by Will Deyamport, III MSEd
Over the past few months, several experts across several fields and disciplines have written about the need to work from one's strengths. As I started to think about what I would write for The Strengths Project series, I thought about my own strengths and the times in which I've soared and the times I've fallen on my face. Unlike the experts, I come to you as someone who is still trying to find his place in this world. What you are about to read is an epiphany I had when I stared at the hundreds of jobs listed on a job site...
Each of us are born with innate and unique gifts. Whether if it is how we communicate with others, how we view the world, how we process information, or how we complete tasks or even how we learn, our actions illuminate our strengths. Which is why discovering, building upon, and seeking out opportunities that allow us to maximize our strengths is so important. However, just as our strengths is our greatest asset; they are also our greatest weakness.
Since earning my second bachelor's in Child and Family Studies, I have been on a never-ending mission to find my niche. Along the way, I have taken the StrengthsFinder Profile, the Enneagram, the MBTI, and the Holland Code. As it turns out, I am passionate about people and their stories - a natural at networking, strategic planning, coming up with ideas and creative solutions, inspiring and empowering others, and I am driven to get things done. Conversely, I also loose interest in projects that gone on without seeing progress, impatient with people who don't have that internal motivation, get bored with mundane, routine tasks, and I feel trapped within rigid, inflexible systems.
Ironically, the most poignant thing I've learned from those assessments is that my strengths and my weaknesses are different sides of the same coin. By that I mean in the right position and organization, my successes will only be limited by my effort and my imagination. But, in the wrong position and organization, frustration and failure is a sure thing.
I have a year and three months left in my doctoral program. So, as I move forward, I have to keep in mind how my strengths fit with an organization's culture. Wish me luck. I don't want to be Dr. Will and broke.