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The Strengths Guide - How to Identify Your Strengths

13 September 2019

Strength (noun), according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means a good or beneficial quality or attribute of a person or thing. Therefore, your strength is a physical energy that you have which gives you the ability to perform various actions. When seeking your next career opportunity, identifying your strengths should be a top priority. Being aware of your strengths (and weaknesses) will enable you to truly sell yourself to your prospective employer and distinguish yourself from the competition. Awareness of your strengths is essential, and paired with knowledge of how this strength can be applied to the role you are applying for, you can prove to your interviewer that your skill-set is a perfect match for the role.

The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a useful tool to identify your Strengths and Weaknesses. But it also enables you to identify any Opportunities that may be open to you, and any Threats that are standing in the way of gaining your next role or achieving a promotion in your current role. The SWOT analysis is typically used in a business context to understand business models, exploit any potential opportunities and eliminate threats to the success of the business. But used in a personal context, as explained here, it can be used to sell yourself to future employers, work on your weaknesses, exploit career opportunities and combat any threats that may be standing in the way of landing your dream role.

Before embarking on your next job search, understand more about yourself with these 4 areas of reflection...

1. Strengths (internal)

These are your beneficial qualities or areas where you may have an advantage over others. They are assets that set you aside from the competition and are the selling point that will get you your next role. What do you do better than anyone else? What do you think others view as your strengths? Once you have identified your strengths, it is important to think about how they may relate to your competition and why they make YOU better than your competition. Examples of strengths might include organisational skills, proven ability to sell a product or excellent communication abilities.

2. Weaknesses (internal)

What could you improve on? What should you avoid doing? What areas of your skill-set are preventing your personal and professional growth? Think about what others may consider as your weaknesses. Be realistic! If you’re unsure… ask them! Others may be able to identify weaknesses that you don’t see in yourself and this is especially useful when going up against your competition. Identifying your weaknesses enables you to be aware of areas for improvement. And you can take the time to work on these before going for your next role. Examples of weaknesses could be being unable to speak in-front of groups, poor listening or lacking confidence.

3. Opportunities (external)

In terms of opportunities, it is important to identify external factors that you can take advantage of to find a new role or achieve a promotion. Think about the industry you work in, is it growing? If so, you can take advantage of the new roles the are arising. Search for opportunities for personal and professional development. Does your employer offer any? Explore the potential for this and if so, give this a go to further your skill-set and qualifications.

4. Threats (external)

It’s important to identify any threats to your career progression. Is there excellent competition for the jobs that you are most suited to? Are there limited roles available in the industry you work in? Is the industry changing to the extent that your skills are no longer as relevant as before? If this is the case, it’s important to identify any opportunities that can help you overcome these threats.

For example, if there is strong competition for the roles that you are most suited for, seek opportunities that will enable you to further your strengths and experience to enable you to match, if not, be better than the competition. If you are seeking a role that needs excellent communication skills to be successful in, and you are aware that your communication could do with some work, seek out opportunities to work on these. Really push yourself out of your comfort zone to eliminate this threat. I can guarantee that this is what the competition is doing! It’s about working on your skill-set to ensure that it meets the requirements for the role and stands up against any great competition that you may be up against.

Go through these areas of consideration and make notes on what you find. Don’t forget to ask colleagues for input if you’re struggling! Considering these four areas will put you in the best position when seeking your next role and will enable you to truly take advantage of your own strengths, but also any opportunities for progression. Work on your weaknesses and eliminate any threats that may be standing in the way of success. And if you have decided you’re ready for a New Chapter, give us a call on 0845 2000741 for a chat with one of our expert recruiters! 

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