[This three part series will provide a step by step formula for you to begin to discover, develop, and deliberately implement your personal strengths. This is the third step, to unleashing your strengths.]
To live and lead to your maximum potential requires that you take deliberate action on implementing your personal strengths so you are moving toward and working in your strength zone. This allows you to be more productive, see higher levels of results, and produces feelings of fulfillment.
You might say, “Dan, in my current job position, my responsibilities are outside my areas of strengths.” or “I’m not in a place that allows me to fully maximize my areas of strength.”
Even if you are not able to use or fully use your strength in your day job, you can start deliberately using your strengths in different ways. Below are 5 practical ways you can begin to implement your strengths:
1. Volunteer- You can begin to work in areas of strengths by finding a church or non-profit where you can volunteer. Make sure the organization matches your beliefs, values, and would allow you to work (or eventually work) in your areas of strengths. You can find the answer to those questions by talking with someone who already works or volunteers at the organization. When you do decide to talk with the volunteer coordinator, make sure to mention your areas of strengths and passions so they can place you in an appropriate role, one that would match those areas.
2. Apprentice- An apprentice is, “a person who works for another in order to learn a trade.” This would allow you to learn and work in a specific skill or industry. During your training period an apprentice often works for a low wage in exchange for knowledge and experience. An apprenticeship can allow a person to sharpen and use their strengths.
3. Internship- an internship is, “any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.” An internship is perfect for a young leader and those beginning their career. When determining what internship program to enter into, make sure it will provide experience in your career field and areas of personal strengths.
4. Start something- Anyone can start using their strengths by taking the initiative to start something. Three examples are:
- Start a non-profit that would allow you to positively impact your community or the world.
- Start a ministry in your church that would serve and add value to others.
- Start writing a blog where you can begin to share your ideas and thoughts.
Don’t wait for the perfect time or someone to give you permission to use your strengths. Start something that allows you to be working in them.
5. Work responsibilities- If you are not able to use or fully implement your strengths, consider having a discussion with your supervisor about reassigning you to a different role/department or giving you tasks that better match your strengths. Before having this discussion, make sure that you are already producing results in your current role and that you have a standard of excellence. A manager who knows you’re a superb worker should at least consider your request, especially if they see the benefits that would result from moving you into your strength zones.
Question: What can you start to do (This week) to begin to be working more in your strength zone?