fostering a community of people interested in exploring strengths
Hey guys, I'm new to the community.
My top five strengths are
I was wondering if I could get any ideas for a career concerning my strengths. My problem is I fascinated by way too many things and I feel my creativity and curiosity almost paralyzes me because my interest are too diversified. I consider myself an entrepreneur. I enjoy journaling, learning about various bodies of knowledge such as psychology, religion, etc. I am currently running a ebay business selling books on the side to make some extra income to get to the point where I could quit my job. I work at Sam's Club but only working there as a source of capital to use as expenses for my unknown business venture. I was thinking about writing a book or becoming a journalist or book reviewer or even marketer. I was thinking being involved with research and development. I don't know how to clarify whats the right career choice for me. If any ideas or suggestions please feel free to share. Thank you in advance.
Hi Leroy - Great question. In fact, "what should I do with what I have" is one of the best questions you can ask. It shows you have some intentionality; that you are not willing to just allow life to happen.
My number one strength theme is also Ideation, and your comment about all the curiosity made me smile - as they say, "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt." The Ideation can drive you to the edge - but would you want it any other way? I'm rather proud knowing that I have more ideas than anyone else in the room - they might not be good ideas, but they're ideas.
More to your point - The first thing I would suggest is that you try to Capture, Clarify and Create what Marcus refers to as StrengthsStatements. These are precise statements that describe activities where you are at your best, or where you feel the most effective.
What types of activities or ideas are the most energizing for you? You have broad curiosity - but where is it the strongest? Do you get more energy out of knowing a little about many things, or about drilling down and knowing all there is to know about a single subject? The details are important.
The Truth About You is a book Marcus wrote a few years ago to help people sort through the questions you're asking and you may find some help in the material posted here on StrengthCampus - http://strengthscampus.com/page/the-truth-about-you
Keep us posted -
You sound just like me, i am looking at getting into marketing also, the last year i have been looking at where i want to be, after plenty of research i maybe closer than ever, you sound like someone i could work with, i will message you once i am up and running the opportunity i have been looking at is a great one so watch this space.
What are your top five strengths?
From the StrengthsFinder:
I guess my strengths include.
2 show genuine concern for others
5 helping people getting what they want
Is that your own perspective of your strengths or is it from the strengthsfinder or confirmation from others? Sometimes were so close to our strengths that we really don't notice them or misinterpret them. How do you use strengthen your creativity? I could use some ideas. I normally carry around a composition pocket book and pen with me at all times. Whenever I have an idea I write it down. Statistically speaking at least out of every 10 ideas 2 of them are good. Thats just the pareto principle statistic. If theres any way I can help you please let me know. I am filled with ideas and stimulating thought.
It's great to see that you chose Strengths Campus as a place to seek advice on a career, since the Campus is all about how to point you toward the place for world class performance: your strengths! I suggest that at some point you also consider taking the StandOut assesssment from TMBC, which will combine the knowledge you've gained about your personality (from StrengthsFinder) with what strong ways you carry out tasks and assignments in the workplace and life (which is the focus of StandOut). You may want to consider seeking some coaching help on debriefing your results of the StandOut assessment. But even if you just use the guidance provided in the StandOut book for whatever your top 2 roles turn out to be, it will enlighten you further on your career direction.
Have you considered starting a personal blog to explore in written form a variety of topics you're interested in? I would suggest choosing 3 or 4 topics that you'd like to discuss on a regular basis. Relate these topics to personal stories, current events, etc. Make sure you stick to your categories. It's a free, easy way to see if you could really spend a concentrated amount on time on one subject. Plus, it gives you a chance test out your writing skills on "the public." And, you can use your blog posts as writing samples during your job search. I could go on and on, but if you are interested, I'd suggest getting a tumblr or wordpress account.
Next, find a few bloggers you really like and read as much of their work as you can. Study how they engage their audiences. Check out copyblogger.com for tips on writing good headlines and more. Also, should you decide to this, make sure you can commit to writing on a consistent basis, starting with once or twice a week, then moving to three times a week when you're really ready to get going.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for your suggestion. Not a bad idea. I could also use twitter to drive traffic to my blog and engage my audience. My top categories are: Psychology, Marketing, Personal Development, Philosophy, and Entrepreneurship. Notice there is a theme that integrates all of them and the commonalities. It's obvious that my interest are generalized, I'm trying to specialize. My ideas are like a lightbulb shooting millions of photons in all directions. My goal is to become like a laser beam, strong enough to cut through a piece of metal. Currently I'm setting up a landing page and working on writing a e-book to give away. I'm looking forward to using aweber and focus on email marketing and building online relationships. I'm trying to work on direct response marketing because it focuses on the consumer's needs. Thank you for your suggestions. I will implement putting up a personal blog. I'll also send you the link when it's ready.
That's exciting! Yes, send me the link. If you want to work on response marketing (and maybe sell it as a service down the road), you may want to zap "philosophy, psychology and personal development" and simply integrate those theories and themes into your posts on marketing and entrepreneurship. And maybe add in personal branding to the mix! There are about a zillion others doing just that, but you'll find that certain people will be attracted to the lens that you bring to the table. Good luck!
Firstly take the standout test! SF is insightful, slightly flawed (because you are evaluating you) and 10 yrs old! The latest is less about trying to describe everything about you and more about your edge (includes career ideas etc also). That is to say where do you shine more than most others. It's practical!
Secondly buy "the truth about you" this is a condensed version of all the good stuff and provides simple tools for you to know you! The whole philosophy is drilled down here in simple and short terms, unquestionably sensible and useful.
Hope this helps
It's always tricky to share really in-depth information and ideas over the internet since we can't respond to each other in real time like we could if we had a conversation, so I don't know whether I'm sharing too much info, or too little.
As such, I'll share some ideas and resources for you to explore if they resonate with you.
In terms of approaching the topic of career, I enjoyed reading the book "What Colour Is Your Parachute."
There's a series of exercises in it called the "Flower Exercise" that give you some direction in terms of how to approach finding some work that's a good match to who you are. If you do the exercises (or even some of them), having taken the StrengthsFinder assessment will give you unique insight into the results that show up (or at least, that's the experience I had).
It's been around for a while, and there is a new, updated version published each year. Here's a link to the 2013 version (the 2014 version isn't out yet):
You may be able to find a copy of it in a local library (it may not be the most recent version, but it's a good way to see if it resonates with you).
The author also has a website with some resources available on it:
Discovering your strengths
I want to mention that while "strengths" is a term that can be generally be used to describe the best of you, there's a difference between your talents (which is what StrengthsFinder helps you to discover) and strengths.
To explain, your talents themes describe your themes of dominant patterns of thought, behaviour, and feelings. Gallup created some labels for patterns of themes they saw, and that's what the 34 themes of talent are.
The idea behind StrengthsFinder is to:
Your strengths, on the other hand are (as defined by Marcus) activities that makes you feel strong—things that strengthen you to do them again and again and again. A strength is comprised of a mix of your talents, skills, and knowledge, but the essence of a strength--what makes it important--is how it makes you feel: strong.
In terms of how you can discover your strengths, Marcus's book "The Truth About You" (it's more of a take-home toolkit than a book) and "Go Put Your Strengths to work" address how you can discover strengths. (Go Put Your Strengths To Work addresses it in more detail, but some people might not want that level of depth. Flipping through both of them at a bookstore or library would give you an idea of what each book is like.)
Marcus also touches on the process in a series he did on Oprah:
What I like about Go Put Your Strengths to Work is that once you have gone through Marcus's process to "capture, clarify, and confirm" a strength, he gives some processes you can use to make more use of them in your current role (if that's something you'd like to do).
He also helps you discover your weaknesses (a weakness is something that weakens you; that drains, frustrates, or bores you--something you don't want to do it again and again), and helps you manage around them. I could share more about the processes, but I think there's a lot of benefit from reading the book itself since it gives context to the processes Marcus shares.
* * *
I don't claim to be an expert on this subject and this post just serves as an incomplete introduction to what I've discovered, but I have learned some things about all of this from Marcus, Tom Rath, Don Clifton, and my own life experience.
Also, with all that said, I want to be clear that it's still excellent to know what your talents are. There are just other things you can do in addition to discovering your talents, if doing those other things resonates with you.
One other thing: be easy about this. :) As with all things in life, there are many different things you can do, and you don't need to do them all at once.