Being an almost-college-graduate (20 days!), I have been doing a lot of reflecting on what I want to do post-graduation. In my last post, I talked about God-given gifts, so for this one, I want to talk about finding your strengths because I think the two go hand-in-hand quite nicely. Your strengths reflect in your gifts and vice versa.
We as people often focus only on our weaknesses, not necessary our strengths. We focus on what we can’t do instead of focusing on what we can do. This ends up being our biggest pitfall.
When I was in high school, I took this test called the StrengthsFinder. This assessment was created by Dr. Donald O. Clifton in order for people to discover what their strengths are and how they can apply them professionally and personally. The test created 34 different themes. These themes are outlined in a book by Tom Rath, “StrengthsFinder 2.0.”
When you purchase the book, it comes with an access code that you can redeem on the StrengthsFinder website to take the online assessment. The assessment is comprised of various questions to determine what your strengths are. At the end of the assessment, you are given your top five traits, to which the book outlines the characteristics of these traits and how to act on those traits.
To be honest, I haven’t looked at what my traits were in years. After retrieving my book and revisiting my strengths, they are more relevant to me and my personality than ever. And I would like to share them with you:
- Achiever – This is one of the characteristics I get from my mom for sure. The Achiever is characterized by “a constant need for achievement.” Achievers have this “internal fire” burning inside of them, pushing us to do and achieve more. Achievers are self-motivated and work well with other ambitious, hardworking people.
- Discipline – This I most definitely get from my dad. This trait is characterized by predictability and planning. Those who have this strength like to set up routines for themselves and want to feel like they are in control. These people are detail-oriented are easily irritated with errors. They set out to be efficient, setting timelines for themselves. A well-organized workspace is also a must.
- Maximizer – The Maximizer will take strength from themselves or someone else and refine it and challenge it to excellence. The Maximizer wants to capitalize on the strengths they have already been blessed with (see how it ties in with gifts?). These people like to help others find their strengths and help them succeed while also growing their own.
- Realtor – The Realtor focuses and cultivated the relationships with those closest to them. Realtors are focused on the character and personality of others and enjoy learning as much as they can about the people they meet. These people are also caring, making time for their close friends and family as these people “fuel” you, keep you grounded and happy.
- Strategic – Strategic people are able to “sort through the clutter in order to find the best route.” These people find the patterns in a situation, while also seeing repercussions. Strategic thinkers can see all “facets of a plan objectively.” People with this characteristic always trust their instinct while being on the forefront of new initiatives.
I hope that by rediscovering these strengths, I can apply them in wherever my path leads me post-graduation. I think it is important to utilize your strengths and focus on them in order to maximize your potential. So I encourage you all to find out what your strengths are as they can help to guide you going forward, personally or professionally.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”