Consider yourself fortunate if you’re among the very few whose life work is fulfilling, satisfying, and enjoyable. Sadly, most people are unhappy in their jobs. But how do you pick the right work for you? As a young person, or someone starting over, how do you decide which path to take?
Jack Lundee submitted a potential guest article which got me thinking about this topic, even though I’ve chosen not to use the article intact. Jack’s topic was the common situation of a young person studying a particular discipline in college or other schooling, but then evolving into an entirely different career (possibly more than one). Lundee’s point was that this happens commonly, and people can be highly successful despite doing something for which they did not receive specific training.
Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
This reminded me of the importance of knowing our strengths and passions, and carving out lifetime work that makes the most of each. The researchers of positive psychology have identified validated means for each of us to identify and capitalize on our strengths. Best of all, the information is widely available and affordable. Whether you do best with a book, a class, or self-assessment questionnaires, these vehicles are available and easily utilized.
Though anyone with a strong sense of self-awareness will eventually come to understand what they’re really good at, the strengths which help them excel, this process, left to its own, can take many years. The process can be accelerated by taking strength self-assessment questionnaires available online or reading a good book devoted to finding your strengths. I’ll identify the online questionnaires and books I recommend ..
Benefits of Using Your Strengths
The benefits to a person’s career and life-happiness can be immense. Those fortunate enough to have lives well-aligned with their strengths and passions are known to be happier, more successful, and healthier—goals common to most of us.
What you might apply yourself to in your personal and professional life is not so important as whether whatever you select gives you the opportunity to utilize your strengths and experience your passions. In my own case, I studied engineering, a relatively good choice given how little I knew of myself, but my analytical and evaluative strengths allowed me to do well in my studies as well as my early engineering career.
Other strengths took hold later in my career, after being promoted into engineering management. There, my strengths of fairness, judgment, insight, and teamwork helped me to lead effective teams. Gradually, I evolved into coaching for improved on-the-job performance, and then into life coaching for greater happiness and satisfaction, again using combinations of my strengths.
The point here is that our strengths, once known and well-polished, enable us to do many things successfully. In fact, the variety of new challenges and responsibilities is energizing and satisfying, providing personal and professional growth in areas we can’t possibly foresee in our youth.
Regardless of your stage of life, get to know the real you, your strengths, passions, and—best of all—your life purpose.
Resources for Finding Your Strengths
This article, Build Your Personal Growth Plans Around Strengths, elaborates on processes for finding your strengths and identifies two online self-assessment questionnaire sites and two outstanding books for finding your strengths.
My highly rated Sample Personal Development Plan eBook recognizes the importance of strengths in personal development by including finding your strengths as one of the foundational modules of growth.
What is Life all About? How do I Find my Purpose? is the latest in the Personal Growth Resources series of personal growth books. Other books in the series include:
- The Happiness Workbook: Take Control of Your Happiness – Dozens of Proven Ways to be Happier ,
- Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook, and
- 5 Keys to Balancing Work and Life: Get Back to Basics and Balance Your Life.
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Jerry Lopper – Personal Growth Resources
Build your life on a foundation of purpose