By Tiana Green
Published on Feb. 24, 2020
“Without labor nothing prospers.” – Sophocles
“As a career professional, I can say that employers are looking for self-aware students. CliftonStrengths is so powerful because it helps give students language and self-awareness, and that is what most candidates lack”, says Amanda Nell, an MU Career Center staff member. After you take the CliftonStrengths assessment, you will be presented with your top five talent themes that reflect your natural tendencies. Overall, CliftonStrengths helps you become more self aware by giving you the language to identify the way you operate and the things you do best. Knowing this, you have the ability to build on your themes to help employ your best self. By taking time and investing in her talent themes, Amanda is able to use her strengths in different situations to help herself and others prosper. One of Amanda’s talents is achiever and it helps her see things through to completion once they get started. Amanda describes her strength as “an unparalleled work ethic” that makes her “very outcome-oriented and highly productive”. Those with the theme of achiever get great satisfaction from being busy and productive, and Amanda explains how she creates mini tasks while involved with long-term projects to help satisfy her achiever talent. “I kind of change things for myself”, she begins. “I create small tasks or things to get done so I feel like there’s momentum”. As an achiever, one of the challenges is that people tend to be workaholics, but Amanda explains that to avoid this, it is important that you take a step back and congratulate yourself on the task you’ve completed. “There is a tendency to say ‘what’s next’ and you have to make sure you say, ‘we all just did this amazing thing, let’s celebrate’. Doing that is important, and I have gotten more balance that way.” By knowing and understanding her achiever strength, Amanda is able to keep the barrier side of ‘workaholic’ in check. However, if an achiever can’t find a healthy balance between work and rest, a good idea would be to pair with someone who has the strength of discipline. Those with discipline are structured and like to keep routines, which can be helpful for an achiever constantly wanting to move to the next thing. Through learning more about her achiever strength, Amanda also learned how important your strengths are when it comes to group work. Understanding your strength and how it pertains to your work ethic can help when it comes to working in a team and understanding how others work. Knowing that another person’s approach to work is different from yours can help better establish what a group should look like and avoid frustrations. Amanda explains how “the biggest ‘ah-ha’ is understanding that while I have achiever there are some people that have deliberative … and I need to adjust for that. So appreciating others’ talents and the need for a diverse team is good.” Because we all have different ways of approaching situations, it is important that we look at how others are contributing to the team rather than how WE want them to contribute to the group. “If you have someone with harmony, they’re making sure that people are all included in the process and that there isn’t acrimony…and that that is as important as getting a finished project the way an achiever might focus”, says Amanda. Having the strength of achiever can help bring you energy and make you relentless for achievement, but it is still important that you do not push yourself over the edge. You may feel dissatisfied because you take a day of rest instead of working, but remember that it is important to your mental and physical health that you don’t overexert yourself. You can utilize the achiever strength, which falls under the executing domain, to motivate yourself and others to push hard and strive for the best.