Work is partly what you make it, and if you’re not focusing on your best attributes, you may be missing out on a happier workday. According to Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes Magazine, knowing your strengths can help you keep yourself in a space where you’ll add the most value, and this in turn leads to a more satisfying experience overall.
The VIA Institute On Character notes that, as developed by psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman, there are a total of 24 strengths of character that define us as people. These character strengths are underpinned by the human virtues of temperance, knowledge, justice, humanity, wisdom and courage.
It’s important to remember that strengths are different from skills, as skills are learned while strengths are an underlining factor in our behaviors and choices.
Learning and harnessing the power of your strengths at work can lead to more satisfaction and a happier life in general. Try the following ways to focus on your strengths at work and flourish!
1. Identify Your Leading Strengths
Knowing what your signature strengths are is the key to finding the right job for you. Think about what your strongest attributes are. Are you curious? Creative? Maybe you’re brave, honest, or persistent, or kind and a natural born leader.
Whatever your natural strengths are, you can use them to find the perfect job for you with your current employer or even an entirely new career if you’re unhappy with your job right now. Look for jobs that tap into what your key strong points are.
If you’re creative, for example, a job at data entry may not be the best fit for you, but a position designing logos just might be the ticket. Be honest with yourself when it comes to your strongest character attributes, as the only way to find the best work fit is to know exactly what you’re suited for based on your personality.
Once you’ve identified your power points, learn more about them. Ask yourself what excites and energizes you the most. What tasks do you look forward to doing or want to try the most at work?
You need to align your characteristics with your work, and the best way to do that is to look at how those traits fit into your workplace environment. Once you’ve got that figured out, you can begin to seek out tasks that will bring you satisfaction and joy.
2.Look At What You’re Doing Now
Consider what you’re doing at work now in relation to your identified strengths. You might need to do things differently to use your strengths to their full potential. For example, if you’re a natural leader but often take the backseat on projects, start volunteering to head up teams.
Once you’re given the opportunity to tap into your strengths, you’ll find yourself happier and more energized at work, so don’t hold yourself back out of fear or uncertainty.
Speak to your boss about trying new tasks if you don’t have access to things that complement your natural attributes or want to do more things that do. Be honest with your supervisor about what your strengths are and how those traits can bring great things to the table for your employer if you’re given the chances to use them.
Work with your boss on finding better fits for you at work in terms of tasks and future projects.
3.Know Other People’s Strengths
Once you’ve figured out your own strong points, try to learn the strengths of people around you. You want to build the strongest teams possible for tasks that require more than one employee, and the best way to do that is by having team members who bring different things to the table.
A team full of leaders, for example, sounds great on paper, but can lead to everyone fighting over who has control, a lack of one clear direction and problems coming to an agreement on final decisions.
Even if your work environment is mostly solo gigs, knowing your co-workers’ strengths will still help you work with them in a more complementary manner.
If you’re stuck on a creative aspect of a project, for instance, and creativity isn’t a strong point of yours, being able to identify the most creative person in your workplace to ask for help will ensure your personal obstacle doesn’t delay the entire task.
Learn to appreciate the strengths of others around you in addition to your own to foster the best work environment possible.