Founder of Virtus Career Consulting, speaker and author of the career empowerment book
The better you understand yourself, the better you can maximize your career. To understand what you do best for people who need it most, you can explore five factors to help you discover and develop your strengths:
Experiences – Your background – Personal, educational, vocational
Abilities – What you do best – Talents, knowledge, skills
Personality – How you do what you do best – Natural behavior traits
Interests – What you like best – People, places, things, and activities you enjoy
Values – What is important to you – Work and life purpose, principles or points of pain. There is a sample table at the bottom of this post you can create to capture information from self-assessment, asking others, and leveraging any professional assessments you’ve taken.
- Inventory your experience – List places you’ve worked and the work you’ve done. Make sure to include work for which you were paid and major volunteer work, educational projects, internships, and extracurricular activities. Circle the places and work you did best and liked most.
Write keywords to describe your:
- Abilities – What you do best; talents, knowledge, skills
- Values – What is important to you; purpose, principles, burdens
- Interests – What you like most: people, places, things, activities
- Personality – Natural behavior traits
Ask Others Assessment
Get input from people who know you well: work associates, supervisors, customers, friends, and family. Have them answer the following questions, encouraging them to be completely honest. Be gracious when receiving their feedback, and thank them!
- How would you describe my biggest accomplishments?
- What do I do well? What are my talents, knowledge, and skills?
- What do I seem to like best? What people, places, things, and activities do I enjoy most?
- What positive personality traits come to mind when you think of me?
- What positive values and character strengths do I possess?
- What improvements could I make?
- What job or career do you think would be perfect for me?
- Leverage information from any assessments you may have taken such as StrengthsFinder, DISC, WorkPlace Big Five, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Insights, etc.
Summarize Your Best
This sample table can house the data you’ve collected. Review all your data (self, others, and professional assessments). Look for common themes and keywords to help identify your potential. This will provide you will an inventory of data when it comes time to write cover letters, update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and prep for interviews.