How to discover your strengths and weaknesses to grow in your career

How to discover your strengths and weaknesses to grow in your career

Have you ever heard about strengths and weaknesses ? Do you know how to find out what yours are?

Many people have in mind that understanding their weaknesses and strengths is only used to answer questions in a job interview . But knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help a lot in your personal and career development .

Furthermore, this personal discovery has several layers, peculiarities and ways of understanding and dealing with it. It is also possible to change over time , when new goals and new learning enter our lives.

Do you want to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to use this knowledge to grow? So, continue reading, we will teach you how to see them and use them to your advantage!

What are strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths are characteristics that make a person stand out from others. This happens for several reasons.

Whether it’s because you have more ease with something, have more experience or even a higher level of skill – and even enjoy a specific activity more.

The weaknesses are the opposite. These are tasks and behaviors that an individual has some difficulty performing. They need to be improved, otherwise they can affect the person’s career or development.

It is necessary to understand that these weaknesses are not necessarily fixed.

With the natural course of life and career, we gain new skills , new learning and, above all, new demands and needs every day.

Therefore, while today a weakness attracts attention because it is decisive for an objective, tomorrow, if you decide to change your objective, this weakness may become irrelevant. But you may feel the need to develop another issue that was not important before.

Therefore, it is important that our strengths and weaknesses have context in our lives, and are part of something bigger. So the energy we spend on improving them makes sense for our professional and personal goals.

Examples of strengths and weaknesses 

You can identify as a weak point, for example, your oratory.

Let’s say you want a management or speaking opportunity. If you don’t like or are unfamiliar with public speaking, you will need to develop this skill .

You can also choose your attention to detail as a strong point, for example. If you stand out for deliveries with higher quality and fewer errors.

With this, we separate a weak point and a strong point by giving them context, not just determining them without any explanation.

For example, if a person considers their ease or experience in dealing with Excel to be a strong point, but this is not a skill that will be used at the current moment in life, then it is often not, in fact, a strong point.

Important to identify strengths and weaknesses

Planning our assets and shortcomings is critical to see more about ourselves. By remembering what your assets are, you will actually want to settle on better choices.

Such as, going after another position, tolerating an advancement and, surprisingly, hanging out in a meeting. In similar sense, understanding what your shortcomings are will give you a similar data.

You can make strategic decisions to improve your weaknesses, such as starting a new course or training a new skill. All of this will amplify your self-knowledge , helping you make decisions more clearly.  

How to discover your strengths and weaknesses

So far, talking about strengths and weaknesses has been light. When we put the discovery of these points on the agenda, it may become more difficult for some people.

This is because it is easier to evaluate those around us than ourselves, as looking within can be challenging. Even so, it is important to exercise self-knowledge and not become discouraged.

The first step to understanding your strengths and weaknesses is accepting your own qualities and defects. Start looking at them a little more strategically. Try to think about those qualities that people notice in you.

When someone asks you for help with something, what is it? It’s because? Understanding this can also help you. On the other hand, is there a defect or skill that you lack that you would like to have for some specific situations?

1. Self-observation 

After thinking about these questions, observe yourself for a while and understand which tasks you have the most ease with and why.

What abilities hang out in your day to day routine and for what reasons? Self-perception is a fundamental errand to find more about yourself and your assets and shortcomings.

This will likewise permit you to find different particularities of your day to day routine, how you respond on specific events, which assignments you like to do most, which you like least…

You could actually find things that can assist you with sorting out your daily schedule, for example, when you are generally useful, how long your center endures, which action you perform best at, among numerous others.

This makes it easier to adapt your routine to your best and worst moments and your strengths and weaknesses.

2. SWOT Analysis 

Although self-observation brings several answers about your strengths and weaknesses, you need to know what to do with them. It is not enough to identify them. The ideal is to use this information to your advantage to grow and develop in both your personal and professional life.

One way to use this information strategically is the SWOT Analysis, a tool widely used by companies that can also apply to your life .

SWOT is an abbreviation of 4 words in English:

  1. Strengths
  2. Weaknesses
  3. Opportunities
  4. Threats 

To put it into practice, just make four quadrants on paper. In the first, you will put your strengths, what has the potential to make you stand out. In the second quadrant, your weaknesses, which need to be improved.

Below, in the third quadrant, you will write opportunities, a mapping of all the good, productive and possibilities that your strengths can bring you.

Finally, in the fourth quadrant you will write the threats, that is, how your weaknesses can threaten you in general. Once mapped out, you can start using it tactically, with a goal in mind.

It’s a simple exercise in mapping everything you’ve ever observed about yourself. Another exercise you can do is the Wheel of Life .

How to work on your weaknesses and enhance your strengths

By determining what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can begin to work on them strategically, always aiming for your personal and professional growth.

To work on your weaknesses, understand which aspects of your life they affect you. Then, make a plan on how to develop them.

For example, if you consider your public speaking to be a weak point, because you don’t have much experience with public speaking or you consider yourself too shy, looking for theater courses is an option.

You can also look for tips on how to speak in public, in addition to practicing by recording videos of yourself speaking about a topic you understand. It doesn’t have to be a topic related to your work, it can be about your football team, the series you’re watching at the moment…

To best leverage your strengths, think about how to incorporate them into everyday activities to use them to your advantage. If your strong point is your leadership, how can you best use it? Look for leadership situations, such as a position that favors this trait or projects that highlight this point of yours. This way, you can reach the greatest potential of your strengths, while working to develop your weaknesses.

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