No, we’re not talking about a sweet tooth or chocolate craving. We’re talking about your professional weaknesses. The most successful people understand what their weaknesses are so they can mitigate them and focus on strengths. Here are ways to uncover your weaknesses and how you can improve upon them so they don’t hold your career back.
First, accept that having weaknesses is ok.
The first step in identifying or gaining clarity on any personal situation or evaluation is to acknowledge it exists. None of us are perfect; we all have flaws, imperfections—and yes even weaknesses. Once we admit this, we can move on to mitigating them or turning them into strengths.
Examine the role of the position or current job.
Take a close look at your current position. Examine what the duties of the job truly entail. Parse it out, and inspect it, then draw distinctions between what is expected and what you do. Write down questions as you go: What do I struggle with in this position? Do I get along with others? When a sudden work situation comes up, have I been good at solving the problem? How do I work on tight deadlines? Do I begrudge others time in the spotlight? Am I good listener? Take a deep dive into how you work, and you’ll start to see trends—strengths and weaknesses will emerge.
Ask people you trust.
One way to identify weaknesses is to ask others you know and trust what they see as potential weaknesses in you. Look to three to five people you know will give you unbiased information. Take them to coffee or lunch, one at a time, and give them some context as to why you are looking for this information. Ask them what it is about you they think will contribute to your success. Then, ask them to tell you the weaknesses you have that may cause you to fail. As they are talking, take notes. Afterward, compare what they offer with what you have already written down to see what matches up.
If you really want to get a complete picture of your weaknesses, take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test. This test is the gold standard for corporate-level personality tests. The test measures you within a framework of four areas: energy (introvert versus extrovert), decision making, taking in information, and approaching the outside world. There are several versions available online for free, but don’t offer a complete picture. You can purchase the test for just $50.00, and get a sense of what your strengths and weaknesses are. This will prepare you for furthering your career or interviewing for a new one.
Go outside your comfort zone.
Try to get creative, meaning, think outside work and professional limits. Join a group, take a cooking or painting class, learn about digital media, take lessons like singing or dancing; anything that puts you in a different setting. Start identifying where you struggle and where you shine. As you start to notice your strengths and weaknesses in these areas, write them down. Think about why you struggled with certain things. Did you not attend every lesson? Were you late to a class? Did you zone out as an instructor was talking? Did you sign up for something; then not follow through? Note the areas in which you struggle and then focus on improving those areas.
Looking to land a great accounting and finance job?
PrideStaff Financial is a 5-star diamond award-winning recruiting firm. Our staffing consultants specialize in finance and accounting and will help you find the best employees for your company. Contact us today.