Figuring out what your strengths and weaknesses are can be daunting. Not that you wouldn’t know them deep inside but articulating them becomes a problem when you don’t know where to start. Trust me, you will become an expert at this in the years to follow. Believe it or not, from selecting a great distance learning course to applying for jobs, writing your first CV and having your first job interviews, knowing your strengths and weaknesses will always be valuable information. This is why you have to get this right and learn as much about yourself as possible so when it comes to discussing what you are good at, you will really impress your audience. More importantly, knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to make a better choice when applying for your degree or your first job. At the end of the day it really comes down to what skills you use while you do the activities you enjoy but applying them in an educational/lucrative environment.
In this article you will find information on what is meant by strengths and weaknesses, how to find out which ones define you and what to do with this information.
Tom Roth’s best seller ‘’Strengths Finder’’ suggests that talents are people’s naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behaviour that can be productively applied. The more dominant a theme is in a person, the greater the theme’s impact on that person’s behaviour and performance. This book focuses on helping you find out what you are naturally good at as it is believed that when an individual does what he/she is good at on a daily basis this will keep him/her happy and motivated in his/her activity. Personally I find this approach really clever, but let’s not forget that you need to be aware of what your weaknesses are too. While the internet is very short in defining ‘weaknesses’ the way to look at the question ‘what are your weaknesses?’ is to think about activities that take you out of your comfort zone and you might need help to develop skills in that area. For example, many people feel nervous in public speaking. Not a problem! Think about what you could do to avoid feeling like this and what coaching/training you could adhere to, to develop skills in this area. The thing to remember at this topic is that whatever weakness you decide to mention, always finish your idea with what you will do differently next time to avoid having a negative result and what your learnings from that experience have been.
As promised, here are a few websites where you can check for free what your strengths and weaknesses are:
Now that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, its important to know how to present them to your audience. Many of the above tests use relatively complex vocabulary. It is definitely recommended to read the entire explanation and not just stop at the first word you see. The more extensive explanation, will give you ideas of how to present your strengths and weaknesses. Another factor to remember is to always have an example available for that strength or weakness. For example, if you’ve found out about yourself that you are ‘’trustworthy’’, make sure you think about a time when you’ve demonstrated this behaviour and think about how your action positively influenced the outcome of your experience/project.
Regardless of the strengths and weaknesses that you have, make sure you do your research. What I mean by this is make sure you choose from your pool of talents the most suitable one for the course/ job you are applying for. If you apply for a language course, think about the travelling you have done and how much you’ve enjoyed listening to the locals and trying to communicate with them. Explain how even though your language skills were advanced you felt you needed a better understanding of the culture in order to be able to fully understand the locals. Equally, if you decide to share the fact that your strength is being ‘organised’ (which is the most used one in interviews) explain how the way you organize yourself has helped you and what techniques/technology tools you’ve used to make your work easier.
Remember to go that extra mile in your explanation so that your audience understands and believes that you’ve actually been in that particular situation and you dealt with it cleverly by making use of your strengths and weaknesses.
Now that you know what you’re good at, browse our available courses and start down a career path that suits you.