Use Your Strengths to Find Career Fulfillment

Have you ever dreaded going to work? In my first year of a new leadership role, I worked with an individual who dreaded coming to work. The interesting thing was she didn’t realize what the real problem was. Let me explain.

When we hired her, she was excited to join our team. Her references were strong, and I thought she would be a great fit for the organization.

The first two months were excellent. She arrived early, stayed late, and was actively engaged. However, over the next three months, we saw a significant change in her behavior.

The first thing we noticed was she started coming in late. At first, it was five minutes here and there. But then it became 30 minutes two to three times a week. When I asked if there was an issue, she said things were very busy at home, and she needed some time.

After the winter break, she started calling in on Monday’s. Over the next month, her absences increased, and it was adversely affecting her department. I knew I needed to address the issue after several members of the department complained.

I knew if I called her to my office, she would not feel comfortable and would be reluctant to open up about her struggles. So, what did I do? I went to her classroom to meet with her.

When I arrived at the classroom, the lights were off. At first, I thought I had missed her, but then I saw her sitting in the dark. When I asked her if she was okay, she said she was tired.

Over the next 45 minutes, I asked several coaching questions to guide the discussion. As we wrapped up, I gave her a copy of Strengthsfinder 2.0 from Gallup and Tom Rath.

The next day she came to see me. When she walked through the door, I could tell she was different. She said, “I am not operating in my strength.” After completing her Clifton strengths Assessment, she understood why she didn’t want to get out of the bed on Monday morning.

At the end of the school year, she resigned to pursue a new opportunity. While she was still working in education, her new position was aligned with her strengths.

According to Gallup, approximately seven million people, out of the 10 million whom they surveyed, are not operating in their strengths. Why is that important? Because Gallup’s research has shown when we are not working in our strength zone, it can affect our work, health, and relationships.

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5 (NIV)

So, are there benefits to using a strengths-based approach to your career? Yes! Gallup’s research has shown it improves your confidence, direction, hope, and kindness.

Are you using your strengths to find career fulfillment?


This guest post was originally published on by Dr. Kim Moore, #YourLeadershipGuide, DISC Consultant, and certified coach, speaker, and trainer with The John Maxwell Team.


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