By Tash Hildebrand-Lockie
There seems to be so much focus on weaknesses in society.
It’s even a common interview question: “What are you biggest weaknesses?”
I do understand that it’s important to know thyself, including your weaknesses, to be able to be the best person you can be and to optimise your job performance.
And I do understand that it’s important to pre-prepare a few interview-friendly weaknesses. [Hint: Only share weaknesses that are peripheral to the job that you’re applying for – it’s not a great idea to mention a weakness that is the main skill required to do the job for instance! And keep in mind that it’s a good idea to follow up each stated weakness with a short explanation of how you manage it or will improve it in a workplace setting. Showcasing your initiative in this way helps you to turn a weakness into a strength…
Nevertheless, I think we took a wrong turn somehow in placing too much emphasis on weaknesses. Especially in the workplace, where performance review processes are often focused on identifying weaknesses and developing plans to improve them.
When the reality is, if you have a natural weakness maybe it won’t change all that much, no matter what you do. I mean, if you’re not particularly good with numbers, you’re probably never going to be. Likewise if you’re not a creative person, then you’re probably never going to be.
Isn’t this the whole reason why we’re all different in the first place? So we can work as a team to complement each other’s natural skills? And so we can all contribute our unique strengths to create something better and larger than we could create by ourselves.
Also, we can sometimes find ourselves admiring someone who is in a role that we would like to have one day, automatically assuming that in order to be in that position we would have to have the same strengths as them. And potentially feeling inadequate because we may feel weak in the area of their greatest strength. But this is not really logical when you stop and think about it – even Presidents and Prime Ministers have been very different over the years and had lots of different strengths; there’s certainly no size that fits all for any one position.
So let’s do something radical and choose to not focus on our weaknesses! Rather than constantly trying to improve, let’s celebrate and appreciate our natural strengths instead.
Tash Hildebrand-Lockie runs a popular job-seeking hub, Resume Makeovers – http://www.resumemakeovers.com.au. Tash regularly uploads free and low cost resources to help you on your job-seeking journey.
To quickly get clear on your unique strengths, download Tash’s brand new guided meditation to have a relaxing Session with Your Inner Career Coach – https://www.resumemakeovers.com.au/products/guided-meditation-session-with-your-inner-career-coach