Today I interviewed for a counseling job. In preparation for the interview, I reviewed my list of strengths that I had created last year this time. Lo and behold, I have many more strengths, experiences, and things I can contribute to the world than I did when I first wrote the list. It was quite an amazing process to sit down and list one thing after another.
Making such a list does not come easy for many of us. We’re used to seeing the positive qualities in other people, but rarely take time to notice what we have to offer the world. Do you know what your strengths are? Could you rattle them off to someone or would you scratch your head and grow beet red (as I once did)?
Here are a few ways to get started with your own list of strengths (and I highly recommend doing this and then re-reading it from time to time for an ego boost):
1. Make a list of jobs, internships, and volunteer work you’ve done (volunteer work can be with an organization, something unorganized like helping out a neighbor, or ways you serve at your church, temple, mosque, etc.)
2. Go through each item on the list and break it down into tasks and responsibilities–be concrete
3. Then go through each of the tasks and responsibilities and think of a few words to describe what personal characteristics or spiritual gifts you brought to that task. For example, one way I regularly contribute to the life of my church is by writing articles for our monthly newsletter. So, for that task, I might say that I contribute my “excellent written communication skills” or my “ability to connect with others through writing”.
4. Don’t think “resume” or “CV”…just let the ideas flow from you and don’t cross anything out until you’ve got a long list. Then you go through and decide how best to word your list if you’re going to be presenting the ideas to someone in a formal setting.
5. Lastly…everyone–and I mean everyone–has a unique set of skills, abilities, knowledge, and gifts to share with the world. Take some time to celebrate yours!
Peace, joy, and health!