Friday, February 18, 2011

Build A Career Rooted In Your Strengths

by Robin Roffer

Reinventing your career or your business starts with building on your strengths. So why is it that we focus so much on our weaknesses? Perhaps it’s because we were told as children "you can do anything you want if you just put your mind to it.” I have said this to my own daughter as she struggled with the piano, guitar and riding a bike. No matter how hard she tried, it just wasn’t natural for her to be good at those things. I’ve come to believe that putting so much energy into improving our weaknesses is a set-up to fall miserably short of our own expectations.

During my annual performance reviews as a young marketing executive at Turner Broadcasting, I would be praised for my accomplishments and receive a healthy raise. Inevitably, my boss would share with me the one area he felt needed improvement. Being a people-pleasing perfectionist, I would walk out beating myself up, obsessing over that one thing, never celebrating all the talents he recognized.

We spend so much time banging our heads against the wall trying to “fix” what we perceive as broken, when we would be better served building on our strengths. Instead of struggling to swim upstream against the current, shouldn’t we use our strengths to guide our careers? Yet, so many of us choose jobs and professions that require mastery in areas that don’t play to our individual strengths. As a result, we live our entire lives without ever uncovering our greatest talents and potential.

Writing down your top five talents, those things that come naturally to you and your top five strengths, those areas where you perform with mastery will set you on a positive course. Especially, when you take the time to consider how you can use your talents and strengths in today’s market.

If you have trouble recalling your strengths and talents, try to remember some of the amazing things you’ve done in your life. What did you learn about yourself from these experiences? What pushed you forward in your most challenging times? Now, go back and pull out those strengths and talents that can serve you well in business.

Recognizing where you’ve been is key to discovering your personal strengths and where they can take you. Keep these character defining experiences in mind and refer to them if you start to doubt yourself. Use them to prove to yourself that you can meet any challenge you are facing today. Reinventing yourself can be scary at times, but when you root your personal brand in your strengths, you’ll be less likely to beat yourself up when times get tough. You will be that much stronger when challenged.

It’s time to stop focusing on what's wrong with you and start improving those talents that come naturally to you. I attend seminars and work with coaches and consultants to keep building my strengths. I encourage you to evolve by focusing on areas of your chosen profession that utilize your greatest talents or create a business that plays to your strengths. This path will insure deeper personal fulfillment and greater financial success.

Robin Fisher Roffer is a reinvention and personal branding specialist. She is the author of Make A Name For Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Needs To Create A Personal Brand Strategy For Success and The Fearless Fish Out Of Water: How To Succeed When You’re The Only One Like You. She’s also CEO, Big Fish Marketing, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post!
    I feel totally familiar to being a people-pleasing perfectionist who can't relax until no area for improvement can be found. Lots of food for thought in this post...
    Thanks for sharing this :)