How StrengthsFinder Can Help You Find Your Perfect Job
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” Of course, this adage is sometimes easier said than done. But there is truth to the fact that if a person is engaged in a position they are happy in and doing well, they will likely excel at the job, and therefore, make a living (money) doing that.
This is especially critical for attorneys to understand since so many are leaving the profession. One way to help yourself find your ideal career is using a career assessment tool to help determine your strengths. StrengthsFinder is one of the most popular tools that is widely available online to help you do this.
StrengthsFinder started when Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., Father of Strengths Psychology, along with Tom Rath and a team of scientists at Gallup created the online StrengthsFinder assessment in 1998. In 2004, the assessment's name was formally changed to “Clifton StrengthsFinder” in honor of its chief designer.
In 2007, building on the initial assessment and language from StrengthsFinder, a new edition of the assessment and program was released, entitled “StrengthsFinder 2.0.” This version that is currently in use includes 34 themes (or strengths).
How Your Strengths Are Determined
In order to determine what your strengths are, you need to take an online test that can be accessed with a special code available online and in the book. Once you have the code, you take the online assessment and through a series of questions, it gives you your top five strengths and a detailed explanation of what those mean.
For example, you may determine that one of your key strengths is Discipline. This means your world needs to be predictable, ordered and planned. You instinctively impose structure on your world, set up routines, and focus on timelines and deadlines. The assessment then gives you ideas for working with others with the Discipline strength and ideas for action.
Why Working Toward Your Strengths Is Important
There are many reasons an individual should understand their strengths and work in a field or job that allows one to use their strengths. One benefit is self-awareness. The more you know what makes you tick, the more chance you have for success in life.
Another benefit is helping you find work that is meaningful. We spend the majority of our daily hours working. As such, if we’re not in an environment where we are poised for success and feeling like we can achieve, unhappiness and a lack of satisfaction will develop.
Why Attorneys Should Know Their Strengths
As I said earlier, so many attorneys are leaving the profession because they are unhappy. Determining one’s strength as a lawyer can help determine if the unhappiness is due to the work itself, the environment, or perhaps being in the wrong field.
For example, you may be a lawyer that spends all day writing briefs and doing legal research (not an uncommon practice for a new associate). This may be a perfect fit if your strengths are Analytical or Context, in which you thrive doing tasks that allow you to research and prove a point. However, if your strengths tend to focus on working with people on a regular basis, this work may prove to make you miserable.
Or perhaps you’re in a litigation-heavy role where your job is to persuade and argue in a courtroom. This is a great fit for someone with the Woo strength (in which you enjoy the challenge of winning people over) but will be a tremendous source of conflict if you prefer an analytical environment where you can research and write. To determine your top strengths and if you’re in the right career or job, take the StrengthsFinder assessment and see how it can help you feel more content in the legal profession.