Utilize personal strengths, weaknesses for career gains
By Ann N. Katekaru
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Hawaii Chapter — Workforce Development Co-Chair; Inkinen & Associates, Senior Consultant
Self-awareness is always key to improving our lives. When we apply this knowledge to our careers, it becomes even more significant because it can help us move up the ladder, while helping others along the way.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this topic with a brief Q&A:
Q. How does understanding my strengths — and weaknesses — help me in my career?
A. Finding your strengths and the areas you’d like to improve on can lead to a multitude of benefits, because
knowing and understanding them will help you determine the career path you’d like to take. Select a profession based on what you enjoy and excel at, and stay away from jobs that require talents you don’t possess, or involve areas of work you’re not passionate about.
Q. How do I know what my personal strengths are?
A. Here’s a simple way of nding out: Your personal strength is something that comes naturally for you. Are you skilled at making people feel at ease when they rst meet you? Do you nd it fun to solve puzzles? You can leverage these strengths once you identify them. Additionally, it is equally important to know what your shortcomings
are and how to strengthen them.
Q. Is it better to focus on my strengths, or improve on my weak spots?
A. Generally, because your strengths are something that come to you easily, you won’t need to spend too much time and effort improving them. Focus on your weaknesses, and consider seeking help if it is needed to advance your career. We cannot totally avoid all areas we are not good at, so it is still important to be self-aware of what they are and accept them. Improving something even slightly can potentially make a positive change in your work performance.
Furthermore, take to heart constructive criticism.