Bridgette recently had the pleasure of talking to Emma Mclean, Chief Happiness Officer, from Works for Everyone about how people should focus on their strengths when they are looking at restarting their career, changing their career or setting up a business.
Whether you are going back to work after a career break or you are already in work but having confidence wobbles, playing to your strengths can give you an instant feel good boost. Just what we all need! When we play to our strengths, we feel strong. We get strength from our strengths. That is what makes them so magic. Think about a time when you were really hitting your best game at work and chances are – your strengths will have played a big part.
Identifying Your Strengths. Sometimes it is hard for us to see our own strengths. It can be easy to let your weaknesses dominate your internal narrative and it is hard to see the wood for the trees! But you can start re-discovering them right away with a few simple tricks. First, listen out for what people compliment you on. As we say to our kids “put your listening ears on” and starting listening to the positive feedback you get. But make sure it is specific so you can learn from it. If it is not, then become a detective and ask for more information. Ask them “when you say x, what do you mean?”. Another thing you can do is to ask your friends what they think your strengths are and they will come in thick and fast. Get a notebook for yourself and write them all down. Keep adding to the list – think of it as your project for the month of February.
Your Strengths Are Your Competitive Advantage. To turn your strengths into your competitive advantage in a job interview – pair them up with a story that brings them to life. Anyone can say they are “resilient” but if you have a story from your life that amplifies how “resilient” looks for you – it will help you stand out from the crowd. So it might be that the conversation goes something like this “One of my key strengths is resilience and the ability to bounce back. An example of this is when I was the lead co-ordinator for our primary school family picnic and at the last minute we could not get the BBQs working. I managed to pull together another dinner solution so the picnic could go on.” Side point – this story also showcases your leadership, creativity and event management strengths!
Turn to your strengths if you need an instant confidence boost. You will not be disappointed. Onwards and upwards!
Emma Mclean, Works for Everyone
Emma is a working parent with a 25-year career built in Marketing and is now an ICF certified coach that helps parents get back into work that works for everyone.
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