Strengths and Motivations
Knowing your true talents and incentives moves you toward solid goals.
Do you know your strengths? Can you clearly explain them to a prospective employer? What about your motivation behind succeeding in solid goals? Before choosing a major, or heading to an interview, understand yourself first.
If you’re unsure of what strengths you possess that will translate well to an employer, begin to determine the following:
- Listen to others. What have professors, mentors, friends and family told you that you do well? Make a list of everything.
- Watch yourself. Where do you excel? Which courses are “easy”, what do you do that feels “natural”?
- Don’t discount. Never assume these strengths come easily to everyone–they don’t–these are your strengths.
- Enlist a friend. Choose a person who knows you and will give honest feedback. Ask them to list your strengths. They can draw from words such as: observant, generous, clever, smart, creative, adventurous, focused, articulate, etc.
- Imagination needed. Once you and your friend have a list of strengths, brainstorm how these are used in various careers.
- It feels right. Writing down possible careers where you might use your strengths helps to aim you in the right direction. Not only that, you’ll be better able to articulate your strengths in an interview.
- Explain it. Write down a statement to an employer, explain in a paragraph your main strengths and how they’ll benefit both the employer and you in the workplace. Example: if you are organized, explain how that strength will enhance your performance at work.
Now focus on what motivates–keeping you engaged for the long haul to realize your dreams. We all possess different motivation styles. Some are motivated by being connected to a group, others in the security of being financially stable, still others want to influence and be recognized for their accomplishments.
- Think back. In the past, what has motivated you to pursue a goal?
- College major. How did you choose your major? What was the main motivation behind that choice?
- Translation to work. How do you see yourself taking current motivations into the workplace, benefiting an employer and yourself?
- Statement of intent. Now, take your knowledge about what motivates you and write a statement of intent, as if you’re addressing an interviewer. Example: if you are motivated by being in a group with others, be sure to stress how you value working with others and why.
Knowing and understanding your strengths and motivations enables you to make great choices, articulate to an employer your value, and keeps you on track.
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