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Turning your weaknesses into strengths

Posted by: Ruth McKinney

Taking the time to evaluate what you’re good at and what you enjoy in your day to day work is a great exercise in self-awareness.

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. A common interview question and something that you should be thinking about to ensure that you are moving forward in your chosen career path.

Identifying what you’re good at is a great way to sell yourself in an interview situation, it’s your opportunity to demonstrate just how valuable you could be to a new employer if they choose you to be part of the team.

It is just as important to think about and understand what you perceive as your weaknesses, it is often the case that these are closely connected to your strengths.

As an example, if you have been told to slow down your approach to some tasks, in order to avoid errors or to ensure that you have a proper understanding of what you have been asked to do, although this can be seen as a weakness, it does also mean that you are quick to react and are enthusiastic when you undertake an assignment, which is a positive.

Here are some tips to help you carry out analysis on yourself and improve your self-awareness.

Analyse previous experience

Start by thinking about different projects that you have been involved in and list the tasks that you carried out that contributed to the success of the project. Look at how your key strengths played a part in the successful completion of these assignments to clearly understand what you’re good at.

The next step is to examine the areas where you felt that you could have improved and list them. Take each of the points on your list and identify areas where you have taken learnings from these and cross them off, these are no longer weaknesses, these are great working examples of your experience which you can talk about in an interview to demonstrate your ability to learn, improve and succeed.

Finally, list areas of your assignments that you didn’t enjoy, try and understand the elements that made these tasks difficult, or problematic. Disseminate the elements that you didn’t enjoy. Understanding these could give you ideas for any training needs that you require or the potential for some mentoring or support from colleagues. By doing this, you show that you’re a team player and that you’re willing to learn and develop your skills. Again, use these as effective working examples of how you are a self-starter and have the confidence and enthusiasm to learn and improve your skills.

Ask for feedback

Ask your colleagues and friends for their opinion and feedback for you to reflect upon. Examine the responses and see if it correlates with areas that you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses.
This will help you develop a level of awareness of how others perceive you, which is a valuable level of understanding about area that you need to work on. Harnessing the power of external perceptions will help you to improve how you operate and is a great step toward moving into a management position with a new employer or succeeding at an interview to progress your career internally.

Expert advice

Enlisting the help of a workforce solutions agency, like Worldwide Recruitment Solutions (WRS), will give you access to expert recruitment specialists, who are trained to help you achieve your career aspirations. Starting with giving you access to vacancies ahead of many job boards, you will also get support and coaching to help you to create a fantastic CV, advice and coaching for interviews and support to negotiate the best possible package for you when you are the successful candidate.

WRS is a global workforce solutions and mobilisation company, specialising in the mining, maritime, construction and civil engineering, commodities and energy industries. If you are considering your next move, register your details, send us your CV or you can simply take a look at our latest vacancies.

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