It sounds easy, doesn’t it? What are my strengths? What skills do I have? What am I good at doing?
Take a minute and think about these questions…
Do you have the answers?…
Well, if you’re anything like me or countless other women around the world, you won’t.
It may not be as easy as it seems, but these are all important questions that need answering, especially if you are driven to find your true calling and start down that path towards your new career.
Personally speaking, I have been struggling to answer these questions for a long time. I know I am good at a few things, but will any of these help me with a new career option? For example, I’m good at cleaning. I am actually what you would call a “neat freak” and a “perfectionist” in this area, but do I want to make a career out of it? Definitely NOT!
So to put it another way, it’s not just about finding what you are good at, but finding out what you are good at AND love to do. What can you see yourself doing everyday? What is going to excite you to get out of bed in the mornings?
There are a few things you can do to try to answer all of these questions and assess your strengths.
1 – What do you already do?
Ask yourself some smaller, easier to answer questions like:
“What do I do on a day to day basis, for family and friends that I do with ease? Especially something that others would find hard.”
For example, you might have a large family and have to juggle many school and after school commitments, so to do this successfully, you need to be a great organiser, planner and time keeper. All of which are fantastic strengths!
2 – Revisit the past
Look back to when you were a kid. What things did you gravitate towards? What contests did you win? What did your teachers praise and compliment you on? There could be many clues hidden away in your childhood that you may not have thought about for years.
3 – Keep track
Start a journal or a log to keep track of when you feel energised and enthusiastic about doing something, and also keep track of when something feels draining or boring. Usually this will sort out the positive from the negative.
The activities that line up with your strengths are the ones you will find invigorating, but when an activity doesn’t line up with your strengths, your energy levels will drop because your brain isn’t working as hard as you’d like it to.
4 – Research
There are also plenty of online quizzes that can help you work out your strengths and career personality type, which in turn will help you find your calling. The Career Change Happens, 3 Minute Personality Quiz will help match your personality type to careers that are best suited to you.
5 – What are you proud of?
Feeling immense pride in something you’ve done is also a great indication that this is where your strengths lie. Taking your time and doing something to the highest possible standard means you’re truly enjoying that task and you’re proud of your work, whatever it is. You’re probably even doing it without consciously knowing it’s what you’re doing.
6 – Continuous Improvement
If you are interested in or constantly trying to improve an area of your life, this could also be an indication of your strengths because you have a strong motivation towards improving this interest. For example, you may be wanting to improve your health and get fitter, so you do hours of research, put more effort and time at the gym and try new things to achieve this goal, so a career in health and fitness is a career you may excel in!
7 – Get confirmation
Another essential element you need to answer these questions is;
“How do I know when I’m good at something?”
The Answer? FEEDBACK!
For me, this is the one I value the most. Sometimes people can live in a bit of a fantasy world and think they are really good at something when, in reality, they’re not good at all. The countless talent shows on television can prove this. You could be really good at something and not even know it because you are too scared to put what ever it is out there.
So, to gain valuable feedback you need to get out in the world. Think about what you want to explore. It could be:
- Speaking: Volunteer to speak at a meeting at work or at community groups. You can even video yourself giving a talk then just upload it to YouTube or to a blog.
- Writing: Start a blog, do some volunteer writing for the local paper or charity groups or write some articles/stories and submit them to competitions.
- Working in the health system: Do some volunteer work at your local hospital.
- Managing people: Again volunteer for a charity group and work your way to a leadership role managing other volunteers.
- Teaching: Get a working with children check and start coaching a kid’s sports team or ask to help out at the local school.
If you are willing to do something for free, you can give anything a go to see if it is for you and to get that feedback, but you need to be willing to put yourself out there, try new things and take on board any feedback you get, even if it is negative.
Don’t get me wrong, these questions are a tough ones, but it is achievable to find the RIGHT answers. It will take time, soul searching, hard work and the ability to come out of your comfort zone, but in the end, it will be worth it.
Imagine getting up everyday, going to a job you really love, feeling extremely motivated and knowing that you are doing something that you are truly amazing at!
Won’t that feel great!?
A mother of 3, Candy works part-time and juggles all the day to day commitments of life like all women. She has a love for shopping and writing and this can be seen in her talent for storytelling. Candy shares her life experiences with candor and flair.