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5 Ways to Know You Have a Natural Strength

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
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Writing has always been easy for me. When it’s time to develop an article, book, or other form of written work, it always seems to come together seamlessly without a great deal of effort. Yet I haven’t been through formal training on how to write. I’ve only taken a handful of English classes in grade school, high school, and college, and I don’t have a master’s degree in English or journalism. Yet even with minimal credentials, I get called upon frequently to proofread other people’s writing and on many occasions, I have been asked to ghostwrite emails, marketing blurbs, and other small writing assignments. As I’ve advanced in my career, I’ve realized that writing is a natural strength of mine.

In searching for a great fit for your career, it is important to know what your natural strengths are. Your strengths will be the assets you can bring to an organization that will set you apart from others, create opportunities for promotion, and be your main selling points in interviews. Your strengths, however, are not the same as your skills, which you have acquired through formal training or other professional experiences. These are unique traits that you have always had.

What natural strengths do you possess?

As odd as it may seem, it can be challenging to recognize how you are truly gifted. You may have several great strengths, but because they come so easily to you, you might not even realize you possess them.

Here are five questions you can ask yourself to find out what you are truly gifted in:

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1. Have you been successful at something with little or no training?

Do you have a similar story like mine where you seem to have a high level of success at something with little or no training? If so, you might want to consider the possibility that you possess a natural strength in that particular area. Whether it’s teaching, data analysis, sales, finance, or another discipline, think about those things that you never got trained to do, but do so well.

2. What do you have a knack for?

I’ve always felt that I have a knack for teaching others. People tell me that I can break things down in a way that makes sense and allow them to understand it better. Has someone ever told you that you have a knack for something? Pay attention to those comments and take note of them when defining your strengths.

3. What are your strongest personality characteristics?

If someone were to ask you what others would say about you, what would you say? Are you patient, analytical, kind, or ambitious? These types of personality traits can say a lot about who you are and what types of jobs you might be very successful at with little or no training. Take some time and complete a personality test or ask some close friends to share with you what they think are your strongest personality traits. You might be surprised at what you find out!

4. What do you love to do?

Chances are that if you really love to do something, you do it often and are gifted in it. If you could do anything for a day, what would it be? Consider this when crafting your career path because, as Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

5. Are you a “go-to” person for something?

Are you called upon frequently to complete a certain task? Are people always impressed by your work in a certain area? Start to take mental notes of what you are often asked to do and you might uncover a natural strength.

Do you want to know more about how to uncover your strengths? I’ve written a chapter in Find Your Fit: A Guide to Landing a Job You’ll Love dedicated to understanding your skills and strengths and matching them to a career. Pre-order your copy today to receive it in October and launch your dream career!

About the Author
Dan Schwartz is a University Relations Specialist with BKD CPAs and Advisors. In his role, Dan plays an active role in developing brand awareness through recruitment marketing, sourcing strategies, social media campaigns, report generation, and support of the university relations team. Dan has published articles, books, videos, and podcasts related to career development and leadership development. He is the author of TD at Work: Managing as a Ground Floor Leader, Winning Strategies: Achieving Success in the Classroom, Career and Life and is a contributing author to Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing a Job You'll Love.
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