Do we aspire to grow and enhance our strengths, or do we work on our weaknesses?
I am a serial improver. I am always working on my weaknesses. However, the task of overcoming and working on my weaknesses becomes daunting.
Maybe it is because it is not nearly as rewarding as I’d like it to be.
Ever since I was a child, my weakness in school has been math and science. I was always receiving less than perfect grades. As a college business student, my weakness in math translated into a weakness in accounting and finance. Without fail, I eventually started to grasp it enough to scrape by but despite the hours of work I put in, I was never one to receive the highest grade.
It can be frustrating, taxing, and time-consuming to build upon weaknesses but I always viewed it as a part of life.
This was the case until Judi, Specialized Career Guidance’s Founder & President, gifted me Gallup’s StrengthFinder book.
Within the first chapter, there‘s a quote that states, “You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” After living my entire life believing that I could do anything I wanted if I tried hard enough, this quote hit me like a brick wall.
I’ll be honest, after reading it for the first time I got a little defensive.
However, after reading the remaining chapter, I felt motivated.
My example of having a weakness in math and science doesn’t really apply in this scenario because my hard work paid off. I got into a great college and have a GPA that would make anyone proud.
However, as I started to advance my education and enter the workforce, I learned that not all weaknesses are worth improving upon. An example of this was my time in retail. As a sales associate, my job was to sell clothing and sell our in-store credit card. I loved my job, my co-workers, and I loved the clothing but no matter how hard I tried I could not sell the in-store credit cards as well as my co-workers.
Long story short, I am not a salesperson, and despite my efforts, I never made my quota.
So instead of being a bad credit-card salesperson, I shifted gears. I started focusing more on ensuring the customers were happy and I encouraged them to buy more clothing and accessories to complete their looks. I wanted to be successful, but in order to be successful, I needed to build upon my strength of providing a satisfying customer service experience.
This is what Gallup’s StrengthFinders is all about.
After taking their StrengthFinder exam which gave me results that read me like a book. I discovered that my top five skills included restorative, connectedness, individualization, input, and achiever.
Judi uses this information to best utilize her team to ensure we are always engaged, happy and working on improving our strengths. She applies the same framework to Specialized Career Guidance’s coaching program. By finding the student’s strengths, Specialized Career Guidance identifies career pathways that fit each student.
Students are aware of their strengths, and by growing within them, they can find careers that engage, fulfill, and ensure their happiness.
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