Organizations are more than the sum of the individuals that compose them, but the most basic, and perhaps the most important, form of strengths investment lies with the individual. When more individuals within organizations have their talents identified, understood, and integrated into their lives, the organization has greater potential. ~Donald O. Clifton and James K. Harter, Investing in Strengths
Donald Clifton and other researchers challenged business leaders to think about identifying and growing people’s strengths, instead of only looking at weaknesses.
When we are doing the work we love with the strengths we have, we find we have higher productivity, enjoyment, and results.
I’ve searched the internet to find some of the best free strengths test sites so that you can discover and grow your strengths.
Here are Some Guidelines For Harnessing Your Strengths
The the online tests. Save the results. Review them periodically.
This 5 minute test helps you pinpoint your top three strengths and their details, as well as one weakness.
Mike Rowe, host and creator of Discover Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” show, helped create this site to help beginners discover their ideal first jobs, and to help others who want to change careers. It’s fun to explore the free resources at this site.
Learn Myself claims to have the “most scientifically accurate” personality test. While that’s questionable, it is free! I took the test myself and found that it described me pretty well.
This is more a personality quiz based on Jung and the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. You’ll get a general description of yourself. But you’ll have to pay for the more in-depth report. You can avoid that by going to Humanetrics’ detailed personality quiz and analysis. Once you’ve taken the test, you’ll have access to 4 free reports for developing self-growth, your career, team development, and pre-employment screening (if you’re a business owner), or even if you are outsourcing and want to pre-screen your contractors.
Once again, I’m not sure of all the science behind this test. But it’s short, and fun, and I found some of the results intriguing.
You can take it just for fun. If the results apply to you, incorporate the conclusions into a personal growth plan.
This site is for my American readers only. But you may loosely apply it to your own part of the world.
You can search careers by keywords, explore by industry, or click on a brief quiz to narrow down what industries and careers may interest you next.
When you click on a particular career, you’ll see the knowledge, aptitudes, and skills generally needed for that job, as well as the occupational outlook and median salary for the job.
Analyze Your Past and Current Work Experiences
You can learn a lot from your past and current work.
List all the main activities of your past or current work.
Think back to projects you particularly enjoyed.
What experiences challenged you to grow: you may have been afraid to “put yourself out there,” but you pushed through and greatly enjoyed it. And you were good at it!
Create A Plan To Grow Your Strengths
Just in time learning overcomes overwhelm and procrastination. We encounter millions of bits of information every week (well, I don’t know if it’s that much, but it’s a lot!).
Once we’ve identified our strengths, it’s time to take the next action toward putting that strength to use.
Read my article about creating your professional growth plan to kick-start this process.
photo credit: Official US Navy Imagery
What are some best free strength test sites you’d recommend?