Blog by Tracy Stock, CSP
Are you working in a job and/or career that is aligned with your strengths? Do you feel as if you are an integral part of your team, contributing to their success…or do you feel as if you are trying to force your abilities into a role or team/organization where they just don’t fit?
The good news is that there are key questions to help determine if you’re in a job that combines:
- What you like to do.
- What you do best.
- What adds value.
Harvard Business Review published 15 key questions to ask yourself to see if there is a job fit…or not.
- What are you best at doing?
It is amazing how many people spend years trying to get good at what they’re bad at instead of getting better at what they’re good at.
- What do you like to do the most?
This is not always the same as the answer to question #1. Unless it is illegal or bad for you, do what you like. If it is also productive and useful, it ought to be your career.
- What do you wish you were better at?
Your answer may guide you to a course you should take or a mentor you should work with. It may also indicate a task you should delegate.
- What talents do you have that you haven’t developed?
Don’t say none.
- Which of your skills are you most proud of?
This often reflects obstacles you’ve overcome.
- What do others most often say are your greatest strengths?
This question helps you identify skills you may not value because they seem easy to you.
- What have you gotten better at?
This gives you an idea of where putting in additional effort can pay off.
- What can you not get better at no matter how hard you try?
This tells you where not to waste any more time. (If this is a core competency for your current role, you may want to consider switching careers.)
- What do you most dislike doing?
Your answer here suggests what tasks you might want to delegate or hire out.
- Which skills do you need to develop in order to perform your job?
Your answer to this question might lead you to take a course, read a book, or work with a mentor or coach.
- What sort of people do you work best/worst with?
Do you love to work with highly organized, analytic types? Do creative types drive you crazy? Make up your own categories.
- What sort of organizational culture brings out the best in you?
It is amazing how many people won’t leave a culture for which they are totally unsuited.
- What were you doing when you were happiest in your work life?
Could you find a way to be doing that now?
- What are your most cherished hopes for your future work life?
What could keep you from realizing those hopes?
- How could your time be better used in your current job to add value to the organization?
Your answer here gives your manager valuable input he or she may never have thought to ask for.
So let’s say you are struggling with a comfortable job fit. What can you do? One fantastic assessment tool I recommend is Hogan’s HPI (Hogan Personality Inventory). HPI reports can help you identify fundamental factors that determine targeted career success in the following ways:
- Notes strengths and shortcomings.
- Makes suggestions about how to manage an individual’s career.
- Pinpoints characteristics relevant for success in most work environments.
- Notes interview style.
- Summarizes the recommendation for job fit and potential hiring.
- Classifies candidates as high fit, moderate fit, or low fit.
Remember, without the right job fit, you may never experience as much happiness and success as you deserve at work. So focus on aligning your skills in the right role and achieve your true potential!