Do you embrace your strengths?

Do you embrace your strengths?  Or do you keep trying to fix your weaknesses?

Harold was a client of mine who really struggled with this.  Harold was a friendly, likeable person who ended up in a career doing pre-sales technical support for a software company. When I first met Harold he was convinced that the reason he was miserable at his job was that his weaknesses were getting in his way.  I asked Harold to list his strengths for me, and he would say something like, “Oh I don’t know.  But I hate working with so many people, and I need to do a better job of working with others.  I don’t want to give presentations in front of a group, but I need to do that better.  I waste too much time delving into details. I’d love to work on my own, but that doesn’t work at my company. I hate my job and I just need to change.”

As we worked together, Harold began to see that these weaknesses he was worried about were actually strengths that he wasn’t taking advantage of.  Rather than working with a team to solve a problem, Harold preferred working on projects where he did a lot of work on his own, and then reported the results to a manager or to his team.  He enjoyed answering questions and sharing his expertise with individuals, just not while doing formal presentations in front of a group.  Harold was really good at researching a problem thoroughly and finding the root cause.

As Harold began to see that all the weaknesses he worried about, would be considered strengths in a different job, his confidence grew.  And he began to look at options.  He discovered that working in Quality Assurance or testing software would really leverage his strengths, the ones he fought against in his current job.  So he met with the QA Manager and discussed his options.  Harold was able to work part-time on a testing project, to try it out, and see if he’d like it.  As it turns out, he loved it.  And soon the company created a new position and allowed him to transfer.

What about you?  It can be so easy to focus on where we think we need to be fixed that we miss seeing our strengths.  And in seeing those, we can see options and opportunities to create a thriving new career for ourselves.  Are you embracing your strengths?  Or are you fixing your weaknesses?

It would be so helpful to others if you would share your stories on my blog.

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Client Stories

Lori took my old, tired, out of date resume and transformed it into a resume which got results.  In transitioning from owning a business back to the corporate world, Lori asked the tough questions to dig out all the relevant skills and accomplishments which would catch the eye of a potential employer.   One of the first employers to receive my new resume and customized cover letter (created by Lori) called me for a phone interview, followed by a face to face meeting, and finally offered me a job twenty-four hours after the interview.  I'm convinced I would not have even been able to get my foot in the door without my new resume created by Lori.  As I told my wife, retrospectively, spending the money to work with Lori was well worth it.

Howard Kier, Evanston, IL