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Remember, strengths are not the same as things you like to do. I like to sing karaoke. I’ll let my friend Randy’s face clue you in to whether or not it is a strength of mine.

It doesn’t always happen that you love doing the things you’re good at doing, but if you’re currently floundering a bit when it comes to choosing a career path, doing a strength inventory can be helpful. Grab a pen and paper or open up a new document on your computer right now - let’s do this!

  1. When you were a child, what were your best subjects in school? List the subjects where you got As and Bs in elementary school, junior high, and high school.
  2. What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time? Specifically, what are you good at doing when it comes to these hobbies? (For example, if you collect action figures, are you good at haggling with dealers? Are you good at finding figures you want online? Are you good at organizing your collection?)
  3. What do people ask you for help doing? Does your co-worker ask you for your pie recipe? Does your cousin constantly ask you for car advice? Does your mom like to shop with you because you give great fashion advice?
  4. What types of books and articles to you read most often? (i.e., what subjects matters have you researched, even amateurishly)
  5. What did you study in college, if you attended? In what courses unrelated to your major did you excel?

Take a look at your list. Are you seeing any patterns emerging? For example, maybe you used to get all As in math, people commonly ask for help with organization, and you liked taking philosophy classes in college, even though you were an accounting major. Those things all seem to point toward the fact that you’re good at problem-solving.

Or another example - maybe you’re extremely detail-orientated when it comes to building models, you enjoy reading about classic art, and your favorite college courses as a computer sciences major were those including design elements. Those things all seem to point toward the fact that you’re good at things related to graphics.

If you’re list doesn’t have a clear theme - don’t worry. Over the next several days or even weeks you can add to your list as you think of things that belong on it. Doing a strength inventory can point you in directions that you wouldn’t normally go. Type some of your strengths into the keyword search functions of job sites just to see what comes up. It’s a great way to expand your search and find jobs that you’d be awesome at doing!


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  1. Judy Helfand (Reply) on Saturday 4, 2010

    Hi Alli,
    This is really helpful advice. Taking inventory also helps you know what you are running low on…like in any business or any household or relationship.

    BTW…did you mean to misspell “strength” in your title?

    Judy

    • Allison (Reply) on Saturday 4, 2010

      Thanks for stopping by, Judy! I fixed the misspelling. :)

  2. Judy Helfand (Reply) on Saturday 4, 2010

    Sorry…I should have tweeted my question or maybe emailed it. Here’s the thing: so often people will put odd words in a title to grab other’s attention. You know what I mean? On the other hand, sometimes we get so driven by the blog topic our eyes play tricks on us.

    Anyway, I wanted you to know that taking inventory is critical so that we know where we have been and where we are going.

    Judy










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