Identifying your signature strengths is crucial at any time but even more so in the current employment climate where graduates are finding it harder and harder to find jobs. With so many applicants for every new position, knowing your signature strengths and being able to express them to employers are what will make you stand out from the crowd. At the pilot programme, the EWO team facilitated a variety of activities to draw out these ingredients. Our intern Alan took part and let us know how finding his signature strengths helped him…
I found it much more rewarding than I imagined because they made me challenge and question everything. In the process of justifying my signature strengths I had to look beyond the obvious skills listed on my CV and more on how my knowledge, skills and so forth related to what actually excites me and gives me satisfaction. Essentially this is what makes me get up in the morning and want to go to work.
As a result of this process I have been able to more articulately define what I am looking for in a professional environment. For example, one of my signature strengths is a genuine interest in and concern for people, so it is important for me to find a role that enables me to play to this strength. I want to help people to do great things. Another of my signature strengths is being an active participant in a team environment. I know this sounds like a cliché (who doesn’t claim to be a team player?) but having had time out of the workforce to go back to uni, I realise that one of the things I miss and that I find especially rewarding is working with people towards a collective goal.
Defining my signature strengths has widened my prospects. Previously I always imagined that the only workplace that would appeal to me was somewhere in the music industry but in reality, while music remains a passion, the type of job I want may or may not be an option there, so it makes sense to broaden my search and to be more perceptive to other ideas.
I now have a much clearer sense of what I am aiming for and my next priority is to work out how to effectively incorporate my signature strengths into my CV.
Next up, Daisy tells us how to make the most of your internship…