Sunday morning: you feel like you've hit rock bottom and hit the snooze button one more time, not because you’re tired from being a nonprofit superhero during your 9-to-5 (OK it’s probably that too), but because you're dreading going to work. But Monday comes and you get going anyway knowing that there are communities to serve and missions to fulfill.
What gives? You’re passionate about what you do and you have talented co-workers, but for a while, things have been feeling a little off, leaving you to repeatedly tell yourself that maybe it’s your workplace…but actually, it’s not them, it’s you. Maybe you’re just not the right fit for the job.
You’ve attended a billion professional development webinars and taken all those free personality tests that pop up (hint: the "What Gilmore Girl Are You" quiz doesn’t count as professional development), but it never seems as if your results help you get further in your career. So what’s the problem? It might be you. Here are some hard truths (and what to do about them):
HARSH TRUTH: YOU’RE NOT TRULY SELF AWARE
Ask yourself this, “How does my personality impact other people and do I care?” (Hint: if you don’t care, that’s another convo). Don’t know what your other personality traits are besides awesome? StrengthsFinder, a Web-based personality assessment created from the perspective of Positive Psychology, categorizes strengths into five dominant signature themes: achiever, competition, context, futuristic, harmony, include, learner and woo. It’s a fun test and acknowledging which of these you most identify with will help you understand how you operate and how others might perceive you. Knowing your StrengthsFinder personality gives you the advantage of further playing with your strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses, which are harder to “fix” than simply doing what you do best over and over again.
HARSH TRUTH: YOU’RE NOT FULLY ENGAGED
While we aren’t always the biggest cheerleaders behind, “follow your passion,” if you feel more engaged sorting the laundry than going to work, may be you aren’t measuring the right things. The key: using your strengths to better identify your role and responsibilities energizes your performance and overall wellbeing. Think of it like exercising: We feel upbeat and stronger when we use our body’s strongest muscles during physical activity, compared to when we work out our weaker muscles, which may feel draining and tiresome. You probably feel super miserable at your job not because you hate your job, but because you’re not engaging your best qualities to define your duties and goals.
HARSH TRUTH: YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR TEAM’S DYNAMIC
We’ve all heard the phrase, “teamwork makes the dream work”, but if there is just ONE toxic team member, there won’t be any dreams coming true anytime soon. Want to be stuck living out Steve Carrell’s version of The Office? Yeah we didn’t think so. Using StrengthsFinder in a team setting ensures that the people you work with know how to put their best foot forward without sabotaging cool office vibes.
Maybe you ARE the right fit for your job, but need to reassess your tasks and duties so that you’re inputting the highest quality of work and outputting applaud-worthy performance.
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