Know your strengths: Making the most of your ability for career success

Do you know what your strengths are? Many people don’t. According to research, two-thirds of people are unaware of their strengths.

However, the importance of playing to your strengths in your career cannot be underestimated.

According to Psychology Today Australia, a strength is something you are good at and you enjoy, that leaves you feeling energised. Using your strengths can help you increase your confidence and happiness and increase your chance of work success. According to Indeed and Seek, here are some strategies to identify your strengths.


Seek Feedback

A good place to start is by asking your colleagues what they find you most helpful with. This feedback can provide a good indication of what your strengths are.

Another option is to be more direct and ask them what they consider to be your top three strengths.

Senior colleagues or managers can be especially useful resources for identifying your strengths. Don’t wait until your next big meeting or performance review to talk to them.

While this may be daunting, consider asking them for feedback on your work performance. Your superior’s feedback can help identify areas you are strong in and where you need to improve.

Also, consider what your colleagues have already said. Is there anything they regularly compliment you on? There’s a strong possibility this could be one of your strengths.

Review your job responsibilities

It’s worth thinking about the key responsibilities of your position.  Are there any skills required to fulfill all or most of these responsibilities? For example, if teamwork and demonstrating leadership are critical requirements of your position, perhaps these are also your strengths. 

Take a personality test

Personality tests such as the Myers Briggs can help you identify your personality type. Identifying your personality type can, in turn, help you identify your strengths as well as any weaknesses. For example, somebody with a creative personality type may identify imagination as a strength. Somebody with a thoughtful personality type may identify empathy or relating to others as a strength.

Identify instances of success

Think about times you have been successful at work. What have you been recognised for?

Can you think of any common strengths that brought about this success?

For example, if colleagues have acknowledged your ability to comfort people, perhaps showing empathy is one of your strengths. If you have been recognised for your writing ability, written communication may be one of your strengths.

Pay attention to when you are most motivated

Tasks you are motivated to complete will often be tasks you perform strongly at and enjoy. Consider what tasks give you the most satisfaction and joy and what accomplishments you are most proud of.  For example, if you feel energised when making a presentation to colleagues, perhaps your strengths are public speaking and oral communication.


Once you have identified your strengths, you need to know how to showcase them to employers. Showcasing your skills isn’t always easy. Public Service Resumes can help you put your best foot forward. We offer a range of products including resume and cover letter writing and Interview Skills coaching.