A positive attitude is important if you want to turn your weaknesses into strengths. If you sometimes think: “I can’t do that!” think again: no-one limits our ability to achieve more than ourselves. It’s important to develop a ‘can do’ attitude; one that’s open to change, self-analysis and constructive criticism. You may discover things you never knew you were capable of.
What we perceive is not necessarily the reality of the situation. For example, the treatment for people who suffer from a fear of spiders, challenges them to handle one to overcome their anxiety. By taking control you will be able to achieve more than you ever expected.
However, it’s also vital to base your expectations on your own strengths and weaknesses. If you have never been the best at maths, you will probably never enjoy or excel in a career as an accountant. Nevertheless, you know yourself better than anyone. Each and every experience at work, as well as in your personal life will have taught you new things about yourself, and there’s always something more to learn. Try to ask others – like your friends, family and colleagues – what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. Listen to what they say, and be open to any criticism. Ask a few people to get different perspectives, and don’t forget to ask yourself as well. Write down somewhere what you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses; think about what other people have said about you, and match these with any opportunities and threats that are out there in the job market.
This process will help you to make decisions about your next steps. You never know, there may be a more fulfilling job and career out there waiting for you.
Knowing where you strengths and weaknesses are will also help you to:
- Create a CV that recruiters can’t ignore;
- Write cover letters that will attract recruiters’ attention;
- Better handle interview questions about your strengths and weaknesses, in a way that creates the right impression of your suitability for a particular role.
- Realise possible opportunities where training or an extra qualifications would make a noticeable difference. After all, training is one of the many ways of turning weaknesses into strengths!
When applying for an advertised job, you need to match the requirements of a position with your personal strengths and weaknesses. There should always be aspects that play to your strengths, but there may also be areas that highlight some of your weaknesses.
In an interview, Resume.org suggests that it’s a mistake to only choose weaknesses that make you look good; something you use to avoid answering honestly. Saying that you are a perfectionist or a workaholic in the hope that you will convey to the interviewer that you are the best candidate could backfire. Therefore, to turn a weakness into a strength, you need to admit to having it. Then you need to demonstrate that you are working to overcome this weakness, or doing whatever you can to improve your performance in that particular area.
Here’s an example of how you can turn your knowledge about a personal weakness into a strength when you are in an interview:
“I am very impatient and get easily frustrated when people don’t make immediate decisions, or get things done quickly. However, I am aware of this and I try to remember that people need time to respond to me and that they may have other priorities to attend to. I am therefore learning to be more patient with my colleagues.”
Jobsite has some very useful information and tools that can help you to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Take a look at the Jobsite Personal Profile questionnaire, and use your answers as part of your self-assessment. Remember that by being self-aware you will get one step closer to the next step in your career. Don’t let your weaknesses hold you back; turn them into strengths by taking one step at a time. You can do it!
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