Strengths and Your Career
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." -Confucius
During our lifetime we will spend approximately 90,000 hours working, from college graduation to retirement. This large amount of time can be spent either working at a job that you love - that motivates you and fuels your fire, or you can dread getting up and going to work every morning. Only 13% of workers in the United States find their work meaningful, and only 20% believe they are in jobs that use their talents (Miller, 1999). Thus, only 1 in 5 individuals enjoy going to work. How can you become one of those individuals? By matching your top five strengths to your career development!
Below are suggestions of how to apply your strengths while finding a career that makes your work meaningful, as well as suggestions for how to apply your strengths in your classes.
Select a talent theme for suggestions from StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career and Beyond
Applying Achiever Talents in Careers
- As a talented achiever, you probably are attracted to goals. Take the time to establish clear and relevant objectives that will guide your intense efforts.
- Make a list of the steps to take in choosing a career, beginning with a visit to the career center on your campus. The list – and being able to cross items off it as you follow through on them – will give you a sense of direction as well as a deep sense of accomplishment.
- Roles that challenge you and reward your hard work will allow your Achiever talents to flourish.
- Find a place where your productivity, stamina, intensity, and drive for completion will make you a valued team member.
Applying Achiever Talents in Academics
- Set at least one clearly defined and measurable goal for each of your courses at the beginning of the term. Document your progress toward every objective in an academic achievement journal.
- Identify the most important fact, philosophy, concept, or law you learn in each class each week. Notice recurring patterns. Pinpoint discoveries.
- Set one or two "stretch" targets, such as earning a specific grade-point average, winning honors status, or being named to the dean's list.
- Ask to review papers, projects, research studies, or tests of several students who consistently earn higher grades in a class than you do. Try to equal or surpass one or two things they do.
- Seek opportunities to apply several of the ideas and concepts you have learned. Address groups and conduct demonstrations so others can benefit from what you know.
- Ask each of your professors to clarify their expectations for your performance. Emphasize that you intend to exceed the minimum course requirements.
Applying Activator Talents in Careers
- People with exceptional Activator talents like to jump right in and start, so your best approach to career planning is to try out various roles. Look for part-time jobs, work study on campus, or volunteer opportunities where you can “try on” a career that looks interesting to you.
- Identify formal or informal leadership roles on campus where your Activator talents can flourish.
- Powerful Activator talents make you good at the starting line. Look for work environments that will reward you for getting people out of the blocks quickly.
- Consider becoming an entrepreneur. Make a list of possible businesses you could start, grow, and sell once they show a profit. Understand that you may lose interest once an enterprise is so fine-tuned to the point that it runs on its own.
- Understand that some supervisors and managers may feel threatened by your insistence on making decisions and acting without delay. Your Activator talents will flourish best in an environment where quick decision-making is valued and there is not a lot of hierarchical structure.
Applying Activator Talents in Academics
- Initiate classroom discussions. Suggest topics. Take sides in debates. Help your fellow students learn faster and learn more.
- Find the answers to questions that you anticipate the instructor will ask on upcoming tests and quizzes.
- Instigate conversations with your peers outside the classroom. Center these on topics related to a recent lecture given by your instructor or a visiting professor.
- Take charge of small-group conversations, projects, presentations, and experiments. Distinguish yourself by transforming plans into tangible results.
- Waste no time finishing the first draft of a writing assignment. Immediately seek feedback from a teaching assistant or your professor. Incorporate some of their constructive suggestions in your second draft.
Applying Adaptability Talents in Careers
- Those with great Adaptability talents often respond well to changing demands. Shadow people in careers that are attractive to you and watch how they continually respond to the varied requests of their customers or clients.
- Interview individuals who have jobs that demand flexibility and a comfort with rapid change. Ask what their typical day is like.
- Gain part-time or seasonal employment in organizations where the demand for flexibility exists hour-by-hour and day-by-day. Pay attention to ways in which your Adaptability talents benefit you in these settings.
- Your Adaptability talents will flourish in environments that reward responsiveness and your ability to “turn on a dime.”
- You may thrive in chaos. Avoid environments that are highly structured or routine, with lots of rules and regulations.
- Talk to people in the entertainment industry. Interview designers or producers and ask them to describe their work and the types of satisfaction they receive from it.
Applying Adaptability Talents in Academics
- Live in the moment. Calm yourself before an exam with positive self-talk. Recall your personal history of dealing with surprises on tests.
- Leverage your ability not to feel overwhelmed by multifaceted assignments. Document three to five instances during the day when you successfully juggled competing tasks.
- Understand that you can balance academic demands with social commitments, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs. Describe how you managed to make progress on all fronts last week.
- Challenge yourself by taking courses that involve experiments. Compare your flexibility to that of various classmates. Notice how you make adjustments to produce desired outcomes.
Applying Analytical Talents in Careers
- Many people who are exceptionally talented in the Analytical theme are good at weighing evidence.
- Ask good questions of people who are currently in careers that interest you. One hallmark of Analytical talents is the quality of your questions. Put that to good use in selecting a career.
- Talk to people who work in such fields as accounting, finance, sciences, forensics, computer technology, journalism, or other fields that involve data analysis or problem solving to find out what they enjoy most about their work.
- Explore jobs that allow you to make decisions based on your evaluation of facts, data, tangible evidence, and research findings.
- Environments that allow you the freedom to explore and think will allow your Analytical talents to flourish.
- Working with date and systems analysis, engaging in research, and critiquing ideas tend to bring out your best.
Applying Analytical Talents in Academics
- Examine data, collect facts, and read material for discussions. Anticipate problems. Ask questions to discover others' perspectives on issues. Clarify your own position.
- Reduce situations, problems, opportunities, projects, assignments, and debates to their key components. Stay two to three steps ahead of everyone else's thinking by pinpointing cause-and-effect relationships.
- Deduce the consequences of someone's decisions, inaction, and pronouncements. Use logic to trace the effects of scientific breakthroughs, ethical lapses, and legal judgments.
- Prove to your classmates that there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action.
- Read assignments before class. Find information to support or discount the position taken by the author of the textbook.
- Reinforce your understanding of the subject matter by reorganizing and expanding your classroom notes. Insert subtopics and subpoints.
Applying Arranger Talents in Careers
- People who are especially talented in the Arranger theme often arrange and rearrange bits and pieces until a pattern emerges. This talent can be useful in career planning. Map out a success plan for your education – arrange and rearrange it to accommodate all possible scenarios as you think about careers that interest you.
- Keep your options open. Explore a variety of careers, knowing that it will all fall into place at the right time.
- Environments that give you contact with people and allow you the freedom and flexibility to work with others and plan events will allow your Arranger talents to flourish.
- You may be a whiz at juggling schedules and people. Environments that encourage multitasking and are relatively unpredictable may bring out your best.
- Talk to event planners, travel agents, human resource directors, city managers, or case work supervisors. Ask them what they enjoy most about their daily work.
Applying Arranger Talents in Academics
- Note all assignments, tests, and appointments on a calendar. Use your planner to coordinate your personal and academic activities.
- Read all directions prior to taking tests. Allot appropriate time to each section of the examination.
- Be prepared to stop working on a current project and begin a new one in case the situation changes.
- Keep all notes related to a topic on one page. Make them easily accessible for studying, test taking, and research papers.
Applying Belief Talents in Careers
- Spend time thinking about your “calling.” Once you have articulated this mission, seek more information at the career center about careers that can help you fulfill it.
- A mentoring relationship can provide a valuable way for you to gain insight into the fit between who you are and what you were meant to do with your life. Mentoring and being mentored increases the chances for your behaviors, decisions, and beliefs to remain congruent.
- Environments that are a good fit with your own mission and beliefs will bring out your best. Seek employments in companies and organizations that exhibit a strong sense of mission – that is, a commitment to positively affecting the quality of people’s lives.
- Research opportunities in helping professions such as medicine, law enforcement, social work, refugee relocation, teaching, ministry, and search-and-rescue. Talk with people who provide services to individuals in need. Interview those who supervise them.
- Environments that are people-oriented, that provide service to others, or that reward personal growth are likely to allow your Belief talents to flourish.
- Workplaces that respect your commitment to your family and allow for a balance between work and family demands will enable you to thrive.
Applying Belief Talents in Academics
- Write an academic mission statement for yourself. Integrate your core values, such as a leaving the world better than you found it, curing AIDS, ending violence, or affirming the dignity of each human being.
- Discover ways to weave your core values into routine classroom assignments. Write and speak about topics directly related to your beliefs.
- Read about individuals who stood up for their convictions in the face of resistance. Determine who inspired these people to dedicate their lives to great and noble causes.
- Debate an issue like: "Money is the true source of happiness." Argue for and against this proposition. Ask yourself, "How was my position strengthened when I could incorporate my beliefs into the argument? How was my position weakened when I had to defend the opposing point of view?"
Applying Command Talents in Careers
- Explore your career options by trying out various roles in part-time jobs or volunteer work.
- Seek to hone your command talents by filling formal or informal leadership roles in organizations. Ask for feedback from others in the group.
- Leverage your persuasiveness when choosing a career. Talk to people in fields such as law, sales, politics, or theatre about how they use their persuasive talents to succeed.
- Investigate careers that offer upward mobility. You probably are unlikely to be intimidated by others – including people in positions considered superior to yours.
- Assume a role that permits you to create and control your own and others’ work. Environments that encourage your leadership will bring out your best.
- Your comfort in “calling the shots” can be especially useful in crises. Environments that regularly deal with crises or rapid decision making will allow your Command talents to flourish.
Applying Command Talents in Academics
- Ask probing and pointed questions during discussions and lectures by professors. Realize that your questioning mind accelerates your learning.
- Take charge of your college education. Play the lead role in shaping your degree or certification plan. Refuse to leave these decisions to an advisor.
- Challenge facts presented in textbooks, the media, and class presentations. Critique your instructors and classmates. Search for the truth.
- When a particularly interesting class discussion is ended due to time constraints, express to your professor your wish that he or she would continue the discussion in an office visit.
Applying Communication Talents in Careers
- Arrange to have conversations with people who are currently in careers that interest you. By hearing their stories, you will become better able to determine whether those environments and careers would suit your talents and interests.
- Go to career fairs at which you can interact with lots of different people about a great variety of roles.
- You might be a natural storyteller. Interview storytellers such a stand-up comedians, actors, motivational speakers, teachers, public relations specialists, politicians, ministers, and corporate trainers to see how they use their Communication talents in their daily work.
- Explore opportunities to serve as the spokesperson for an organization, product, political candidate, company, school district, hospital, or elected official. These opportunities would allow you to try out your Communication talents in roles that could meet some of the world’s deep needs.
- Environments that allow for significant social interaction on a daily basis will allow your Communication talents to flourish. Steer clear of environments that do not offer this opportunity, as they might drain your energy.
- Cooperative, interactive, educational and political environments are likely to bring out your best.
Applying Communication Talents in Academics
- Participate in class discussions. Enhance your own and others' comprehension by talking through the key points.
- Respond to questions with thought-provoking answers.
- Illustrate scholarly concepts with real-life examples. Help others learn in the process.
- Capture your audience's interest by telling stories to amplify an idea, concept, theory, scientific law, philosophical point, ethical quandary, or historic event.
Applying Competition Talents in Careers
- Explore leadership opportunities on campus, particularly in organizations where you can stimulate others to excel and win.
- Go to the career center and take several different career inventories, then compare yourself to others who are successful in fields that interest you.
- Choose work environments that challenge you and in which your success can be quantified with scores, ratings, and rankings. Avoid situations lacking meaningful, objective measurement criteria, as you often desire a “yardstick” with which you can measure your progress and compare it to that of others.
- Decide whether you prefer to compete as an individual or as a team member. Select employment that matches your preference either for total or shared control over final results.
- Environments that reward your achievement and offer status or prestige are likely to bring out your best.
- Talk to sales reps, politicians, lawyers, athletes, and business leaders about what they enjoy most in their work.
Applying Competition Talents in Academics
- Regard grades as your scorecard. Invest more effort in classes where the results of tests, papers, and projects are posted for all to see.
- Monitor your grade-point average by the week, month, or academic term. Compare your class ranking to that of your closest rivals. Realize that striving for the highest GPA leads you to excel.
- Clarify how professors weight class participation, final exams, presentations, laboratory experiments, and research projects. Continuously monitor your grades and class standing.
- Study your opponents — that is, your classmates. Identify each one's strengths. Evaluate their study strategies. Continually compare your results to theirs.
Applying Connectedness Talents in Careers
- Use service learning opportunities on campus to explore possible careers that interest you. Spend your summers volunteering for humanitarian causes to determine the best fit for your talents.
- Talk to your mentor about the connections you see between your volunteer opportunities, your values, and your mission in life. This relationship can provide a valuable sounding board through which you can articulate the connections that you see so naturally.
- Consider dedicating a couple of years of your life to serving your country or community after graduation. Habitat for Humanity, the Peace Corps, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), AmeriCorps, GreenPeace, and Teach for America can be good places for you to experience a deep sense of gladness in meeting the world’s deep needs.
- Incorporate your need to serve all of humankind into whatever career you choose. Working in fields and for organizations whose values mirror your own will enable you to feel the deep sense of meaning that is so important to you.
- Environments that allow you to interact with others and help them find meaning and purpose will bring out your best. Avoid environments that emphasize routine procedures or rote skills, as they may drain you.
- Talk to people who have made a lifetime commitment to a specific ministry within your faith tradition. Hearing them articulate their sense of connectedness and spirituality may help you determine whether this level of commitment is appropriate for you.
Applying Connectedness Talents in Academics
- Ask yourself, "What life lessons am I supposed to learn today through my studies and the challenges they present? What is at work here that is much more important than passing a test or getting a good grade?"
- Search for linkages between your coursework and what you're being called to contribute to the entire human family today and in the future.
- Examine how your life is inextricably tied to those of people in other parts of the world and from the past. Name as many of these connections as you possibly can.
- Find ways to build bridges of understanding between classmates as well as between students and their professors. Realize that you're motivated to show people how world events and close-to-home circumstances bind each individual to all humankind.
- Start each day by reading an inspirational verse or a piece of scripture from your faith. Sit in silence with these words for 10-15 minutes. Open yourself to surprising discoveries about how to best approach your studies and other people.
- Keep a journal. Let your ideas and feelings flow freely. Write without editing. Find purpose and meaning in your personal and academic life.
Applying Consistency Talents in Careers
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out.
- Go to the career center and talk with a counselor about career inventories or lists of jobs that seem consistent with your greatest talents.
- Referee intramural athletic events or help create policies in your residence hall to see if those applications of the same rules for everyone brings out your best.
- Environments that have regulations, policies, procedures, and guidelines firmly established are likely to feel more comfortable to you and enable you to be more effective and efficient. Less controlled environments probably will not be comfortable for you.
- Environments that are structured, predictable, and detail-oriented are likely to appeal to you. Search for environments where loyalty is valued and equally applied policies are the norm, as this emphasis on consistency will enable you to get more done.
- Research roles in quality assurance, risk management, safety compliance, law enforcement, and human resource analysis.
Applying Consistency Talents in Academics
- Seek professors who set the same clear expectations for everyone in the class. Make sure that you know exactly what is required to earn the grades you desire.
- Learn precisely how class participation, research, laboratory work, presentations, and examinations will be factored into your final grade for the course.
- Inform others that routines are important to your success. Explain how they lend an air of familiarity to all the coursework in your major area of study.
- Finalize your entire degree or certification plan as early in your collegiate career as possible. Each term, double-check your plan to ensure you are in compliance with graduation requirements.
- Express your belief that everyone deserves the same opportunities to earn good grades on tests, projects, research papers, or experiments. Help professors and classmates understand why you become upset when someone is given special treatment.
Applying Context Talents in Careers
- Talk to your mentor and to those in jobs that interest you. Ask them to tell you about their job searches. What led them to choose their particular careers?
- Read as much as you can about career planning, so you'll understand the process from beginning to end. That understanding of the total experience will give you the security to consider a variety of options.
- You recognize that past behavior is often the best predictor of future behavior. Spend some time thinking about your own past choices and how they might be connected to good possibilities for your future.
- Your Context talents are likely to flourish in environments that allow you to explore how things came to be the way they are.
- Collegial environments with strong traditions, rituals, and a sense of organizational history will often bring out your best efforts.
- Interview archeologists, historians, museum curators, humanities professors, or antique appraisers about their talents and what they love about their work.
Applying Context Talents in Academics
- Associate with individuals and groups that specialize in the study of specific events, personalities, and periods in history.
- Create a historical frame of reference for whatever you study. Research political, natural, military, and religious events of that period. Delve into the lives of contemporary leaders, scientists, artists, explorers, and philosophers.
- Supplement required reading for classes by locating other credible sources of information. Don't let your thinking be limited to the professor's syllabus.
- Understand that you are attracted to institutions of learning with a rich history and a long tradition.
- Seek opportunities to study with reputable, recognized, and knowledgeable historians who also are master teachers.
- Attend lecture series in which leading figures of your time speak about their experiences in global leadership, diplomacy, military affairs, business, science, or the arts. Prepare questions to pose during the Q&A sessions or book signings.
Applying Deliberative Talents in Careers
- Collect as much information as you can about the careers that interest you. Search occupational handbooks, lists in occupational guides, and online sources. Take the time to think things through, possibly listing the pros and cons of careers that interest you.
- Environments in which you can independently conduct thorough analysis are likely to help you be most effective.
- You likely are a good questioner of actions, helping others to think through their decisions before moving ahead too quickly.
- You tend to be a private person, so environments where people are known for being discreet and trustworthy will likely bring out your best. Environments that expect a lot of socializing or interpersonal interaction or that demand persuasion or selling will not be as comfortable for you.
- Explore the roles of risk analysts, financial officers, judges, and others whose work benefits from careful thinking and deliberation.
Applying Deliberative Talents in Academics
- Attend all lectures and class sessions -- make sure you don't miss anything. Be thorough in your preparation for a class by reading ahead and reviewing class notes to avoid being caught off guard.
- Before visiting a professor during office hours, prepare thoroughly by making a list of items and questions you wish to discuss.
- Schedule regular appointments with your counselors to be well aware of your options and to make sure you are on track.
- When you receive a class syllabus, highlight the due dates of readings, assignments, papers, and tests. You may feel more comfortable knowing everything that will be required of you.
- Always be well prepared for class. You will feel more comfortable and confident talking in class when you are sure of the validity of what you have to say and the completeness of your thoughts.
- When taking a test, go through the questions slowly, concentrating on the ones you are more sure of first. Address the others later so that you have time to complete the exam.
Applying Developer Talents in Careers
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out. You enjoy having this personal connection to what interests you.
- Talk to your mentor about the career planning process. Use that relationship as a sounding board for making decisions.
- You likely have a talent for noting people's progress and for helping them become even better at what they do. Seek an environment in which your work involves getting "people done through work" rather than "work done through people."
- You will be most satisfied in a career that provides some type of service to people or in which organizational success is based on interpersonal relationships and your ability to help people be successful.
- Environments that are collaborative and people-oriented, where you can be part of a team but also have time to work one-on-one with others, is likely to allow your Developer talents to flourish.
- Talk to counselors, teachers, speech therapists, athletic coaches, acting coaches, life coaches, and those who work in your campus learning center to find out what they enjoy most about their work.
Applying Developer Talents in Academics
- During lectures, take down facts that are new, enlightening, interesting, or humorous. Share your observations with others from the class.
- Reflect back to what you have learned from a certain professor and how that has impacted you in your life.
- Motivate yourself by tutoring or helping someone else in the class to understand concepts you have gained from the lecture, the reading, and the discussion.
- Keep an ongoing list of your key learning experiences. Track your own progress and growth.
Applying Discipline Talents in Careers
- Collect all the information you might need about making a career choice. Use your natural discipline to organize it as you prepare to make a decision.
- Lay out all the steps of the career planning process and follow them one by one. Put the steps on a timeline, as timelines often motivate you.
- Environments in which you can maintain order for yourself and others will enable you to be most effective. Your organizational talents can be useful in a wide variety of settings.
- Environments that are structured and detail-oriented, with clearly established routines and procedures, will likely bring out your best. Cluttered, unpredictable environments may not allow your Discipline talents to flourish.
- Work that demands high levels of abstract thinking probably will not be comfortable for you. A daily routine and concrete expectations from others likely will enable you to be most productive.
- Environments that value attention to detail and commitment to accuracy will be a good fit for you. Read about the work that air traffic controllers, brain surgeons, tax specialists, and executive assistants do.
Applying Discipline Talents in Academics
- Schedule all assignments, exams, and papers due for the term.
- Clean and organize your living space before any major assignments are due or before an examination period.
- If you are in a self-paced class or a class with minimal structure, develop your own structure to ensure that you meet the class requirements.
- Don't be afraid to color-code tasks on your calendar and your textbooks or notes. This will help you focus and prioritize what you are learning and doing.
Applying Empathy Talents in Careers
- Talk to your mentor about the career planning process. Use that relationship as a sounding board for making decisions.
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Talk to them about how they feel in those roles.
- Environments that provide regular social interaction and an opportunity to collaborate with others will allow your Empathy talents to flourish.
- The "emotional tone" of your work environment is important. You might find that surrounding yourself with others who are positive and upbeat is highly rewarding.
- Seek work environments in which emotions are valued and not repressed. The rich emotional economy will be the perfect environment for your Empathy talents.
- Interview teachers, counselors, and clergy members and ask them how they use their talents in their work.
Applying Empathy Talents in Academics
- When studying a particular author, seek personal experiences and writings that help you identify with his or her thoughts and emotions.
- Whenever possible, write papers about people. This activity will engage your natural ability to pinpoint individual perspectives.
- Keep a journal in which you reflect on what you learned from other people and their passions, fears, joys, and other emotions.
- You will sense when friends are academically frustrated in courses you are taking. Let them know that you realize what they are feeling, and continue to encourage and support them.
Applying Focus Talents in Careers
- Set specific goals for your career planning. What do you want to achieve by the time you graduate? This attention to your destination and how you will get there will be very engaging and will provide great benefits.
- Spend some dedicated time reading about careers that interest you and following up with internet searches. Your ability to concentrate on a task will stand you in good stead as you research career possibilities.
- Although your Focus talents can reveal themselves through highly proactive goal setting, you might sometimes need to have a target identified for you.
- You are capable of prolonged concentration and persistence, which flourishes in environments with few interruptions and little need to multi-task.
- Structured environments that are predictable, detail-oriented, and reward your dependability and follow-through are likely to bring out your best.
- You might be most satisfied in roles that have identifiable goals, purposes, and objectives, and that provide opportunities to meet your own longer-term goals.
Applying Focus Talents in Academics
- Use your focus to link class-related assignments to the knowledge and self-management skills you'll need to be successful in your future career.
- Use your focus to help groups stay on track in classroom discussions or meetings.
- If you feel an assignment has no practical value to you, develop one that better fits your goals, and request permission from your professor to use it. Explain the potential benefits.
- When working with others in a small group, help them see how the pieces of a project fit together to accomplish the overall objective.
Applying Futuristic Talents in Careers
- Your ability to imagine a preferred future can be applied to the career planning process. Imagine yourself on graduation day -- and five years after that. What are you doing? How did you create the opportunity?
- Volunteer in an organization where you can help create the future, painting vivid pictures for those who work there, helping them see the role they will take in making this vision become reality.
- Use the connections you establish in your jobs during college to network for the career you envision for yourself after graduation.
- Choose a career in which you can help others envision the future and inspire them to create it.
- You are capable of investing lots of time in producing original or creative works. Environments that reward vision and creativity, allowing you freedom to dream and invent, are likely to enable your Futuristic talents to flourish.
- Talk to architects, designers, commercial artists, city planners, and others whose careers provide the opportunity to envision the future. Ask them what they most enjoy about their work.
Applying Futuristic Talents in Academics
- Take risks to gain new insights, even if they are out of your comfort zone. Set academic goals to project yourself into a successful future.
- Challenge professors with your "What if?" thinking. Encourage them to project beyond to what "might be" in 10, 15, or 20 years.
- Know what is expected in each of your classes so you will be able to plan your college years. Visit your academic counselor regularly to keep stretching your thoughts.
- Associate with others who enjoy philosophizing about the future.
Applying Harmony Talents in Careers
- Talk to your mentors about the career planning process. You will value their wisdom and expertise as you make decisions.
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Ask them what they find most rewarding about their work. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out.
- You work well and are helpful in team project environments. You help others work together even more productively. Your Harmony talents promote emotional stability and calmness in the group.
- Environments where consensus is the preferred strategy for decision-making and where you can work your magic behind the scenes are likely to bring out your best.
- Collaborative environments in which you can surround yourself with others dedicated to win-win solutions will allow your Harmony talents to flourish.
- Environments that lack structure or are unpredictable from day to day, or that demand high levels of creativity, are not as likely to be comfortable for you.
- Interview statisticians, tax experts, or financial planners and then compare their daily work with those in more people-oriented fields to see which sounds more agreeable to you.
Applying Harmony Talents in Academics
- Seek opinions and ideas from experts. Their insights will help you formulate your own beliefs and philosophy.
- You perform best in an environment where people listen to one another and seek to understand each other, rather than force their ideas on one another.
- You add a calmness or agreeableness to any group.
- If the professor frequently changes assignments and due dates in the middle of the term, seek reasons for the changes and share them with classmates, rather than joining the dissension of others.
Applying Ideation Talents in Careers
- Ideation talents are all about creativity. Freely imagine yourself on graduation day -- and five years after that. What are you doing? How did you create the opportunity?
- Brainstorm all the possible careers that could fit your talents. Check them out online or in an occupational handbook for details, then picture yourself in each one. Which one fits best?
- Environments that reward your creativity and give you the time, space, and freedom to experiment and dream will bring out your best. Often these environments are fast-paced and freewheeling, allowing you to run your ideas past others on a daily basis.
- Avoid environments that box you in with routines or that expect precision or attention to detail. You will invest significant time and produce results without constant supervision.
- Select an organization where the leaders encourage and solicit your divergent thinking, stimulating them to consider some new approaches. You will be able to find new and better ways of doing things within the organization, and you may be of assistance in strategic planning exercises.
- Consider careers in which creativity seems to be important. Talk to strategic planners, consultants, market researchers, designers, or people in advertising to find out what they enjoy most about their work.
Applying Ideation Talents in Academics
- Take on leadership positions in projects that will allow you to share several ideas and use your creativity.
- Take on an independent research project in which you can generate and explore numerous ideas.
- Work with a professor in developing a research project, and contribute your creative abilities. You probably will have many ideas to offer.
- Your mind may wander. You can use this to your advantage by letting your thoughts flow freely in class, as long as you think about the subject you are studying.
Applying Includer Talents in Careers
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out. This personal interaction with people in careers you are considering can help you sort to the best option.
- Make the most of your willingness to include outside sources by talking to a career counselor about your interests and what you are passionate about. Talking things through with a knowledgeable counselor can give you confidence in exploring the possibilities.
- Environments where you can play a welcoming role, such as in orienting new employees or recruiting minority staff, can allow your Includer talents to flourish.
- Working with a group that is not always included by others, such as physically or mentally challenged children, will allow you to use your talents to help others feel better about themselves.
- Environments that encourage teamwork and foster social interaction and integration and will bring out your best.
- Talk to youth workers, occupational therapists, social workers, special education teachers, and missionaries to learn what they find most rewarding about their work.
Applying Includer Talents in Academics
- In small groups in class, try to get each student to participate. Ask him or her for opinions.
- Ask shy people to walk to class with you.
- Research people of different cultures in your community. Invite some of these people to attend a community or university event with you.
- Attend lectures or speeches by guest speakers of different nationalities. Introduce yourself to others attending the session, drawing them into a conversation with you.
Applying Individualization Talents in Careers
- You realize that there is a unique fit between who you are and what you do with your life. Go to the career center and take several career inventories. How does each one offer you a unique picture of yourself and your interests?
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out. Think about how each one responds differently to their work.
- Your talents can be useful on search committees and in recruiting processes, as you are able to see ways in which people's talents can fit particular roles.
- Careers in which you could work one-on-one with people would allow your Individualization talents to flourish, as you see each one as a distinct person and empower them to grow.
- Environments in which you can mentor others or provide feedback to individuals about their performance may bring out your best.
- Interview teachers, counselors, corporate trainers, and other individuals who are able to see the uniqueness in others. How do they use their talents in their work?
Applying Individualization Talents in Academics
- Build on your curiosity about people by observing the different ways in which people learn and process information.
- Read, read, read about people. Their uniqueness fascinates you.
- Constantly observe those around you, seeing how your talents make you similar to each other, yet different.
- Study various cultures. Their uniqueness will intrigue you.
Applying Input Talents in Careers
- Collect as much information as you can about the careers that interest you. Go online, read books, collect all the brochures at the career center and at career fairs. The more information you gather, the better your decision will be.
- Go to the career center and take several different career inventories. What does each one tell you about your interests? What career possibilities do they suggest you to explore?
- Environments that give you the freedom to pursue threads of information and that focus on informed decision-making are likely to bring out your best.
- You probably will enjoy a career in which you are always on the cutting edge of knowledge and you can gather and share valuable pieces of relevant information.
- Choose jobs that require you to be an expert collector and consumer of research. This type of environment will energize you.
- Interview media specialists, librarians, archivists, writers, information technologists, and others who work with large amounts of information on a daily basis. What do they find most rewarding about their work?
Applying Input Talents in Academics
- Save all notes and books from previous classes to create a personal library.
- Schedule time for seeking information that goes beyond what is required for your classes. The library and the Internet will be valuable in your search.
- You enjoy gathering information, possible even from reading a dictionary or encyclopedia.
- Start a filing system for interesting and potentially useful articles you have read.
Applying Intellection Talents in Careers
- Read, read, read! Gather books on careers that interest you, read biographies of people in careers that fascinate you, read all the brochures and books available at the career center. Then go online and read some more. Through your reading you will come to a better sense of clarity about the career options that fit you best.
- Think about the times in your life when you have felt best about your accomplishments. In your journal, write about what you did that contributed to those accomplishments and how you used your talents in each instance. Later, look for patterns in what you wrote.
- A work environment where you have time and space to think and reflect before responding will bring out your best. A fast-paced environment where there is pressure to sell or to follow routine procedures will not be as comfortable for you as one that allows and rewards thought and reflection.
- Select work in which you can share ideas and pose questions. Avoid environments where you cannot challenge the status quo or where operating procedures are completely rigid.
- Environments in which you can interact with colleagues and have philosophical debates will be most satisfying to you and enable you to be productive.
- Choose work that will challenge you intellectually. Talk to editors, theologians, or philosophy professors on campus. Ask what their work is like.
Applying Intellection Talents in Academics
- Ask questions and seek answers in discussions and lectures.
- Research subjects that interest and intrigue you.
- Contemplate academic goals and endeavors.
- Make your education even more effective by following your intellectual curiosity. As you allow yourself to ask the questions that naturally come to you, you will refine your approach to learning and studying.
Applying Learner Talents in Careers
- Go to the career center on your campus and take several different career inventories. What does each one tell you about your interests? What career possibilities do they suggest for you to explore? Your enjoyment of this self-discovery can motivate and guide you as you begin the career planning process.
- Talk to your mentors about the career planning process. Ask them how they made the decision to pursue their career. Learning about their strategies will provide you with possible tools for your own learning process.
- Read and study all the career possibilities that interest you. Research each one and learn what it's really like to be in those careers over a long period of time.
- Choose a work environment that encourages constant learning or where study is a way of life.
- Environments that value the learning process will bring out your best, particularly if you will have opportunities to develop strengths.
- Many college professors have exceptional Learner talents. Interview your favorite professors about what they find rewarding in their work.
Applying Learner Talents in Academics
- Keep a journal in which you reflect on what you learned from your classes and other experiences.
- Read outside material that is related to your courses. This approach will not only impress the professor; it also will help you develop a better understanding of the subject.
- Exceed expectations. Do more than the syllabus requires of you.
- Look at every situation as a possible learning experience. This approach will help you become aware of what you do well and where you need help.
- Always ask, "What did I learn from this?"
Applying Maximizer Talents in Careers
- Talk to your mentors about the career planning process. You will value their wisdom and expertise as you make decisions.
- Interview people who are currently among the "best of the best" in jobs that interest you. Ask them what they find most rewarding about their work. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out. Notice the talents, knowledge, and skills that excellence in those roles requires.
- You are someone for whom "talent talk" comes naturally -- it's the way you see the world as you capitalize on your own and others' talents. Environments that encourage "best practices" and in which you can work collaboratively with others to continually improve the organization will allow your Maximizer talents to flourish.
- Choose a workplace that is known for being among the best in its field. Workplaces with lesser standards probably would frustrate you.
- Find work in which you can help others see their talents and how their talents make a difference.
- Interview business leaders and athletic or executive coaches, and ask what they find most rewarding about their work. Find out how they bring out the best in others.
Applying Maximizer Talents in Academics
- Consider specialized programs that allow you to refine your talents.
- Find mentors -- and be one.
- Study success. Find out what made famous scientists, historic figures, and great innovators successful. The greatest outcome of college can be your insights into what makes people, societies, cultures, and groups successful.
- Select a college or university that offers leadership opportunities in which you can maximize the talents of others.
Applying Relator Talents in Careers
- Talk to your mentors about the career planning process. You will value their wisdom and expertise as you make decisions.
- Talk to your trusted circle of friends about how they see you. Don't ask them what career they think you should choose; instead, ask them to help you see your greatest talents.
- Careers in which in-depth, meaningful relationships are valued are likely to be most rewarding to you.
- Workplaces in which friendships are encouraged, where you can continuously learn about your clients and associates, likely will enable your Relator talents to flourish.
- Stable work environments where you can work with people you trust but also develop multiple levels of relationships probably will bring out your best.
- Interview counselors, teachers, school administrators, mediators, human resource directors, and others who help people as part of their work. Ask them about the relationships they develop and what is most rewarding about their jobs.
Applying Relator Talents in Academics
- Create various lines of communication with friends in your classes, such as verbal, phone, and e-mail, and help each other when one of you has to miss a class.
- Seek out advisors, counselors, and professors who demonstrate genuine interest in you as a person.
- Seek out fellow students with whom you can play a mutual tutoring, learning assistance, and support role.
Applying Responsibility Talents in Careers
- Make an appointment with a career counselor to talk about how to begin the career planning process. The sense of psychological ownership this step creates will engage you in the process and energize you to follow through.
- Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Shadow them to see what they really do day in and day out.
- You often take the initiative, and you always follow through, so you do not need a lot of supervision. Select work in which you can be given more and more responsibility as you progressively achieve.
- Building trusting relationships with others is important to you, so choose environments in which you can surround yourself with dependable, trustworthy people. When selecting a team to join, be sure the others members are known for pulling their weight.
- Managing others could be a frustrating experience for you, as their standards of responsibility might not match your own.
- You will be most productive in environments where you can fully follow through on the commitments you make to others.
- Choose a work environment that focuses on outcomes rather than processes. Talk to law clerks, librarians, and executive assistants to see what they find rewarding about their work.
Applying Responsibility Talents in Academics
- Prepare for the term by listing the dates of all tests, projects, and papers.
- Ask professors and successful students to show you what an "A" paper and an "A" essay look like.
- Think about what it would mean to be a truly responsible student. Work toward that standard in a progressive manner, taking one step at a time.
- Strive to always work ahead. Read ahead and work problems before the professor has presented them in class.
Applying Restorative Talents in Careers
- Search online and read all you can about careers that interest you. Take career inventories to see where your talents and interests match those who are successful in a particular field. This detailed self-analysis can get you started in a process of elimination that will clarify your career goals.
- Interview people who have a reputation for salvaging bad situations, turning companies around, or stepping in to solve problems no one else can seem to handle. Ask them what they enjoy about their work and what they actually do on a daily basis.
- Volunteer your time in an organization that needs someone to "breathe new life" into their work. This is often what you do best.
- Environments in which you are called upon to diagnose problems and design solutions will allow your Restorative talents to flourish.
- Talk to people who excel as customer service reps, surgeons, or television producers. Ask them what leads to their success and what they find rewarding about their work.
Applying Restorative Talents in Academics
- Read the syllabus when you get it, and attack assignments or areas that you consider problematic.
- Do not let an unexpectedly low grade defeat your spirits. Learn how to more effectively apply your greatest talents.
- Think about school as a way to improve yourself. You will increase your motivation, particularly if you reflect on your progress.
Applying Self-Assurance Talents in Careers
- Your confidence that there is a good career fit out there for you will be an enormous asset in the career planning process.
- Your talents probably can give you confidence in a variety of jobs and volunteer opportunities. Try out several different roles. Which ones seem most natural to you?
- Workplaces and tasks that will challenge you and provide you with freedom are likely to energize you most.
- Environments that focus on prominent or critical projects that could intimidate others seem to bring out your best.
- You don't have a great need for direction or support from others, which makes you particularly effective in situations that call for independence of thought and action.
- Interview people in careers that involve public presentations, sales, or entertainment. Ask what they find most rewarding about their work.
Applying Self-Assurance Talents in Academics
- Ensure that you are completely in control of your grades. Gain a clear understanding of what is expected and how meet those expectations.
- Always strive to become a better student. Stick with what is working for you and continue to build on your most powerful talents.
- Be confident in your abilities to understand and learn material.
- Register for classes that excite you.
Applying Significance Talents in Careers
- Think about people you admire and what they have in common. Talk to them about the work they do and what they find rewarding about it. Ask them to give you feedback about your own goals and strategies for meeting them.
- Significant people do significant things. Imagine the legacy you want to leave. Picture yourself at retirement, looking back on a life that has made the world a better place. What will you have you done to accomplish that?
- Environments in which you and your significant contribution are visible to others and in which you receive recognition for a job well done are likely to bring out your best.
- Knowing you've made a significant contribution is important to you. Volunteer in organizations where you can make that difference and where your efforts will be appreciated.
- Seek opportunities to work with people you respect because they are professional, credible, and successful.
- Environments in which you are given flexibility to do things your own way are likely to bring out your best.
- Identify the specific talents that will help you make an extraordinary contribution to your workplace, and create opportunities to build on them.
Applying Significance Talents in Academics
- Think about why a particular class is important to your future.
- Identify three of your personal goals and connect them to your academic life.
- Take control of your life, beginning with your education.
- Create a list of goals that will bring you great satisfaction in your personal life. Then consider how college can help you reach those goals.
Applying Strategic Talents in Careers
- Picture yourself in a career that you love. What are you doing? What path did you take to create the opportunity? Working backward from your goal is often an effective strategy for you.
- Play out a variety of scenarios in your mind to help you decide which career to explore further. List the various paths possible in your future so you can give careful thought to each one.
- Environments that are flexible and encourage creative thought and strategy will bring out your best. Opportunities to see the big picture and plan new approaches will energize you.
- Your ability to create new programs and generate multiple alternatives will be an asset to any organization you join.
- Environments that allow originality and focus more on the outcome than on specific procedures will allow your Strategic talents to flourish.
- Interview people who work in psychology, law, and consulting. Learn what they find most rewarding about their work on a daily basis.
Applying Strategic Talents in Academics
- Don't be afraid to be different. Discuss with professors the various approaches you can take to tackle an assignment.
- Participate in research, or develop your own research project.
- Search for ways to express your creative thinking.
- Opt for classes that encourage discussion and creative solutions.
Applying Woo Talents in Careers
- Introduce yourself to a great number of people in a wide variety of jobs. This broad exposure will give you a more informed idea of possible careers, and it could provide you with important career and social connections.
- Environments in which you can meet new people daily and have the opportunity to create a positive impression will bring out your best.
- Environments that value the ability to persuade or sell likely will allow your Woo talents to flourish.
- Avoid work environments in which there is little opportunity to extend your gregarious social nature.
- Talk to entertainers, corporate trainers, sales reps, attorneys, and public relations specialists to see what they enjoy most about their work?
Applying Woo Talents in Academics
- Make classroom discussions fun by using words that catch the attention of others.
- Meet and greet the people in your classes.
- Use your charm when asking difficult questions in class.