Most ambitious, young professionals think they can do it all. And why not? You are a talented individual with exceptional skills and maybe you think your employer does not know what you have to offer. But you may also not know exactly what it is you have to offer.
I started my first job hitting the ground running, if my boss needed copywriting, design, strategy, analytics, power points, number crunching, detailed reports, top-level reports, I was capable of doing it all – or so I thought. When I was a college student I was very involved in a myriad of clubs and extra-curricular activities, and as a recent graduate I wanted to do the same at work.
While I was gaining experience in different areas of marketing, I had no career focus and I was uncertain of what I enjoyed doing, what I felt passionate about, what of my work performance stood out, and what new areas I wanted to explore. With the help of my peers and a heightened awareness, I learned how to find my strengths at work. Here are four tips to help you find your own.
Pay attention to the compliments you receive at work. Your skills are reflected on the work that you present, and your peers are the best reviewers of your performance. When working on a project ask for their feedback, they will let you know what they liked and point out the areas that you could improve on.
Notice which aspects of a project get you most excited. When you engage in an activity that you enjoy doing, you feel energized and your excitement is visible. Ask your peers when they see you most energized and you will learn what topics or tasks drive you to be fully engaged.
What makes you different?
You demonstrate your strengths in a unique way for each situation you confront. What truly differentiates you from others is the way you approach a project and how you present your strengths to others. Identify those moments that make you feel confident and pinpoint what you were doing that you felt sure of.
Take on new opportunities
Don't be hesitant to step outside your comfort zone and take on new challenges. You may have already identified your strengths but you have yet to amplify them. Try applying your strengths to a new project or area that you have never worked on. Your focus and attention will allow you to build on your skills and find new strengths.
Remember that the key to identifying your strengths is finding out what you enjoy the most.
About the Author
Jessica Mendoza is a 2010 graduate of Hofstra University where she pursued her BBA degree in Marketing and minored in Philosophy. After graduation, Jessica took a position as a Project Coordinator at Kantar Media. Jessica manages the company's digital and event marketing efforts, and is responsible for the launch and promotion of the digital product suite, including online video and tablet ad monitoring solutions. In her spare time, Jessica consults at Madécasse Chocolate and volunteers at the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), New York Women in Communication, and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Young Pros.