Career

Selling Yourself in a Tough Economy- Post 2, Clifton Strengths Finder

I took the Clifton Strengths Finder test this morning. I thought that the questions were interesting and insightful, although I sometimes had trouble taking the advice to “go with your gut” when answering the questions (which I guess says something else about my strengths?).  According to the test, my top five strengths are:

1. Input

2. Strategic

3. Connectedness

4. Learner

5. Achiever

Reading though the detailed explanations of each strength, I was impressed by how accurate the test was. I was not surprised by my answers, but I did think that the descriptions were very accurate about the way I work, plan and think.

Input-People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
This definitely describes me. When I read news I often have three or four different tabs open at a time in my browser, and I’m always reading two or three books at once. I keep lists of bookmarks to return to on my browser, and various notebooks containing poems or quotes that I like, or words I want to look up.

Strategic-People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

I was not sure that this one described me until I read further on, and learned that the Strategic strength includes this: By nature, you select the right combination of words to convey your ideas or feelings. In the middle of discussions, your vocabulary provides you with precise phrases and terminology. You probably express yourself with ease and grace.  Expressing myself verbally is one of my greatest strengths, so this outcome made a lot of sense to me.

Connectedness-People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all  things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
I don’t believe the maxim that “everything happens for a reason”–I usually think it’s just something people say to make someone feel better about a lousy situation. But I do believe that there’s some kind of essential link between all people, and that we have a responsibility to one another. I feel very strongly that I, having been given many opportunities in life, have an innate responsibility to give something back. I guess it sounds like wacko metaphysics, but I feel a strong need to put out something positive into a universe that dealt me a a pretty lucky hand.

Learner-People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to  continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
I am someone who generally really likes school and work when I’m doing something that interests me. I connected with this in particular: “You need to feel enthused by your work or studies.” Everyone wants to be doing something that they love, but I do know about myself that I have a pretty low tolerance for busy work or mindless tasks–I like to be constantly challenged and interested by the task at hand.

Achiever-People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
I like to be busy–I get bored with an excess of free time like winter break. I have the ability to work very hard when I need to, although I think I usually know when to stop and take care of myself (I have plenty of nights where I get four or five hours of sleep, but I never pull all-nighters). I feel a strong need to be productive–I feel bad if I get to the end of the day feeling like I have not accomplished much.

No big surprises for me, but I thought the test was insightful and I’m looking forward to digging in further in the action plans, as well as reading more about my strengths in the Strength Finder 2.0 book.

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