Strengths on the Playing Field

If you haven’t taken the CliftonStrengths assessment, then it might be better to do so before continuing. If you’ve already taken it, then you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the huge report that got dropped onto your screen. Well, its okay. Just take a deep breath and read on.

How it Works

Simply put, the CliftonStrengths Test is a personality test. It takes 30-minutes during which you’re shown 117 pairs of words. You must choose which of the words in each pair fits you best, and from there the algorithm will tell you your top 5 strengths out of the 34 total talent themes. Focusing on your top 5 strengths is what you need to truly understand what makes you, you.

What’s the Point?

The test is meant to tell you what you’re good at in a broader light. Your job is to take that information and apply it towards different aspects of your life. If you’re just starting out in your college career, then the results could help you reflect on degree paths that are a good fit. Similarly, understanding your strengths can make it much easier to find career options well-suited for you. For example, you don’t want a high-risk, low-control job if one of your strengths is Deliberative, since that strength revolves highly around avoiding risk through your actions.

You can also take these strengths and apply them to your academics. Reflect on how your strengths get applied in your normal life, and then see if they can apply in the same or different way during the school day. If one of your strengths is Discipline, then you’ll work best on a set schedule, and it will help your study sessions if they’re mapped out by the hour.

What Can You Do

The most important part of the process is understanding your Strengths report. If you’re having a little trouble understanding your results or how to apply them to your future, then it might be better to reach out to a Career Specialist to discuss it in person. If you think you’ve got a clean grasp on the concept, then we recommend you start adjusting your academic and leadership roles. This doesn’t mean you should quit your job or resign your leadership position. It just means that you should try incorporating things into your role that play to your Strengths.

Career-wise, try infusing your strengths into your resume or job search. If you know your top strength is Analytical, then show potential employers that you regularly analyzed attendance and engagement in your role as book club Vice President. Or investigate analytical jobs, like SEO specialists or Data Analysts.

As you go through your Strengths journey, remember that these results are not the say-all and be-all of what makes you special.  It’s simply meant to give you a little more insight into your habits so that you can consider them during the walk down your life path.