Step 3: Defining Your Signature Strength
Peter F. Drucker said ‘Build upon your strength’. While generalists don’t get paid very well, Specialists do. Therefore pick your signature strength and build upon it. Many people think they know their strengths but what is your major one? You should build upon the superior one.
Oftentimes many strength are mainly the result of one profound, major strength you possess. The first step is to determine this one.
How? Ask yourself these questions.
1. What did I grow up around?
When you were a kid, what were you doing a lot? What did you like a lot. You should kind of know the answer from our ‘Finding Your Passion‘ part.
2. What’s your personality type?
Although I am a bit suspicious of letting tests determine your personality, they do give a few good insights. Add to that what you already found out about yourself and you get a pretty good picture what you are strong and weak at. While it’s good to work on major weaknesses, you should build upon qualities you are already strong at.
Four tests you can do:
- 16Personalities (highly recommended)
- Talent Dynamics (recommended but paid)
- DISC Personality Test
- Big FIVE
The first one just already give a good overview of your personality..
3. What did you do the last 10 years?
This mainly applies if you already have at least a little bit of work experience. If you already worked in a profession for 10 years, it’s a good idea to take these skills in consideration, too.
4. What do STRANGERS compliment you on?
Unlike in the ‘Finding Your Passion‘ article, we are not looking for biased friendly feedback here. What’s the feedback you get from people who rarely know you? What is it that they notice about you? If you have people who don’t like you (enemies or competitors), go and put the weapons aside for a second. Ask them what they’d say that you’re good in. If even they must admit that you have a really friendly smile, heck, you should probably be on camera!
5. On saturday nights, what could you go on about forever?
What’s the favorite thing you like to talk about on a saturday night? Basketball? Do something with basketball! Simpsons? You are probably a more creative guy, maybe write scripts or start blogging. Marketing might also fit as well!
6. Think of What You Enjoy That You Also Do Well
After you’ve found your passion and your main strength, think about what you’ve learned. Focus on the things that you both enjoy and do well—whether you have a way with animals, make a killer lemon tart, or are crazy for origami—and write them down. Then, narrow the list to the top three or four things. Keep it handy, review it often, and use it as your jumping-off point when you’re plotting your career move.