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How do I know what my strengths are and how to apply them to a future career?

I have a lot of different interests that don’t always fit together and I don’t know how to determine which ones I should pursue.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rosa’s Answer

There are numerous books available to help you explore your strengths. One such resource is the Strength Finder test, which identifies your strong points and suggests career paths that align with them. Check if your high school or nearby library has a copy. If not, you can search for the Strength Finder test on the internet.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Eleanor,

Guide to Discovering Your Strengths and Leveraging Them for Your Future Career

Recognizing your strengths is a crucial part of selecting the right career for your future. Here's how you can discover your strengths and use them to shape your career:

Self-Evaluation: Begin with a thorough evaluation of your skills, interests, values, and personality. Make use of various online tools like personality quizzes, career suitability tests, or strength identification assessments to gain insights into your inherent talents.

Reflection and Feedback: Look back at your past experiences such as school assignments, volunteer roles, internships, or part-time jobs. Focus on the tasks you enjoyed and performed well in, and recall any positive feedback from teachers, supervisors, or peers.

Goal Setting: Contemplate your long-term ambitions. Identify the skills and strengths necessary to reach those goals, and decide whether you already have them or need to develop them.

Seeking Others' Opinions: Reach out to people who know you well, like friends, family, teachers, or mentors. Request their honest views on your strengths and areas that need improvement. Their unique perspective can help you understand yourself better.

Career Exploration: After identifying your strengths, explore careers that match them. Look into the daily tasks, necessary skills, educational requirements, and advancement opportunities in each field. This will help you narrow down your choices and make an informed decision about your career path.

Networking: Engage with professionals in your areas of interest through networking events, informational interviews, or social media platforms like LinkedIn. Inquire about their experiences and how their strengths have contributed to their success. This will give you a clearer picture of what working in a particular field entails and whether it suits you.

Experimentation: Engage in new activities or hobbies related to your interests to uncover hidden talents or passions. You might also consider taking community college courses or internships to gain practical experience in a specific field.

Adaptability: Keep in mind that your strengths may change over time as you develop personally and professionally. Be open to new possibilities and be ready to adjust your career goals as needed.

Career Counseling: If you're struggling to identify your strengths or choose a career path, consider getting assistance from a career counselor or coach. They can offer advice and resources specifically suited to your situation.

Continuous Learning: After identifying your strengths and choosing a career path, continue to hone those strengths through continuous learning and professional development. This will ensure long-term success and satisfaction in your chosen field.

May God Bless You!
James Constantine.
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Candace’s Answer

As many have already stated StrengthFinder is a great place to start. There are many resources online that can help you figure out what your strengths are. I would start there. However, just because these are your current strengths don't hold yourself to making a career decision off just that. As time goes by and you gain more experience you notice that your strengths will change and develop. So if you want to try something out go for it.
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Trisha’s Answer

I agree with Rosa, the Strength Finder test by Gallup is a fantastic opportunity for you to identify you strengths! You also want to solicit feedback from individuals you work with and previous managers.
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Laura’s Answer

Agree that taking personality tests are a great idea - Strength Finders and Myers-Briggs are two good ones that are used widely. But overall, you should try different things and see what you think! When you're young, it's the time to try new things - never been in sales? Try it - you may be really good at it even though you didn't think you would be. And that goes for anything - art, finance, big company vs. small company, if there is an opportunity to try something, do it and see what you think. And my opinion is this - if you HATE it, then don't do it. Don't waste your time trying to like it - move to something that is enjoyable for you. That doesn't mean you don't need to improve on things that you're not good at - but don't have your whole job or career be focused on things that you don't enjoy and aren't good at.
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Alan’s Answer

There are a lot factors that go into a career more than, "am I interested in that." Try to find people who have careers you are interested in and ask them about the Pros/Cons of their job and what the reality of their job is as opposed to what they thought it would be.

Some things to consider :
What are your financial goals?
Do you want to work from home?
Do you want to work with customers or with an internal team?

Asking these questions will help eliminate possible careers that aren't the best match, even though you still might be interested in the field.
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