What Employers Really Want

In 2000, Mel Gibson starred in a movie called, “What Women Want.” Gibson plays your prototypical male chauvinist advertiser, a modern version of Mad Men’s Don Draper. His character sets off on a journey to discover himself, become a better father, better boyfriend, and to truly, more deeply understand himself.  The catalyst for this change happens after he is forced by an electrocution in an incident with none other than a blow dryer. The incident gives him powers to hear what women really think and read their mind. And, guess what? They don’t like him as much as he thought they did.

The Four Top Traits Employers Want
From (YOU) Millennial and Gen Z Employees

The importance of understanding yourself and the value you bring to others is critical to success. Our focus on growth acceleration for individuals and businesses proves that fact daily. Articulating your skills and traits in a way that aligns with the company’s desires is key to landing the job. Luckily for you, we’ve outlined just for you the four of traits that employers want and that are essential to surviving and thriving in the modern marketplace.

  1. Grit

    Grit is defined as “courage or resolve, strength of character.” The world gets more complicated by the minute with both advances in technology and the rapidity of information and change. Employees need to be able to pivot and be adaptable. Grit or tenacity is now a serious component to get you in the door and survive and thrive in any business. Employers are beginning to test and measure how employees will thrive in tough situations and environments. According to recent research from Gallup, more than half of Americans surveyed are unhappy with their current job and are either seeking or interested in seeking a new one. While that has interesting implications for employers, it also means something for employees: there is a lot of competition as well as turnover. Grit sometimes equates to retention and engagement, people with grit tend to last longer and fight harder. They also are more confident exploring diversity and creativity. So getting and keeping a job without grit is sometimes very difficult in the current climate. This means you may get rejected by multiple employers if you cannot communicate grit and wherewithal to weave, bob and pivot in an interview. So keeping the same positive, upbeat, calm and cool demeanor as you move through the employment process combined with showing Grit – strength of character – is essential to moving through the process successfully. It also will pay huge dividends in keeping the job and getting promotions.

  2. Capable

    You should be able to do the job you are applying for. You should be capable of completing the task you are being asked to. This seems easy enough, right?

    Wrong.

    At the interview stage, It is less about being capable and more about demonstrating how you are capable. Technically, and on paper, you may be more than capable but if you are not able to articulate your value and capability to your boss or the organization, it doesn’t matter. We have spent years teaching over 12,000 millennials how to demonstrate and describe their value through their story, while tough it is a must have for all of life. First, you have to frame your experience in a way that properly articulates the ways in which you meet the companies requirements. WIFThem, or what’s in it for them, your employer. Tell them with gratitude and brevity exactly how your passions and skills meet and exceed the requirements of the position you’re applying for. Then, from there, you can demonstrate how skills outside of what they are asking for demonstrate your capability. What else can you bring to the table? What other value can you provide? Why should you be hired over anyone else? That simple act of communication is the secret to letting them know with great confidence that you’re capable.

  3.  Connect

    Relationships are one of the most important elements of our well-being. According to longest study ever conducted by Harvard, the quality of our relationships is the greatest predictor of the quality of our lives. Approximately 35 % of your waking hours throughout the course of your life will be spent at work. It would stand to reason, then, that the quality of your relationships at work are also the most important part of your overall satisfaction. SO THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP WE CAN GIVE YOU IS BECOME A MASTER AT RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. It is the single most important life/work skill. Furthermore, company’s are searching for employees that fit their workplace culture. It is not enough to be able to do the job. You must also contribute to the culture. You must be able to connect with your coworkers and managers. Do not leave an interview without proving that you excel at relationship building, and be prepared to articulate how. If you want to “crush the interview” and communicate you are a relationship developer, then start at your interview with making sure you are focused on the company and not yourself. You can do that with research and information, which is the key to asking great questions and developing trust and relationships. So to understand what companies might be looking for in their employees, search their website. Read about their values. Search on LinkedIn. Look up the CEO and see if she or he has written any blogs. Search the web for information about the company. We live in The Information Age; ignorance is not an excuse. Learn as much as you can about the company and its values and tell a story about how you will serve them. Let them know how this service aligns your aspirations and skills with theirs. Don’t leave them guessing; make the connections for them.

  4. Contribute

    You’ve done the labor of getting yourself an interview, preparing, and dressing You’ve kept a positive attitude through it all – you were #crushingit on your applications and kept the right mindset through it all. You were able to articulate your value to the company, showing how your skills and areas of expertise filled their needs. You were able to connect with their culture and build relationships, showing how your values and passions align with theirs and your potential co-workers. What is the last thing that will seal the deal? Alright. Millennials and Gen Z has this in spades. That is their need to make a difference and contribute or give back to the world. Some call it purpose. Employers are starting to understand your generation is other focused and wants to make a difference. If you can articulate your desire to contribute to others employers will seal the deal. Every employer wants to hire employees that want to make a difference by helping others. If you’ve done the hard work of getting the job – identifying the company you want to work for and making it to the “promised land” – put in the work to demonstrate your other focused desire to contribute to the companies growth and success.

Conclusion: In today’s competitive marketplace, it is not enough to be a talented employee. To be a successful Millennial, you have to understand how who you are aligns with what the company is looking for, work hard to get the job, continue doing the work, demonstrate your value, skills, passion, and contribution to make a difference. We outlined four qualities that will empower you to get and keep, your job. It’s not enough to know who you are or the value you bring – you’ll have to know yourself, WIFThem, articulate your value, and continue to grow and contribute in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Without them, you will not survive or thrive in the modern workplace.

Not sure where you fit in?

We’re here to help you grow and excel.

Join our Excelerator to take these skills to the next level.

Using Your Story to Connect with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and then went on to become the greatest basketball player of all time.

Amazon.com started with one guy selling books from his garage and then went on to become arguably one of the most powerful companies on the planet.

J.K. Rowling’s story about a teenage wizard was rejected by 12 publishers only to go on to become a brand worth $25 billion dollars.

You have likely heard one, if not all, of these stories. Why is that? Because storytelling is a uniquely powerful tool for humans.

From explaining which berries are safe to eat to which brand of shoes to buy, stories have played a critical role in human history. They become part of our culture and motivate people unlike anything else. But we seem to have forgotten the most important aspect of storytelling: it isn’t just for billion-dollar brands. Each of us has our own unique story and we can use that superpower of telling our story to appeal to, connect with, create trust, build relationships, and empower others.

Whether you are preparing for job interviews or trying to cut through the noise as you start a new business, identifying, refining, and sharing your story is the most effective way of getting the attention of others and getting them to connect with you on a personal level.

Identifying Your Story

I know what you are thinking, I hear it from clients all the time. You’re  thinking I don’t have a personal story and by the way I hate talking about myself in private, let alone in public.  There is nothing really that special about me, after all, I have never traveled the world or climbed Mt. Everest or saved a school bus full of children. What interesting story could I possibly tell about myself that will make a difference?

What is important to realize is that telling a good story doesn’t require anything miraculous. Just make it authentically you while focusing it on your audience and you will win every time!  Just watch any great comedian: a comedian can make a thousand people laugh hysterically talking about mundane things that we all do everyday. Your personal story can be equally as ubiquitous and powerful as a comedian’s joke.

The key to developing a powerful personal story is to identify the things that make you unique and that demonstrate the value you can bring to others via a personal relationship, client or an organization.

If you aren’t sure where to start, you can begin by answering a few simple questions about yourself:

  • Who Am I?
    Where was I born? Where do I come from? Who is my family? What is my background? What am I grateful for? And what or who has made me who I am? What makes me, well, me?
  • What Is My Experience?
    What work have I done? What am I inspired and motivated by? What am I passionate about?  What have I had to overcome and what are my triumphs?
  • What Value Do I Bring?
    What am I good at? What are my special skills? What has made me unique and special? Why do people love me, and what do I do to maintain that? What kind of attitude do I have? What can I do for others? What makes me successful that is not about my technical experience?

We spend everyday with ourselves and sometimes we forget what makes us special. After answering these questions, a few unique personal events, values, and passions should emerge about yourself that that you may have forgotten. These will form the foundation of your personal story which is pure connection currency.

With all the pieces of your personal story laid out in front of you, the next step is to assemble it into something that can really pack a punch.

Assembling Your Story

After thinking about the above questions, you should have an idea of what your personal story might be. But it might still be a bit raw, a random assortment of personal facts.

To create a fully-formed, powerful, personal story, you need to take those personal facts and turn them into a narrative that shows your strength, skills, passions, and values.

Your personal story should be the answer to the following question: how would you explain your personal story in a way that is brief, interesting, and that people can connect with?

Your personal story isn’t a script per se, but instead a framework or outline for how you present yourself. As an example, maybe you have overcome a difficult childhood experience that now fuels you to help others. Your story would explain why that particular event fuels you, what you learned from it, and how you are using that experience to help others.

While this example story would be unique to you, anyone could connect with it because everyone faces challenges at some point in their life. Overcoming challenges is a part of the human experience. And that is the purpose of your story: to give people a chance to connect with you over a shared experience and foster a genuine relationship

Share Your Story Every Day

From recent college graduates to ex-Marines, I work with people all the time who have an amazing personal story, who know they have an amazing story but, before working with us, simply never tell it.

And this is tragic because their stories are so powerful. I, for one, use my personal story everyday to motivate my colleagues, pitch potential clients, connect with my current clients, or just start a conversation at the gym. It is my offering to others for them to latch on to, connect and identify with, and use as a way to bridge the gap between others.

Your story can do the same. Whether you are speaking to an interviewer or a potential client, your listener is going to feel differently about you if they feel they share a genuine connection with you. You become “the guy who overcame X…” or “the young women who successfully did Y.” And that is exactly what you want.

Storytelling is an art and the people I coach to help develop their personal story put a lot of time and effort into developing it into something that maximizes its punch. It can take over 100 times practicing your story to get it right.  After they put the work in, telling their story becomes natural and a critical tool that they can use in an endless number of situations, helping them to make important connections every single day.  It is the absolute secret to getting the guy, the girl, the sale, the promotion, the win, the mentorship!

Go friggin tell your story, please!

How to Tell Your Story

“We all have a life story and a message that can inspire others to live a better life or run a better business. Why not use that story and message to serve others and grow a real business doing it?” – Brendon Burchard

What do the most powerful movies, influential books, and engaging communicators all have in common?

They tell a great story.

From ancient cave drawings and religious texts, to Shakespeare and the best series on Netflix, we learn from, and are inspired by, the art of storytelling. The best businesses market through telling stories. The best public speakers connect with us through telling stories. And in order for all of us to be our best, we must be in the story business.

No matter how charming or charismatic you are (or are not), no matter what industry you’re in, being able to tell your story is a must to perform at your best. The art of story telling allows you to convey who you are, what you stand for, what skills you have, and how you can help others in an engaging way so that people want to listen. In order to connect deeper in your personal and professional life, you must learn to communicate who you are in a way that’s interesting and authentic—a.k.a. through delivering your story.

In the past few articles in this series, we have identified your skills, values, passions, and personal brandstamp. These are all the important elements that will help you define your story so you can create relevance and connect deeper with others. The secret to success in building relationships (the #1 most important skill in business) is sharing clear, concise information that conveys your values through a great story. This allows you to build connection and rapport with anyone—customers, managers, employees, coworkers, etc.

Boring presentations are bogged down with dull information. Fascinating presentations have drama and arcs. If you look at the most popular TEDx talks, you’ll notice they have many common threads:

  • They build trust and credibility
  • They create common ground and connect on a deeper emotional level (humor, awe, inspirational, etc.)
  • They give meaning to their journey and make us feel like we’re on it too
  • They show humility and wisdom
  • They inspire action

You can take away some of these common traits to tell your own great story using emotion, humor, irony, self-deprecation, and drama.

I probably tell 50 stories a day, using each one to make a point to the audience or person I’m speaking with. Whether it’s a Q & A for a corporation, I’m out at dinner with a friend, on a phone call with business partner, or simply out and about, there is a right moment to tell a specific story. You don’t just want to spill out any random story, especially if it’s the wrong situation.

Whether you’re speaking to a room of 100 people or your friend at the park, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Take the temperature before sharing: who is my audience and what’s the vibe like?
  • What does this person need? How can I share something they will understand, relate to, and as a result lean in…Is it info about a customer? A cool project? A meaningful solution?
  • What is special about you and them in the moment? What brings you to together? What bonds do you share? How can you connect to win them over?

The key is using what you have in the moment, and making it relevant (whether it’s a news story or a funny incident that happened during breakfast, it doesn’t matter.) If you’re struggling, there are some common topics that are almost always winners: kids, puppies, sports, and culture.

You can practice the art of great storytelling by paying more attention to the events in your everyday life and asking yourself, how can I bring the things that happen in my life and share them through story-telling to create connected relationships? The more you practice, the better you get. And the more skilled you get, the better you will be able to deliver your own story.

Putting together the puzzle pieces of your story

At launchbox, we’ve trained thousands of millennials and managers on how to tell their own unique story through exercises, workshops, and coaching. Here are three essential questions we’ve distilled that can help you put together the foundation of your own story:

  1. Who am I? Where was I born? Where do I come from? Who is my family? What is my background—my family identity? What am I grateful for? What and who have made me who I am?
  2. What is my experience? What work have I done? What am I inspired and motivated by? What am I passionate for and about? What have I had to overcome, and what are my triumphs?
  3. What value do I bring? What am I good at? What are my special skills? What has made me unique and special? Why do people love me, and what do I do to maintain that? What kind of attitude do I have? What can I do for others? What about me makes me successful that is not about my technical experience?

Look for overlapping connections with your skills, values, and passions. And remember: your story is not a word-for-word script. It is simply a framework for understanding yourself in a manner that allows you to interact with people and communicate who you are. It is a human connection currency.

Obviously, you don’t want to puke out your entire life story and bore somebody to death. You will probably share little parts of your story here and there when communicating with someone. Always keep in mind the specific situation and gauge how much you feel called to share. It’s like building a block tower. Start with the base blocks, and as you connect deeper and talk more, you can add the middle and top layers of your story.

Lastly, understand that telling your story is not bragging. In fact, the secret sauce to telling a great story is exactly the opposite. A powerful story communicates in a way that allows others to resonate with what you’re sharing. It builds trust and connection. When crafting your story, keep that in mind. It’s not so much “what” happened to you, but learning to convey the significance of events and allowing others to feel your emotions (the common ground that ties us all together.)

Curious to learn more about how you can deliver a kickass story in the workplace and life? Check out Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace .

Celebrating Independence TODAY: Empower Your Team to be Interdependent

On this day 240 years ago, thirteen colonies broke away from Great Britain, forming a new nation, the United States of America. The earned independence and freedom we celebrate today is what makes the U S so incredible. Like the founding fathers, launchbox views independence as a necessary trait for next generation leaders.

The problem is that millions of millennials may not really understand independence. It’s not their fault. Think about it: although they ooze independence they may not actually get it. Here are some of the astounding facts:

  • for the first time since 1880, young adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to live with a parent than in any other arrangement.[1]
  • 25 percent of people ages 25 to 29 live with a parent, up from 18 percent a decade ago[2]
  • 43 percent of millennials aged 30 to 33 are still financially dependent on their parents[3]

In his international best seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey brilliantly describes the process of maturation: dependence  → independence   interdependence.

  • Dependence is the stage where we are reliant on others to take care of us, a state of weakness and powerlessness. Called childhood.
  • As we grow into adulthood and learn to do things on our own, we become capable of taking care of ourselves and start becoming independent. Called young workforce (millennials).
  • Once we learn independence, we then become ripe for working at the highest level where the greatest human achievements occur: interdependence. This is where independent, capable individuals come together as a team to achieve a common goal or purpose. Like the connection of Youth and Experience. And this is where the magic happens. Called teams.

But before any group of individuals or organization can achieve interdependence, all members of a team must first learn to be independent. So let’s be grateful this 4th of July and demonstrate it by giving. Giving the commitment to teach our young millennials in and out of the workforce how to become a become confident communicators, and as a result, independent rock stars that deliver for the Team.

1.) Teach them how to communicate by using the WIFThem method

When I first heard that millennials were bringing their parents along for job interviews, I almost lost it. But this sad truth reveals that many millennials simply don’t know how to communicate. They don’t know how to showcase their skillset in a manner both relevant and valuable to whomever they’re speaking to.

At launchbox, we use the WIFThem approach. WIFThem stands for “What’s in it for them?” In other words, effective communicators understand how to deliver information in a way that’s relevant and important to the person they’re speaking to. Here’s an example of a statement without, and then with, WIFThem:

Average communicator: “I can analyze a spreadsheet.”

Vs.

WIFThem communicator: “I can process complex, quantitative data and info to help leaders give detailed advice to clients and managers.”

See the difference? By teaching millennials to use the WIFThem approach, they learn to communicate how their attributes will be of meaning and value. Let’s do us all a favor and make sure no more parents are attending their millennial (adult!) kid’s interviews.

2.) Show them how to deliver their story

We all must be in the story business. The best speeches and business books present ideas and lessons through stories. The best commercials and advertisements convince us to buy certain products because the stories they tell resonate with us on an emotional level.

At launchbox, we ask three important questions that help people of all ages identify who they are so they can communicate their story effectively and powerfully:

  1. Who am I?

  2. What is my experience?

  3. What value do I bring?

The answer to these questions can manifest in a variety of ways. But regardless of the answer, these questions will help someone uncover their identity and core. By answering these questions (however that looks for you personally) you are already on your way to delivering a powerful story.

Effective communication is key for a person to become independent and any company to become interdependent. As you celebrate the independence of the United States of America today, utilize these concepts in your home or workplace to develop independent, high performing millennials today!

Chasing Relevance by Dan Negroni

Want to learn more about how to communicate effectively, deliver your story and become an independent all star? Grab a copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace.

 

[1] Clair, Ben St. “Seven Habits Study Guide/Paradigms and Principles.” – Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.

[2] 2 Clair, Ben St. “Seven Habits Study Guide/Paradigms and Principles.” – Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.

[3] Henderson, J. Maureen. Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.

 

6 Ways to Ace an Interview

Resumes are important tools for your job search, but interviews are the key to moving from job seeker to happily employed. Right now, millennials in the job market are facing tough competition from both their peers and an older, often more experienced workforce—so knowing how to ace the interview is crucial.

Here are six ways you can make a strong, positive impression at your next interview, and land that perfect job.

  1. Do Your Homework

Career expert and Millennial Branding founder Dan Schawbel states one of the biggest problems employers have with millennials is that they aren’t prepared for interviews.

Thorough research is one of the best things you can do to prepare for job interviews. Find out as much as you can about the company and the person you’re interviewing with ahead of time by reading their website, searching them on Google, connecting on LinkedIn, checking out company reviews on sites like Glassdoor, and talking to current and former employees.

While you’re researching, think about how your skills and experience will benefit this company in particular.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Did you drive perfectly the first time you got behind the wheel of a car? If not, why would you go to an interview and expect to be amazing if you’ve never done it before (or you’ve done it once or twice, but not very well)? Just like any other skill, practice makes perfect when it comes to interviewing.

There are several ways you can practice interviewing before you go for the real thing. Mock interviews with a professional can not only help you get some interview time in, but also provide you with feedback to improve your interviewing skills. You can also try practice interviews with a friend, or video yourself answering interview questions so you can review and analyze your performance.

  1. Bring a Business Card

To most millennials, this advice might sound archaic. After all, everything is online these days, and no one carries around those little rectangles of paper with printed contact information when you can just text or email.

In an interview with Business Insider, Schawbel recommended that millennial job seekers can benefit from having a business card to hand interviewers “because people don’t expect you to have that.” Where business cards used to be an expectation, they’re practically a novelty in the digital age—and employers will remember you for having them.

They’re also very affordable, with sites like VistaPrint.com offering 100 custom business cards for around $10.

  1. Bring Samples of Your Work

Chances are, you’ve already sent potential employers a link to your online portfolio or other samples of your work when you submitted your resume. But if you’re looking to ace the interview, bring copies with you—especially if you’re applying for a creative position like marketing or design.

Directing employers to a link or website during an interview can be awkward, or even annoying. Instead, have a thumb drive you can hand to the interviewer with your work pre-loaded, so your accomplishments can conveniently speak for themselves.

  1. Ask Great Questions

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for an interview is to come up with great questions to ask your interviewer. Use all that research you’ve done on the company to formulate interesting, well-informed questions that demonstrate your knowledge, and prove you really want to work for this company.

Virtually every interview is guaranteed to end with the interviewer asking whether you have any questions for them—but don’t save your questions until the end. Keep an ear out for strategic, relevant openings during the interview to ask your questions, and pay close attention to the responses.

Some sample questions you might ask your interviewer include:

  • Why did you choose to work for this company?
  • What is the workplace culture like here?
  • How would my performance be evaluated?
  • What challenges are facing [the department you’re interviewing for] right now?
  • Does the company encourage collaboration and innovation and how?
  1. Know Your ROI

When it comes to hiring, nearly every employer is looking for a return on their investment. When you arrive at an interview, be prepared to show them the numbers.

Your resume should contain this information as well. Make sure you can demonstrate ways you’ve been able to decrease costs, increase revenues, improve processes, or boost returns for past employers. If this will be your first job, have some prepared ROI statements for school accomplishments or personal projects.

Keep in mind that an interview is your chance to show an employer why they can’t afford not to hire you.

The #1 Most Important Communication Tool

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “communication tool”? Most people might think of phones or email, or apps that streamline communication. Some might even think of speaking or writing as basic, essential tools for communication.

But in reality, the most important tool we have for communication is our ears.

Listening is the key to effective communication. The ability to truly pay attention to what someone else is saying improves not only the quality of what we hear and understand, but also the enthusiasm and engagement of the other person involved in the communication.

Here’s why listening is crucial, and how you can improve your listening skills to significantly increase the effectiveness of your communication.

Being present in an age of distraction

Everyone has tried to hold a conversation with someone who’s busy texting, checking their messages, or using an app on their mobile device. Smartphones and tablets are fully integrated into our culture—so firmly that many people aren’t even aware of their reliance on these devices, or how often they’re using them.

If you’re used to multi-tasking, the first step to improving your communication is teaching yourself to listen without distractions. This means putting the phone down while you’re talking to someone, whether you’re at work, at home, or out and about. Implementing this practice yourself can also encourage others to ignore their devices and be more present, which strengthens your relationships.

Catching non-verbal cues

When you’re truly listening, you’re able to interpret non-verbal cues that can be easily miss if you’re distracted or not paying attention. Communication experts say that up to 85% of communication is non-verbal—including physical movements, eye contact, posture, and physiological presence.

Non-verbal cues can help you understand what someone is really saying, even if the context isn’t clear. Another important part of active listening is paying attention to your own non-verbal signals, and making sure you’re demonstrating your interest levels through good eye contact, attentive posture, and a lack of distracted gestures.

Speaking in listening mode

Great listeners are able to demonstrate their attention through verbal as well as non-verbal cues. Verbal listening strategies include extending an open invitation to talk, encouraging the other person with a few brief words, and asking open-ended questions.

Inviting someone to talk can be as simple as reading their body language and asking about it. For example, if a person seems upset, you might say, “You look like something is bothering you. Want to talk about it?” Or if someone seems happy or excited, you could say, “It looks like you’ve had some good news. Do you want to share?” Once you’re engaged in a conversation, you can use short, encouraging phrases like “I see,” or “Go on,” to indicate that you’re listening and want to hear more.

Finally, great listeners use questions to connect and engage with others. They ask an open-ended question—one that invites a more thorough answer. For example, instead of asking, “Are you worried about the meeting tomorrow?” a good listener would say, “How do you feel about the meeting tomorrow?”

 

Developing your listening skills can vastly improve your communication, and help you advance in both your business and your personal life. How do you show others that you’re listening?

 

Are You Operating From Your Strengths? 3 Ways to Know

Whether you’re looking to land the perfect job or advance your current career, understanding and leveraging your strengths is one of the most important things you can do. When you operate from your strengths, you’ll have less stress, higher satisfaction, and greater productivity—and most importantly, you will be in complete alignment with yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re working against your strengths, your performance will suffer, your stress levels will increase, and you’ll find yourself stuck in your career and your life.

A strength is any ability you have that you are naturally inclined to do well, a natural talent …it’s where you perform at your highest and best. But how do you know what your strengths truly are?

To effectively leverage your strengths, you need to understand them beyond generic statements like “I’m good with people” or “I’m a fast learner.” Here are three ways you can determine your own strengths and put them to work for you to achieve bold success.

CONSIDER YOUR CORE VALUES

What’s important to you, both personally and professionally? Your values and your passions can help point you toward your strengths—people spend more time and energy on what’s important to them, and as a result, skills based on your values tend to improve at a faster rate.

Some common personal and professional values include:

  • Work-life balance
  • Physical and/or mental health and wellbeing
  • Job security
  • Financial gain
  • Respect and/or recognition
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Continuous learning / ongoing education
  • Helping others / giving back
  • Collaboration/ team environments
  • Creativity / innovation

 

LISTEN TO YOUR EMOTIONAL CUES

You will often know where your strengths lie on a subconscious level , but you may not have paid attention to how you feel when you’re performing certain activities so you can pinpoint them. Listen to your internal cues as you work and play to learn which activities bring you happiness and satisfaction. Do you feel confident and accomplished when you’re in a leadership position? Does it thrill you when you solve a complex problem? Do you enjoy brainstorming or taking a class?

 

GET A SECOND OPINION

Another way to identify your strengths is through the lens of other people. So ask them directly. Sit down with someone who knows you well, and ask them what they feel are your greatest strengths. The answers may surprise you.

You can also consider other people’s responses to your efforts. For example, if you enjoy organizing events, do you typically have a lot of people show up? Do they enjoy the events, and come back for others you organize? Positive actions are a strong confirmation of your strengths.

Finally, if you’re unable to identify any of your strengths innately, try adding new activities to your work or personal life. Choose something that aligns with your natural passions—and you may discover strengths you never expected to find, that could lead you in exciting new directions.

 

DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS

At launchbox, we use Gallup’s Strengths Finder 2.0 book and online assessment. It’s a great tool that helps you identify your strengths, from 34 different themes, and gives you strategies for applying them to your life. Get Strengths Finder now and start living from your strengths.

Vianova Interviews CLO Dan Negroni

Earlier this week, the founder and president of ViaNova sat down to talk to our Chief Launch Officer, Dan Negroni, about launchbox and the millennial generation. The result is an awesome article on Vianova’s blog!

In the interview, Dan discusses how managers can harness the power of the millennial generation and the inevitable changes in the workforce. Check out the article and let us know what you think!

Top 7 Great Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

launchbox is all about asking questions! We firmly believe in the 80/20 rule: talking for only about 20% of the interview and asking insightful questions. Interviewers already have your resume, so you should stop talking about yourself and ask the important questions.

One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked is ‘if I am supposed to be asking questions, what kind should I be asking?” Are some questions better than others? YES!

Careerbliss.com asked hiring managers what was the most impressive question they have received. Here are the best 7 answers that could totally get you hired.

Check these out and try them at your next interview!

 

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Are you asking the right question to get the job?

Watch this video and clue in to the statement in the middle.  Get the job by focusing on what you can do to help.  The secret to life is making it about everyone else and not you.  My favorite saying, “Guess what it’s not about you.”  Make it about others and win the job, the sale and the girlfriend/boyfriend….  Ask how can I help you?

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/good-news-millennials-big-company-might-actually-hire-172055048.html