There are many different ways to evaluate yourself and your skills. Some experts recommend focusing on your weaknesses while others wholeheartedly urge you to play to your strengths. A month or two ago, while I was searching for a new job, I was told by a friend that I should check out StrengthsFinder 2.0 and consider including the results on my resume. I checked it out and eventually purchased the book (link at the end of this post) and took the evaluation.
So what is StrengthsFinder 2.0?
It is a set of 177 questions that will pinpoint 5 key personal qualities; rather, roles you are well suited to play. In the end you also receive a summary and a list of action items that will help you leverage your unique strenghts.
Why even bother?
For me a good explanation can be found in sports. Truthfully, this applies to other areas like acting, music, or another organized team activity. When you are put on a team you have a specific role. Teams are made up of individuals who contribute something special and unique for a larger purpose. Dodge ball doesn’t have teams – it has sides or groups; everyone is doing the same thing towards the same purpose. Football has many members but each contribute differently. For example, you do not want Tom Brady playing linebacker nor do you put
Tebow Ray Lewis at Quarterback. Each have special strengths and the team is better as a whole through each of these players using them properly.
For some reason we have lost this mentality in some parts of the working world. We assume that because you have a degree in Business you have the same strengths and skills as the other guy down the hall, who also holds a Business degree. Yet each of these individuals will contribute to and interact in the organization in much different ways. StrengthsFinder allows you (and your peers, managers, etc.) to better understand what your strengths are so that you know whether you should try out for QB or Linebacker. For VP or technical expert.
So that you can get a feel for what the results look like, I have shared my 5 strengths below. I thought they were more or less on point.
Input: People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
Intellection: People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions
Command: People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions
Learner: People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them
Belief: People who are especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.
You can purchase the book here. NOTE: Please do not be fooled by buying a used version of the book. The most important part of this book is the access code that is included at the end. At this point, I would recommend buying the Kindle version because the access code will be emailed to you and you save a tree. Well OK, maybe a limb.