by Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady
Learning About Yourself
The first step of job searching is figuring out what kind of a role you even want. Instead of jumping right into the job you did before, taking a little time for introspection is wise. One good step in this process is finding out more about your strengths. Learning about what you are good at--and how to tell the story of your talents and successes--can help you position yourself well as you apply and interview for a new role.
People Are Good at Different Things
If you ask many people what they are good at, they would need help putting their natural abilities into words. Taking the StrengthsFinder assessment was a great starting point for me to better understand what I do well.
Often, individuals are blind to their own unique talents. In the past, I have wrongly assumed that EVERYONE does the things I do. Like (of course) everyone takes notes regularly in everyday conversations when they learn something--and (of course) everyone makes a seating chart whenever they are in a group of new people to remember names.
Turns out--NOPE! These are things I did that not everyone does. This was a huge breakthrough for me. So how do you figure out what you do that not everyone does?
Part of the Answer: StrengthsFinder/CliftonStrengths Assessment
The CliftonStrengths Assessment (previously known as Clifton StrengthsFinder) is a wonderful tool for identifying what you are good at, how that manifests, and how your version of each strength shows up.
The 30-minute online assessment includes 177 questions, including paired statements. Then, on a scale, you select which of the statements is more like you. From there, you'll receive a report identifying your top five strengths along with a more detailed description of how those strengths are exhibited in how you interact with the world. Reading a report about yourself (one that is freakishly accurate, by the way) is downright life-changing.
After taking the assessment, you'll be able to see your unique talents and have language to explain how what you do sets you apart from others. Having a way to put your abilities into words can translate directly into your resume and how you talk about who you are and what you bring to the table.
My Strengths and How They Show Up
My identified strengths, in order, are Strategic, Learner, Arranger, Achiever, and Individualization. Here are a few details I learned from my report and reflecting on those results:
Additional Strategies for Identifying Strengths and Talents
Here are a few other strategies for identifying what you're good at and how you show up in the world:
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7-time layoff survivor Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady, waxes poetic on layoffs, job transitions, & career resilience.