At my organization’s last annual company meeting, the human resources manager gave each employee a copy of StrenghtsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, whose inside cover asks “Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” [emphasis theirs]. As I took the 30-minute assessment, I found myself thinking “How the heck does my answer to this question explain anything?” Yet here are my top five talent themes identified by the Clifton StrengthFinder 2.0 assessment test: Input, Learner, Ideation, Communication, and Significance.
- Input – People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
- Learner – People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
- Ideation – People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
- Communication – People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
- Significance – People who are especially talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized.
Those descriptions are standard, meaning that anyone else who takes the assessment sees the same descriptions that I did. However, the assessment also offers personalized recommendations based on analyzing the responses of thousands of other people who have taken the assessment. There are also 10-step action plans for each theme. Here are some highlights from my action plans – emphasis is mine.
Look for jobs in which you are charged with acquiring new information each day, such as teaching, research, or journalism.
As far as possible, shift your career toward a field with constantly changing technologies or regulations. You will be energized by the challenge of keeping up.
Seek a career in which you will be given credit for and paid for your ideas, such as marketing, advertising, journalism, design, or new product development.
You will always do well in roles that require you to capture people’s attention. Think about a career in teaching, sales, marketing, ministry, or the media. Your Communication talents are likely to flourish in these areas… If you enjoy writing, consider publishing your work. If you enjoy public speaking, make a presentation at a professional meeting or convention. In either case, your Communication talents will serve to assist you in finding just the right way to frame your ideas and state your purpose. You delight in sharing your thoughts with others, so find the medium that best fits your voice and message… Volunteer for opportunities to present. You can become known as someone who helps people express their thoughts and ambitions in a captivating way.
Choose jobs or positions in which you can determine your own tasks and actions. You will enjoy the exposure that comes with independence.
I’ve never taken the Myers-Briggs assessment but did take the DISC assessment many years ago. Honestly, I did not expect this much alignment between my career and the five talent themes identified by StrengthsFinder 2.0.
I’m grateful for how my career has developed, thankful for the friends I’ve made on the journey, and am looking forward to the future, focusing even more intensely on these strengths.
Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Analytical, Arranger, Belief, Command, Communication, Competition, Connectedness, Consistency, Context, Deliberative, Developer, Discipline, Empathy, Focus, Futuristic, Harmony, Ideation, Includer, Individualization, Input, Intellection, Learner, Maximizer, Positivity, Relator, Responsibility, Restorative, Self-Assurance, Significance, Strategic, and Woo. Which five talent themes best describe you? I hope the StrenthsFinder 2.0 book gives clarity to your career path.