Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Secret to Happiness at Your Job: Know Thyself

Are you happy at your work? According to Kathryn Britton, it might be because you aren't using your strengths at work to their fullest. She writes that when you do work that utilizes your strengths, you're happier while doing tasks that require use of where we are weaker drains us.

"Strengths come from talent combined with knowledge gained from study and skill gained from practice… You are the best judge of what your strengths are because you experience yourself working. When you use strengths, you feel invigorated. When you use weaknesses, you feel drained. You look forward to activities that use your strengths and dread ones that use your weaknesses. You are more likely to be successful and to feel satisfied after using your strengths than after doing something that uses weaknesses."

She cites a few online tests that can help you find out what exactly your strengths are.

"Once you have your strength and weakness statements, work to change your job or
your life at home incrementally. Each week make plans to increase the time you spend doing activities that use your strengths and decrease the time spent on activities that use your weaknesses. Plan just a few changes to your schedule each week. Build on the changes you made last week. Swap tasks with another person if you can reach a better strengths alignment for both of you."

Essentially, knowing yourself will help you to not only succeed but be happier in what you do. Makes sense. If you enjoy what you do and have confidence that you will do it well, you'll be more likely to tackle tasks, take on projects, etc. Reading this, you may even realize that your current career or job is not even closely aligned to your strengths! Maybe that's why you're dreading work everyday?

I would agree that we need to find fulfilling work that utilizes our strengths for the majority of the time. But I also think that completely closing out our weaknesses and refusing to do anything that makes us uncomfortable will make us miss out on opportunities for growth. You might surprise yourself and you'll feel all the more accomplished having conquered that task.

Read Kathryn's full article here.

(Hat tip.)

Posted by Rosie Reilman.

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