If you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel,
Change your viewpoint,
Change your viewpoint,
If you focus on your strengths and the strengths of others, you can move toward finding purpose and meaning in work. If you follow typical business habits and only work on weaknesses or on fixing problems, you only build back up to previous capacity levels. If you focus on strengths and purpose, you can increase capacity, productivity, and personal satisfaction.
Cultivate your strengths by utilizing strengths in a new way every day and building teams that utilize the unique strengths of each person.
Difference between Strengths-Based Leadership and the Strengths 2.0 Books
Both models focus on strengths and encourage individuals to expand the use of their strengths instead of the traditional performance models that focus on removing weaknesses. Both books are great ways to discover your set of strengths.
The Strengths-Based leadership model takes the focus one step further by grouping strengths into four leadership themes and focusing on how the strengths are used to lead or encourage leadership in others. I've adopted the Strengths-Based Leadership model because of the fit with career growth and professional development.
My goals as a career coach are to help people discover their own strengths, identify related accomplishments, assess their own efforts towards their goals, and successfully tell their stories.
I'm inspired by Liz Wiseman's RootsTech talk for integrating two of my passions: helping rookies grow and exploring genealogy. If you missed her RootsTech session, you can purchase her session or read her book.
If you want to learn a little more about the Career S Curve she discussed, read on.
Career S Curves give us a generalized view of career growth over time. The figure on the right shows the launch, growth, peak, and plateau of a career. And, while this overly generalized view of a career may fit with our idea of the launch of a young professional's career after graduation, the growth through subsequent positions, the later peaking of performance and productivity, and the plateau as someone heads into retirement, the large curve is comprised of smaller curves. A new curve starts as someone takes on new skills, projects, or jobs.
As someone progresses through the Career S Curve, their needs change.
At the launch of a career or new Career S Curve, the professional is looking for guidance and information to help them "Right Start" effectively. As Liz mentioned, we are "rookies" making guesses and moving forward based on the situation and available information. Hearing what has worked well for others and what hasn't provides some of this guidance. Understanding best practices and trends keeps a professional on track. This information is available by networking through professional groups and within our employers, in person or online.
As the career or new skill is growing the focus is on developing mastery in the field or with the specific skill. Professionals need support, guidance, and direction as they work towards an objective and develop competency. This assistance can come from supervisors, team members, mentors, or coaches. Anyone who is further along the S Curve can provide information and assistance.
As a person nears or achieves peak performance, they should be looking at next steps, new projects, or new skills to pursue. This way, a new S Curve starts and the career continues to progress. As a professional is plateauing in one set of skills, they should always be launching a new curve in another set of skills. This transition has different names depending on when they occur and their complexity. Pivot and re-launch are used for mid-career professionals. Encore Career has been popularized with professionals in their 50's and 60's.
Additional information is available in recorded mini-Webinars on Being and Mentor and Being a Mentee near the bottom of the Mentoring 101 page].
I originally wrote parts of the post for the University of Illinois Alumni Career Center blog.
Explore what alumni are doing and identify alumni in targeted fields.
(1) Go to https://www.linkedin.com/alumni. The link will jump to your most recent institution. If you wish to explore alumni insights from a different institution, click the blue "change university" button on the left.
(2) You can search by geography, employer, industry, field of study, skills, and connection. By clicking on a bar in the graph, you can filter results by that area. You can also use the search boxes to find specific matches.
(3) Profile cards of alumni matching your filters and search term appear below the graphs.
A few weeks ago when I discussed the LinkedIn Alumni Insights with a client, we discovered that /alumni linked with the full school profile instead. While /alumni has been switched back to linking directly with the insights, if it gets "lost" again, search for a school. Then go to "Career Insights" section, about a quarter of the page down. Click on "See all career insights."
Julie L. Bartimus,