“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” - Walt Disney
Do you have the career of your dreams? One where you fly out of bed to get there, love your boss, and work days go by fast because you feel alive? Given the statistics, likely not. Many of us didn’t have direction in school and are still trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up.
You may not be one of the lucky ones, but I am. I plan to spend a good chunk of this second half of life sharing what I’ve learned and helping you to feel empowered to design a career that lights you up. In my experience, when “work” feels like play because it’s easy, and you have the opportunity to make a contribution - life is extraordinary. In this blog series I’ll share proven techniques along with real-life stories and inspiration to support you with transforming your career, maybe even your life!
So back in 2012 I took the Cliftonstrengthsfinder assessment. I honestly can’t recall what prompted me to do so other than I’m a personal growth junkie. Over my lifetime I have invested a lot of time and money into learning about myself and acquiring skills which have made me a better partner, professional, sister, friend, mother, daughter...you get the idea.
I was attracted to this assessment among a sea of others out there because it was developed by a credible psychologist at the Gallup organization - who has a data set from millions of people around the globe. And, it only costs $19.99 :) After you answer about 100 questions it spits out your top five strengths. What are these? Strengths are your natural talents. The things which come easily to you when you wake up in the morning. You do them without thinking. These strengths reflect activities which generally make you happy because you’re good at them.
My #1 strength is Communication. My earliest memory of using this talent was when I was asked to give the student body speech at my eighth grade graduation. I had always wondered why I was chosen. Was it because of my pretty red hair? Perhaps because my parents were on the PTA? I wasn’t the smartest kid in the class. I always thought I just got lucky as it felt like a real honor. Well, after taking the Strengthsfinder assessment I had data about myself which helped me make sense of that life experience. The class picked me because they saw confidence in my communication skills -- which I did not see in myself (yet).
People exceptionally talented in Communication generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters. So that’s one of mine. How does this relate to my career? Well, it means I don’t take jobs where I’m stuck behind a desk crunching numbers. It means I seek opportunities to use my communication strength coupled with my expertise in developing leaders, teams, and organizations (more on that later).
If you want to take a step toward having a career of your dreams, go to Soar.com and find yourself a strengths coach. They can give you the assessment and help you put that data to work in your life.