Strengths + Skills + Character + Opportunities = Career Success
Create opportunities for career success. Start with strengths that come to you naturally and easily, then learn skills that compliment your strengths, and build character to create opportunities for career success. As you learn more about yourself you will find skills you want to master and opportunities that fit your values. Are you more of an intuitive communicator who creates from your heart or an analytical innovator who designs from your head?
Valuing your strengths - the natural abilities you were born with - will drive you to develop skills you want to use for your business or job. Your skills are demonstrated in your product, analysis, data, and abilities but your heart will draw your audience to interact with you.
Your career success starts with you. Are you writing your business plan, setting up your portfolio, or looking for a job? You need to be able to clearly express your strengths. You know you are working in your strengths when time goes by so quickly you don't know what happened. You are in the zone. The neurons in your brain are firing and your face lights up when you talk about what you are doing. Not sure about your strengths?
Talk to a friend about something you did or are working on that you really enjoy doing. Notice your friend's expression. Are they listening and interested in what you are saying? Ask your friend if you look enthusiastic or passionate about what you are describing. If your friend doesn't appear really interested in your project, you may need to rethink your project or find your passion in doing it. You might even network and find someone with a similar interest to stir up your passion.
When you write about your strengths on social media, do people respond? Your LinkedIn profile should include your strengths, values, and something your are passionate about. Social media is a tool to reach a wider audience and monitor the reaction to your work. When you share your product or service with a customer, prospective partner, or employer you will need to show your excitement to generate their enthusiasm. Value yourself and your work. Start sharing today!
Want to know more about how to show your strengths, skills and character?
I just read a wonderful book by an accomplished career expert, Katharine (Kathy) Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, as well as an author and instructor. The name of the book grabbed my attention immediately. We all have accomplishments, but we often minimize them not knowing how to stand out without sounding like bragging.
Whether you are a job seeker, entrepreneur or employee, the ability to describe your accomplishments concisely and passionately will move you forward in your career. The book, You Are More Accomplished Than You Think: How To Brainstorm Your Achievements For Career And Life Success, gives you tools, examples, information, and worksheets to help you define and describe your accomplishments. You may know your accomplishments without understanding how to describe and build on those accomplishments. This book will show you how.
Too often the resume, cover letter, or profile is a list of job duties without showing your value, results, or sharing a memorable story. When you finish this book you will be proud to share your many accomplishments in a meaningful way without sounding like you are bragging.
The author shares techniques such as:
· Integrating feedback from others.
· Mining documents for accomplishments.
· Entrepreneurial accomplishments.
· Life accomplishments.
· Using keywords to describe your accomplishments.
One of the most important things you can do in describing accomplishments is to know your audience and tailor your accomplishments to the person or business you are speaking with.
The prompts, brainstorm activities, tools, websites, and assessments will help develop and frame accomplishments that are difficult to quantify. Some accomplishments can be given a numerical value while others will be told in scenarios, examples, or stories. As Katharine Hansen explains,
“When we describe accomplishments, we are essentially telling stories. The challenge, your role, and the impact you had.”
You Are More Accomplished Than You Think: How To Brainstorm Your Achievements For Career And Life Success, by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D. will give you clear concise information and the tools you need to frame your accomplishments. As the author states, “You are more accomplished than you think.” Find the Kindle edition of this invaluable book on Amazon.
How could a job search, resume design, and letter writing be fun? I've written many cover letters and resumes for jobs I didn't really want. I dredge up skills from the past, jobs I was glad to leave, and boring experiences. With great effort I put on a happy face and talk about the reasons I want to work for a company and all of the great things I can do for them. Not fun!
So often I found it easier to market the skills I had experience with, rather than building skills I wanted to use. I could not get excited about more of the same, but like a steam roller, I used my persistence and determination to keep on going. I looked at the websites and job ads to see what was offered, rather then investigating work I wanted to spend time on. It wasn't until I hit a wall in my career that I even began to look at new possibilities. I went back to college and majored in career counseling.
As a career counseling graduate student I took a number of skills assessments. After sorting skills cards, I came up with a nice stack of skills I CAN use. Neither the assessment nor the result was very exciting. Then I went to the 2009 Career Management Alliance Conference, where I had the opportunity to go to Richard Knowdell's workshop on _Motivated Skills. After laying out the cards in columns across my desk, I had a short list of skills I CAN use and actually WANT to use. These are the skills that give me motivation to take action. It sounds so simple, yet a light bulb went on in my head. I realized I could develop the skills I like to use. I spent years getting a job without planning a career or thinking about what I really want. It was finally time for a proper job search.
After seeing the simple list of skills I want to use, I decided to spend time mastering those skills. I spent two years writing regularly, publishing articles, and getting feedback for my ideas. The last time I searched for a job I chose a new category--writing/editing. Without a degree in English or communications, I had never investigated jobs for pay as a writer or editor. Many of the job notices gave a preference for an English degree and many required years of paid experience, but I started finding notices for bloggers and people with experience developing a social media presence. When it came time to prepare a resume and letter describing my social media presence, writing, and publishing experience, I dug right in. It was fun to share my experience doing things I love to do.
Career change is the norm, and we oftentimes need to use skills that don't fit our preferences while getting a foot in the door. Once in the door, you can experience new skills, see what you like, then fly with the skills you like to use. Stop the steam roller and soar to new heights of mastery. You won't need to force yourself to go to a job you don't like. As you gain expertise in your motivated skills, you'll anxiously anticipate everyday with new energy. Love your job search!
Certified Life Coach
Coaching for Career, Writing & Creative Problem-Solving
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