by: Jessica Colombo

Do you think Coach Dantonio or Coach Izzo try to make their players into all around phenomenal football or basketball athletes? No.  They hone and build their players into phenomenal athletes at their perspective positions.  They build on the strengths that the athletes already possess.  Building and focusing on strengths seems so simple, but how often do you actually do it?  On the contrary, how often do you find a weakness in yourself and diligently focus on trying to improve on it?  Focusing on weaknesses is a common mindset, but Strengths Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath urges readers to reverse that thought process and build on the awesome person you already are!

What are you good at? Can you answer that question off the cuff? If not, the next three paragraphs are extremely valuable. If yes, skim to the last line, and kudos to you!

Strengths Finder 2.0 is an updated sequel to Now, Discover Your Strengths by Dr. Donald Clifton.  The basis of the book lies in a ‘strengths finding’ test.  The online assessment asks you to evaluate yourself along a likert scale with two statements at the ends of the scale.  I took this quick test (about 30 minutes) and realized that in many instances, both of the polarized statements pertained to me.  In these situations, its important to move quickly so your gut reaction can take charge.  Upon completion, I received a personalized Strengths Insight Report highlighting all of the kick-butt traits that make me, me.

Strengths Finder includes 34 traits that can be utilized for success.  Now that I’ve realized my ‘Top Five’ strengths*, I’m empowered to build on them and use them as a springboard as I launch into a career.  This book helped me realize that my extreme competitiveness and obsessive detail orientation are actually valuable strengths, if I utilize them correctly.

Knowing what you’re good at is imperative when looking for a position.  How will you know if the position is a ‘good fit’ if you only have one piece of the puzzle- the job description?  The other puzzle piece lies in your strengths, in addition to your experience and valued culture.  Take these strengths to your next interview to help eloquently explain why you rock and what value you will bring to their team.  After you figure out what your strengths are and how you can start harnessing them, bid your weaknesses adieu!

Don’t let your most amazing strengths go untapped– unleash their full power!

And then, after you take the test, you can start using “So, what’s your top five?” as a pick-up line. Go get em, tiger! (the jungle feline, not the golfer)

*After you take the test, comment, and I’ll share my Top Five*

Jessica Colombo is senior Spartan Marketer graduating in May from MSU. She is currently seeking a position in a company’s world domination department. In addition to working for MSUAA Career Services where she gets to do fun stuff like write for this blog, she also enjoys rocking out to old school Michael Jackson in her cube and eating coffee flavored Haagen dazs ice cream.


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