It’s a Real Strength to Know Your Strengths

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The nation’s jobless rate has declined to its lowest level in three years. Robert Michael Fried's new book, Igniting Your True Purpose and Passion, highlights how going to your strengths can help you successfully find the right job for you. Capitalizing On Your Strengths

Go to the sound of the bugles (your strengths)

When you clearly communicate your personal attributes and strengths, you put yourself over the top in the job selection process.

It's no secret that the turbulent economy and high employment rates have forced many out of the job market, anxiously contemplating their next career moves from the sidelines. But there appears to be a silver lining in the clouds. The unemployment rate has recently fallen to 8.5%. That makes it the fourth month in a row that the jobless number has declined. The drop even caught most economists by surprise. So with hope springing eternal, perhaps it's time to dust ourselves off and get back into finding that ideal job that will allow us to make both money and meaning. Unfortunately, most people usually start this process by trying to fix their weaknesses.

Robert Michael Fried, in his new book Igniting Your True Purpose and Passion, counters that strategy with his philosophy that to successfully find the right job you must start by going to your strengths.

Fried, who has hired hundreds of executives during his Fortune 500 career, feels, “Identifying and clearly communicating your personal strengths is one of the key ingredients in acing that all important job interview. One of the most common queries raised by interviewers or search firms is: ‘tell me about your strengths’. When you clearly communicate your personal attributes and strengths, you put yourself over the top in the job selection process.”

According to Don Parker, Senior Partner at the search firm Nosal Partners, the strengths that most interviewers look for are as follows:

  • Confidence – The ability to express concepts, products and strategies in a highly confident, clear and concise manner.
  • Leadership – The ability to motivate others towards a desired goal.
  • Integrity – Your word is your bond. You actually do what you say you are going to do.
  • Great Communication Skills – Ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing.
  • Problem-Solving Expertise – Your ability to handle challenges and crisis situations.
  • Demonstrate Growth – Show how you’ve transformed a weakness into a strength in the past.

Fried proclaims emphatically, “Clearly it's a strength to know your weaknesses but it's even a bigger strength to know your strengths.

Here are Fried’s seven Jumpstarts steps that will help you stay focused on your strengths:

1. Make a list, check it twice. Clearly define your strengths. Remember, strengths require doing things well repeatedly with a sense of passion and joy.

2. Take personal stock. Look inside yourself to make sure your strengths are aligned with your work, passion, and true purpose in life.

3. Accent the positive. Go to your strengths rather than patchwork quilting your weaknesses. You only limit your potential obsessing over things you don’t do well.

4. Search for the zone. Hone in on those strong moments when you were at your absolute peak performance. Remember what you were doing and how it felt. Make it real. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you should be doing it for a living.

5. Use it or lose it. Make sure you fully utilize your talents and skills. Don’t be afraid to measure yourself against others with similar strengths.

6. Don’t get sucked in. Far too many people squander their life stuck in the wrong job or position. Put yourself in position to go for greatness by utilizing your strengths and skill-sets.

7. Go forward by looking back. Sometimes, to go forward we have to look back. Identifying your strengths can often be found in your childhood. What did you love doing as a kid? Did you draw finger paintings on the fridge? Did you sing songs or tell stories? What did you get straight A’s in at school?

Fried sums it up concisely, “You achieve true success in life by focusing on your strengths. So what are you waiting for? Heed the call… go to the sound of the bugles… go to your strengths.”

Robert Michael Fried is the best selling author of Igniting Your True Purpose and Passion. He is a marketing executive who has guided the strategic direction for companies like Motorola, Nautilus, bebe eyewear, and several emerging Silicon Valley firms. He is co-founder of Thirdwind, a company dedicated to helping people achieve true success by making meaning as well as money.


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