How to Identify Your Personal Strengths

How to identify your personal strengths  Knowing what you’re good at – in life and in work – is essential. However, many of us struggle with that deeper self-knowledge, and identifying what our strengths and weaknesses actually are.     But getting to grips with what makes you tick and fostering better self-awareness – especially in…

How to identify your personal strengths 

Knowing what you’re good at – in life and in work – is essential. However, many of us struggle with that deeper self-knowledge, and identifying what our strengths and weaknesses actually are.  
 
But getting to grips with what makes you tick and fostering better self-awareness – especially in the workplace – is an ongoing journey, and can make it easier to steer yourself towards roles you know you’ll succeed at. 
 
Here’s how to figure out your personal strengths, so you can leverage them whether you’re job-seeking or just looking to achieve career-goals.  
 
 

1.Think about what strengths are valuable in your industry. 

They might be soft skills – like having flexibility, being able to manage a team, being a good problem-solver, or detail oriented and focused on a successful outcome. Or, strengths in your workplace that are of particular value might be more specific, technical skills. 
 
Looking at the jobs you’ve had and isolating the things you were responsible for can help you identify strengths you needed in order to do the job (and do it well). To isolate weaknesses or areas you need to work on, you might think about soft skills you struggle with, or tasks you’re likely to make mistakes doing.  
 
 

2. Think about the feedback you’ve received. 

Did you have a manager who was particularly pleased with how you handled things, or trusted you with increasingly challenging tasks? That’s a sign you were strong in those areas. Similarly, looking back over references you’ve received from past employers or even asking colleagues what they perceive to be your best skills can be hugely valuable. 
 
And while it won’t be easy, try to remember feedback you’ve had that wasn’t so complimentary. Taking criticism on board is part of every workplace – and it can give you insight into the key areas you need to actively work on.  
 
 

3. Pay attention to what you find easy and enjoyable 

Have you ever trouble-shooted your way through a work-related situation, or helped a colleague with a tricky issue? When the issue was sorted, you may have had a bit of a lightbulb moment and thought, ‘Wow, I didn’t realise I knew so much about that system’ or ‘That was easier than I thought it would be’.  
 
Becoming mindful of specialist knowledge and skills you may have can be a great first step in building on that as a strength. Choosing roles with tasks or systems you enjoy and find easy can also mean you’ll be a much more productive employee (and a happier one). 
 

4. Get a session with a careers coach. 

 
Need help? A careers coach can help you isolate your strengths and give you strategies to help you improve in the areas you’re not so strong in. Coaches can also train you to best highlight your personal strengths in job applications and interviews. 
 
A coach may also encourage you to take a personality test in order to identify your appitude for certain roles and tasks in the workplace – or you can take a free test yourself for some insights. For tests that are often described as ‘corporate astrology’, you might find it uncanny how accurate they can be! 
 

5. Try new things. 

Once you’ve got a bit more self-awareness about your strengths and weaknesses, you can start to build on that knowledge and figure out what else you may be good at. To find out, you could do a training course, take on some work experience or try a challenging new hobby. 
 
While these may all feel risky at the time, you may have felt a real sense of accomplishment or reward when it was over, and that’s because you took the opportunity to grow and build on your existing skillset. And that’s only going to help you in your job-seeking efforts going forward! 
 
Did you enjoy this post? Check out our latest blog posts or download our Career Planner Guide: All About YOU, for all the tips you’ll need to identify your own strengths.