How do I know which job is ideally aligned to my strengths?

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IT IS good to have a job with chal­lenges that test and de­velop you but find­ing a role that plays to your strengths is a great way to en­sure job sat­is­fac­tion, en­joy­ment and will gen­er­ally see you per­form bet­ter. Re­flect on pre­vi­ous jobs, what as­pects of them you en­joyed most and had most success with. Think care­fully about what con­tributed to your en­joy­ment, whether it be va­ri­ety or a spe­cific area in which you would like to spe­cialise. Look for those as­pects in job ads and po­si­tion de­scrip­tions and take the op­por­tu­nity to speak with po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers, ei­ther be­fore or as part of an in­ter­view process. I DE­FINE strengths as high-skill, high­en­joy­ment ac­tiv­i­ties. Peo­ple of­ten strug­gle to recog­nise and ar­tic­u­late their strengths. It’s im­por­tant to have a close align­ment be­tween your strengths and your role, as it will have a marked im­pact on your over­all per­for­mance. To iden­tify your strengths, do some anal­y­sis of past roles, es­pe­cially ones you have en­joyed most, and an­a­lyse the out­comes you achieved. Ask your­self: ‘‘ How did I achieve those out­comes or what helped un­der­pin those out­comes?’’ Also, seek feed­back from col­leagues with whom who you have worked closely in the past.

Mid-ca­reer KEL­LIE RIGG Gen­eral man­ager HR So­lu­tions Rand­stad

IN­DI­VID­U­ALS in jobs and en­vi­ron­ments that are aligned to their per­sonal and pro­fes­sional strengths en­joy work, feel more ful­filled, are more ef­fec­tive and in­ter­act more pos­i­tively with co-work­ers. Start by re­flect­ing on what you do well, when you achieve your best re­sults and what mo­ti­vates you. If you have been given feed­back through per­for­mance re­views, train­ing pro­grams or psy­cho­me­t­ric as­sess­ments, use it to un­der­stand key strengths. Con­duct re­search into or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­dus­tries, the roles avail­able and skills re­quired. Talk to peo­ple who have or are work­ing in ar­eas you wish to pur­sue.

Ex­pe­ri­enced TIM ROCHE Prac­tice leader, Right Man­age­ment Ca­reer Tran­si­tion The Ex­pert MICHELLE BENT­LEY Gen­eral man­ager, Don­ing­ton tran­si­tion and out­place­ment

BE­GIN by re­view­ing your strengths (and gaps or weak­nesses) and test your own per­cep­tions against feed­back from oth­ers. A self re­view can re­veal knowl­edge, ca­pa­bil­i­ties, at­tributes and skills you be­lieve you pos­sess. Feed­back from oth­ers (man­agers, col­leagues, di­rect re­ports and cus­tomers) can give a more com­plete pic­ture and add ob­jec­tiv­ity. Once aware of in­ter­ests, com­pe­ten­cies and mo­ti­va­tions, re­search jobs, or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­dus­tries in which your abil­i­ties are needed. Align­ment of strengths and in­ter­ests are im­por­tant but also con­sider align­ment to team and com­pany cul­ture.

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