time, in everything you do. You can leverage them in whatever career or job you choose next. They are what you bring that makes you uniquely qualified to do the job.

When I first realized this, it caused me to look at my own career in a new way. It caused me to look at my value and worth to potential employers or clients with a new perspective. My strengths and skills which I was born with, which I developed and honed over years of my life, those are part of what makes me uniquely valuable in whatever career I choose, in every job I do.

What is your unique set of strengths and skills? What do you bring to the table, no matter where that table is?

325 comments to Do you bring your strengths with you?

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?


I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?


Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit me...it was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?


Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?


Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing Sherlock...to be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.

LORI ROCKS!!!!!!

Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA