“What are you good at?”
“What can you bring to the company?”
Over and over we are asked what we are good at. In job interviews, when joining a team, and when looking at our personal brand. While this is important and a huge part of someone’s sales pitch, it is equally important to know our weaknesses too. Not that we need to flaunt our weaknesses as loudly, but we need to be personally aware of them so that we do not end up in a situation we will fail. Who wants to be put on a task they cannot complete? Nothing feels worse than feeling inadequate and without knowing our weaknesses, aren’t we setting ourselves up to feel inadequate?
There is another layer to this I think, not necessarily our identified strengths and weaknesses but more of what we know we will and will not tolerate. Let’s call it our professional boundaries. What are settings that we know we will not be happy in? Do you work better along in an office than at a group table? Do you always need to have others nearby to push you to work harder? These are questions to consider when looking at the type of work you’d like to do. It took me time, and jobs, to realize that there are some workplace settings that make me uncomfortable to the point that I focus on that more than the work. However, now I know some of these boundaries and comforts, I know the type of jobs to migrates towards and the ones to avoid.
This isn’t to say that we should not work on our weaknesses and sometimes step outside of our comfort zone. It is rare that you will find that dream job when looking at job descriptions and details. Instead, this is to say that we need to be aware of it to make realistic plans about careers and places we can thrive. If you are an introvert, don’t apply for a job that lists “extrovert” in the job description. Instead, possibly look for a job that has you working on a small team rather than alone as a way to try out something new and grow. Something can be right outside of a comfort zone and you can turn it into your dream job.
All this being said, never hide your strengths and make sure all those around you can see them too!