As an interior design graduate, Claire imagined her days would be filled with client consultations, where she would provide beautiful solutions to design dilemmas and ultimately, create spaces to be admired.
Instead, she finds herself categorising swatches. That’s her entire role. Categorising swatches every single day.
Claire yearns for client contact and the opportunity to showcase her talent but feels trapped in this backroom role that was poorly defined from the outset. She didn’t think it would be this way.
What’s worse is that Claire just received a very poor evaluation from her manager because her job dissatisfaction is starting to impact on her performance.
Now, she is questioning whether she even belongs in the interior design industry.
Can you relate to these feelings of self-doubt?
Do you ever feel like you made a wrong career turn and can’t see a way out of it?
A career that plays to your weakness is doomed to fail
When you’re in a job that doesn’t allow you to play to your strengths, it’s easy to feel underwhelmed, dissatisfied, and you might even have a constant worry that you’ll be fired. After all, when a role highlights your weaknesses, rather than the best parts of you, it’s not just you that notices, but everyone around you.
That’s why it’s essential to clearly understand where your strengths lie, and whether a future role will allow you to demonstrate them regularly.
How to identify your strengths
In a work context, your strengths can be found by looking at the skills and accomplishments you have accumulated throughout your life. Here’s one simple way to do that:
Choose your top three accomplishments (they can be work, personal, educational or volunteer-based) and identify the skills that were paramount to achieving them. You’ll likely have used some skills more than once, so tally how many times you used each of them.
Now, look at the three skills you have used most. These are your core skills, which your career needs allow you to utilise if you are to find fulfilment.
Once Claire stepped back and identified her core skills, she was able to clearly see that she wasn’t in the wrong industry, just the wrong role. She met with her manager who agreed to a temporary re-design of her position, so she could have the opportunity to prove herself and her strength with design.
Greg Weiss is Australia’s foremost outplacement and career support coach.
He has coached over 1,000 people to successfully relaunch, pivot, and accelerate their careers.
He also works with many of Australia’s leading employers to help employees during the risky and emotional times of transitioning into or out of an organisation.
Founder and Director of CareerSupport365, Greg’s expertise has helped everyone from early graduates to CEOs.