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use your strengths

In the first of this series, you identified your unique strengths and part 2 enabled you to focus on developing and growing them. (Been away? Here’s the links so you can catch up: part 1 and part 2).

But knowing your strengths and growing them isn’t enough to sustain your motivation, build greater success and create the life or career you want.

So to borrow another company’s slogan…..

At work

Actually even before you land your ideal job or promotion, you can utilise you strengths to demonstrate both the way in which you work and what you excel at. By creating a consistent personal brand, you can reinvigorate your online profiles and your personal introductions. Using a strengths based summary statement on LinkedIn gives a clear, easy to understand short review of your talents and aspirations. At events, you can rapidly and compellingly introduce yourself to new people.

Whilst research roles, your strengths could be the search terms you use in job boards or in deciding whether your career switch is really for you.

If you’re considering a career or job switch, I’d really encourage you to look at doing an internship – Escape the City offers a job and internship board of some of the most lovely and usual roles going all in one place (plus great blog and school) and keep your eyes’ peeled for internships being offered as part of competitions (Red Magazine runs “grown-up” internships for a range of organisational positions).

Drafting your CV and applications can also draw from your strengths portfolio. They will run through each role or project and help illustrate how your achieved success or development in them. The “how” is a key indicator of future performance, not just the outcomes.

Many firms are now using strengths interviewing – rather than focus on past experiences, you’ll be asked to describe how you would approach future or hypothetic scenarios based on your talents.

At rest

In coaching, we often refer to “signature strengths” – the ones that shine throughout all aspects of life. Let me give you an example, if you’re great at organising chaos into a way ahead then you’ll be the one who at home, as well as work, who tackles arranging holidays, family get-togethers and so on. If you’re naturally talented at making people feel at ease, you’ll do this at home too.

The snag is you possibly don’t realise it.

Take a moment to reflect on where your strengths show up at home. In what circumstances do you draw on them? And how could you use them to better effect? Or is it possible you over use your strengths and diminish your chance to try something new or push outside your comfort zones?

At play

Taking your strengths into volunteering, hobbies, sports or socialising can be a real joy to the soul. These “play” activities typically have some sort of pay-off – they make a difference to you or to others, they lift your spirits, they enhance your wellbeing.

This application of your strengths can also require you to use them in a different way and in a different context to work or home. The pressures or boundaries may be removed or relaxed and you’re likely to be with a different group of people. How do your strengths show themselves in these times?

Stepping back

Looking across all 3 areas, when and how do you use your strengths? Are there any learning or observations that you can draw across into another area of your life to maximise their potential?

Research into happiness, health and success all point to one common factor – knowing, developing and using your strengths consistently. I hope this short 3 part b-mail series has helped you begin the journey to the life and career you desire.

Moving ahead, I’d love to know in the comments how you currently make the most of your strengths and how you’ll be using them in new or different ways in the future. Stuck for ideas? Drop that in the comments too and I’ll be happy to help.

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