Your Passion Does Not Have to Be Mine
I remember sitting in my college geology lab and thinking to myself, “I will never need this” and “why am I here?” I’m sure you have felt the same way as you struggled through classes that have absolutely nothing to do with your life or career. I enjoyed my geology class that was required for me to graduate. My professor was amazing and I could really feel his passion and love for rocks in every lecture. Unfortunately for me, I did not share his love and passion. Instead of taking that class, I could have been focusing on my strengths and what was important to me.
Time to Flip the Script
I need you to take a moment and reflect on your career and ask yourself, “am I where I want to be?” or “have I done everything in my power to increase my value as an employee?” If you answered “No” to either of these questions then it is very important that you keep reading. It is currently 2017 and you have probably been doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same disappointing results. Many employees feel like they are not moving up the corporate ladder, they feel trapped at their job, employees feel like nothing is changing in their career. If this sounds like you then it is time to flip the script and try something new.
What Do I Need to Do Differently?
It is time to shift gears away from trying to improve your weak areas. I want you to think back to your most recent yearly review with your employer. As you sat in those meetings, “yes” your employer shared the areas that you excelled at, but you and I both dreaded hearing the areas that needed improvement. I do not want you to forget about the weak areas, but it is time to work on your strength area and how you can leverage this area to help land your next big promotion.
If you are a top notch customer service agent and your customers sing your praises from the top of the mountain, then that is your strength. You should focus on finding ways to become the best customer service agent in your industry. You do not have to focus on becoming an I.T. expert, or learning the routes of all the delivery drivers if that is not where your strength is. First, focus on delivering the best customer experience for your customers, and get even more training on how to improve the customer experience.
After you have learned all that you can about your role, it is time to put your learning and training into action. You will need to take note of what you do versus your co-workers that make what you do so great. From here you can begin to develop a portfolio that showcases your learning, training, positive customer comments, and a well thought-out explanation of what makes you the best at what you do. You should then volunteer to train new employees and even your current coworkers. I know this sounds like a lot of work but you are taking the needed steps to showcase to your employer why you deserve to be recommended for the next promotion in your department because you will be able to show them how you developed your strength and helped others develop also.
What If I Don’t Know What My Strength is?
If you have no clue what your strength is, guess what? That is perfectly okay! There are plenty of resources available to help you find what you are good at, and different ways to leverage your strength in your favor. I contribute my success and growth to Tom Rath’s, Strengths Finder 2.0. Rath wrote in his book that, “we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” Join the education revolution, go against the grain, and focus on improving what is already GREAT about YOU!