Have you ever done something you were really proud of and thought, wow, I did really well at this, I'm proud of myself? Or, on the flip side have you struggled with something that always seemed to come easily to others? We all have strengths and areas that we can improve on. Sometimes struggling with something over and over again can lead to positive outcomes, but a lot of the time it can leave us feeling pessimistic—have you ever received a test you didn't do as well on and thought, I'm just not good at anything. Excelling at something can make us feel good about ourselves, especially when we receive praise from others. However, not everyone is aware of what it is that they are good at without hearing that praise. Although your strengths may not correlate with your passions, it's useful to know while in college or searching for your career.
Which areas have always felt less difficult to you?
Perhaps you were always a fast reader compared to your peers or maybe you always got a higher score on the math section of the SAT. This doesn't only have to apply to school either—perhaps you excelled in leading your soccer team by being the captain or loved spending your time helping others through community service.
Which skills have helped you succeed in the past?
Maybe you used excellent problem-solving skills on a backpacking trip with your class, or had great people skills and made lots of friends in social settings. These skills do not necessarily have to be mind-blowing talents—we can't all be the next Bill Gates. However, even if a skill sounds commonplace it can lead to great success if channeled in the right direction through a career.
What made you stand out as a child?
Looking back at what we were good at in grade school can be a helpful reminder about our skills. As children, our raw and unfiltered selves come out—and although you might have changed for the better—you are still the same person with the same skills and strengths.
Are there compliments that you tend to ignore?
Are there any compliments that you tend to ignore because you have heard them repeatedly? Next time you find yourself brushing off a compliment because you have heard it so many times, listen in. This is a skill that you could focus on in finding a job that fits your strengths.
Now, you may be asking yourself, what should I do after I start to realize these strengths? You can begin by taking note of them, writing them down—adding them to your résumé, talking about them in interviews. Translating these skills into your job-search will be advantageous and ultimately help you find a career that is a good fit. Good luck with the search!
by Ellie, Career Peer Advisor