**The primary material presented in this post comes from the StrengthsFinder 2.0 Report generated by Gallup, Inc.
The other day, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath was for sale in the Kindle store for $1.00. I had this book on my list for a while. It was always something I wanted to work through. So I bought it. Today, I chose to tackle the strengths finder test. I’m normally pretty dubious when it comes to things like this. I think online quizzes are fun to take and I typically enjoy the conclusions that other people draw about me, but I never let them define me or change who I am.
This test was a little different though. When I saw the results, there was absolutely nothing I could find to dispute.
On our way to Nisqually for a clinic on Tuesday, Coach Jenny and I were talking about what I wanted to do. I mentioned that I know I need to sell my work rather than myself. She responded that once you knew what your strengths were, then you were free to achieve your best work. (That’s not exactly what she said, but you get the gist.)
The next day, I was writing a cover letter…trying to sell my strengths. I wanted this to be a great cover letter because it is a position that I would absolutely love; however, I was having a really hard time articulating my strengths exactly.
I work hard to be honest with myself and know what I am good at and where I struggle. I want to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses.
But in writing this cover letter, I didn’t want to use just any words to tell about my strengths. I wanted to use the perfect words. I wanted this potential boss to know, without a doubt, what he/she would be getting if I were chosen for this position.
Then, I took the Strengths Finder test. And now I know what words to use. So now, I present them to you. And I also strongly encourage you to work through this book and take this test for yourself.
My Top Five Themes:
And what they mean…
- Learner: I love learning and improving. I enjoy the process of learning more than the outcome.
- I don’t like small talk.
- I really appreciate when my knowledge increases.
- I spend time on topics in line with my natural abilities.
- I like building on what I already know or on what I already know how to do.
- I enjoy classes and experiences that test and deepen my knowledge.
- Consistency: I treat people the same, I set up clear rules, and I adhere to the rules.
- I do repetitious tasks the exact same way every time.
- An effective routine is a highest priority.
- I follow the rules.
- I like orderly meetings.
- I am very matter-of-fact.
- Responsibility: I take ownership of what I say I will do and I’m committed to stable values, like honesty and loyalty.
- I have a high standard of excellence.
- I do things very carefully.
- I am mature and reasonable in my thinking.
- I fulfill commitments.
- I keep things orderly and do things right.
- Input: I have a craving to know more and I like collecting/archiving information.
- I like “fun facts”.
- I cast my “net for information” far and wide.
- Reading is a pleasure.
- I seek out experts when I need information or help.
- I use the knowledge I gain from said experts and research their difficult-to-understand words.
- Achiever: I have a great deal of stamina and I work hard.
- I need to make measurable progress toward my goals to feel successful.
- I feel ill-prepared when I am forced into action.
- I work earnestly for those who take an interest in me as a person.
- I approach assignments with a great deal of intensity.
- I am known for putting in long hours and working hard.
Now, there are 34 themes that one can have according to this test, from achiever to communication (obviously not me) to positivity, significance, and woo. And all 34 of them are awesome strengths…for others.
At the end of the report, there are ideas for action according to one’s strengths. It was really interesting to look at all the ideas for action and see how they match up with my current career path (a video coordinator):
|Idea for Action||Applicable?|
|Seek roles that require some form of technical competence.||Check|
|Shift your career toward a field with constantly changing technologies.||Check|
|Look for jobs in which you are charged with acquiring new information.||Check|
|You might naturally be a repository of facts, data, and ideas.||Check|
|Be more than just a collector of information. Turn knowledge into action.||Check|
The Strengths Finder test was a really affirming experience for me, because it articulated what I knew but couldn’t say and reaffirmed that I am on the right path.
Reflecting on what I learned from this experience, I can honestly say that I am exactly who I want to be. I am using my strengths! Autism comes with a lot of weaknesses, but looking at the results of this test, I am reminded that there are blessings to this as well. And, most importantly, there is a future.