We all have unique strengths, and work should be one of the places we can express them and contribute them to the world. Yet only 2 out of 10 people say they use their strengths every day at work. But that doesn’t mean that 8 out of 10 people should be looking for new jobs – there are ways to do what you love, in the job that you have. If you’re one of the 8 out of 10, here’s three things you can do in order to build a life where you can contribute the best of yourself in your current role.
- Spend a week in love with your job. For one week, keep a “Loved it/Loathed it” list, and every time you look forward to a task or find time flying by during an activity, write it down in your “Loved It” column. Likewise, if you find yourself dragging your heels before a specific task, dreading it and slogging through it, write it down in the “Loathed It” column. By the end of the week you’ll have a list of things that you love doing – these are strengthening activities for you – think of these strengths as red threads of love in your job.
- Now that you’ve identified your “red threads,” the next thing to do is pull on them, weaving them deliberately into the fabric of your daily work. Look for – and seize – every opportunity to play to your strengths. 73% of people agree or strongly agree with the phrase “I have the opportunity to maneuver my job to fit my strengths better.” That means it’s likely that once you’ve identified your red threads at work, it is possible for you to find more ways to use them every day.
- Find teams. You may think that everyone enjoys the same things you do, but you’re wrong. Seek out people who love the things you loathe, and partner with them. Partnership is not the crutch of the imperfect, but the secret of the successful. The best people aren’t well-rounded; rather the best teams are well-rounded precisely because the people in them are not. You want to be beautifully, authentically sharp in one or two key areas, and then surround yourself with people who are sharp where you are blunt.
You can love what you do at work every day. It’s possible in the job that you have, but only if you take responsibility for owning, honoring, and contributing the best of yourself.