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.

Work Life Balance

Work-Life Balance. What exactly does this mean to you?

A large majority of millennials rank Work-Life Balance extremely high on their list of things to consider before accepting or applying to a job opportunity. According to the PWC’s ‘Managing Tomorrows People’ study, 95% of millennials studied said a work/life balance is important to them.

Recently, Forbes release a list of 20 jobs that offer the best work-life balance and why. Some seem exciting, some seem unusual, and some are surprising. Did the list surprise you as much as it surprised me? Check out the reasons behind this list here.

The List

  1. Data Scientist
  2. SEO Specialist
  3. Tour Guide
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Social Media Manager
  6. Group Fitness Instructor
  7. User Experience Director
  8. Corporate Communications
  9. Firefighter
  10. Equity Trader
  11. Law Clerk
  12. Investment Analyst
  13. Administrative Assistant
  14. Office Assistant
  15. Sales Representative
  16. Help Desk Technician
  17. Substitute Teacher
  18. Carpenter
  19. Real Estate Broker
  20. Game Designer

Did any of these jobs catch your eye? If so, launchbox can help make them attainable. Come in to get your launch plan and discover the necessary tools to start the career you want today! A perfect work-life balance is closer than you may think!

 

Millennials Just Want To Have Fun

Time flies when you are having fun, right? But how many times have you stared at the clock waiting for a work day to end? Chances are, unless you work for an exceptionally innovative company, most people wouldn’t describe their workplaces as “fun”.

However, many millennials crave a fun ad innovative work environment. The main reason millennials switch companies is boredom, and an exciting work environment is likely to help retain employees. Studies show, when employees feel they are enjoying themselves, they become more creative, and more efficient. Companies like Facebook and Google have embraced the ‘fun’ work environment, and are shining examples of success.

At launchbox, we strive to create a fun work environment that keeps our team upbeat and innovative. Members of the team should be excited to come into work, not dreading it, and a fun work environment is conducive to that.

Check out the Forbes article regarding why a ‘fun’ work environment is so important for the incoming workforce.

Secrets Behind Retaining Millennials

“I’m not going to hire millennials because they are just going to leave in a few years anyway, so what is the point.” If we had a dollar for everytime we heard that we would be retired on a tropical island by now. On the surface, this statement raises a valid point: why hire people that will just leave? Those darn millennials are just so indecisive!

At launchbox, we find quite a few faults with this statement.

The first is that we, as a society, are getting to a point where we are no longer going to have the option to bypass hiring millennials. According to CICSO’s Millennial Research, “75,000,000 millennials are joining or looking to join the work force” and “by 2025 about 75% of the workforce will be millennials”. What are you going to do, scour the 25% of non-millennial workforce until you find a 50 year old willing to accept a starting salary? Good luck with that. Plus millennials think differently, are innovative, and create real diversity in the workplace. How about that for changing results against your competitors?

The second flaw with the reasoning is that millennials wouldn’t leave companies so frequently if these companies would learn to attract and retain millennials. Companies can’t expect to treat millennials the same way they treated incoming employees 30 years ago and achieve the same result. In fear of sounding too obvious, the generations are vastly different!

Millennials grew up in the digital age, and they don’t know any differently than to use the technology they grew up with. Information is at their fingertips, and everything is immediate. They would rather work harder than longer, which frankly makes a lot of sense to me. If I could complete a project in 4 hours with the same level of quality as a co-worker who took 8 hours but wasn’t as efficient, why wouldn’t you.

Millennials work differently, and have different expectations from a workplace. If you and your company met more of those expectations, maybe millennials wouldn’t ‘jump around’ as often.

Is it your duty to meet the needs of your employees? You ultimately get to choose.  Zappos and Google chose, and who wants to work there: most everybody. You may ask, why? Because they just get it.

As always, we’d love to know what you think.

 

Labor Day: The New (labor) Rules for Millennials

With the memories of Labor Day still on our minds while at work today, its important to keep in mind why we celebrate the holiday. Not only do we appreciate all the work we do everyday, but we are given the opportunity to appreciate all the hard work others do that makes the world go round.

This insightful blog takes an interesting spin on Millennials and hard work.

The author’s perspective is right in line with lunchbox’s views of millennials. The article touches on research about millennials and their ability to innovate the workplace. It also lists some interesting advice to millennials that is new and refreshing.

Check out the article and let us know what you think!

Millennial Managers

There is no avoiding millennials! For those of you not embracing the millennial generation and all they have to offer: you better start! According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey, by 2025, Millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce.

At launchbox we typically focus on bridging the gap between millennials and managers, but what happens when a millennial becomes your manager? In Good Company comedically highlighted this situation (although 99.9% of millennial bosses will not date your daughters, but we make no promises).

Millennials as managers have the same attributes as when they were employees, although it now becomes increasingly important to learn to work with them. And before you write off your younger manager with phrases like “they are just a kid, how much can they really know,” remember that the current generation of 26-33 year olds is the most educated generation in history.

TIME wrote an article entitled 5 Ways to Deal With a Millennial Boss Driving You Nuts. Instead of complaining that your younger boss is ‘driving you nuts’ because they don’t work the same way you do, check out this article.

Millennial bosses are quickly becoming unavoidable, so figure out how to work with yours fast, before they find someone else that can.

Don’t Be A Lumbergh: Learn How to Effectively Manage Millennial Employees

At launchbox we aim to bridge the gap between millennials and the workplace.

Lets face it; millennials behave much differently than older generations. Whether it was growing up with technology at our fingertips or coming out of college during a harsh recession, the bottom line is still the same: Millennials have different expectations from the workplace. While Gen X might want a clear direct order of what needs to be done, a millennial might want to work step-by-step with the manager while the task is being completed. Neither method is better than the other; they are just different.

The difficult part is convincing both millennials and older generations that they don’t think the same way as the other generation. Instead of wondering why your employees aren’t fulfilling tasks the way you would, or why your managers are not managing the way you would like, it is important to learn how the other generation thinks and acts in the workplace. Simply tweaking the way that managers interact with millennials can improve morale and efficiency.

The Huffington Post published an insightful article called “What Every Employer Needs to Know About Gen Y”. In the article, millennials listed things they wished managers could know about their ideal workplace.

So listen up!

Millennials are saying things like “I have to like you or respect you as a person”, because ‘hating your boss but loving your job’ won’t cut it for millennials. If employees don’t like the office environment, don’t expect them to stay loyal to the company. Think Office Space, but a little less dramatic. Others include “It’s not about the paycheck, I want to feel like I’m a part of something” and “let me represent my work” because a sense of ownership is very important to millennials. If they can take pride in their work, the work will improve.

These suggestions are simple, and come at little to no costs to companies, but if taken seriously and implemented, will have a profound positive impact on your employees and company.

Other simple suggestions are in the article, here.

As always, let us know your thoughts!

Millennials: The Nation’s Most Dogged Optimists

Most adults, when asked the difference between millennials and Gen X, would say that millennials are more self-centered. They have been described as a ‘me generation’, always needing constant gratification and attention. Time Magazine even featured a cover article called “The Me Me Me Generation! Millennials are Lazy, Entitled, Narcissists”(Is it narcissistic if I get offended by that because I think millennilas are awesome?).

The Pew Research center wasn’t satisfied either with settling on a word like ‘narcissistic’ to describe this growing generation (and neither should you, quite frankly) so they interviewed about 50 million millennials to gain deeper insight into what makes the generation of 20-35 year olds tick.

Their findings offer a new perspective on what it means to ‘be millennial”.

They found that millennials are not attached to wealth. Many would rather make less in a job they love than make more in a job they don’t have a passion for. They value making a difference over making money, with many college grads applying for Peace Corps and Teach for America rather than heading for Wall Street. They are much more health conscious, choosing naturally raised organic meat and produce. As this NYT Article points out, “these habits and tastes look less like narcissism than communalism”. Highlighting popular millennilas like Lebron James, Brandon Stanton (writer of Humans of New York blog), and many more, the NYT exemplifies how millennials are not narcissistic, but empathetic.

Read the insightful article here and let us know what you think!

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!

Are Company Dress Codes Getting Too Casual?

 

Business casual or “flip flop Fridays”, THAT is the question.

Recently, there has been a trend in many companies to ‘loosen the ties’ on corporate dress codes, so to speak. Many innovative companies, like Google, Apple, and Facebook, are ditching the suits in exchange for a more laid-back dress code. The thought behind the change is that the more relaxed dress code will inspire innovation and creativity. If you have seen The Intership, then you know how relaxed and innovative the Google headquarters are, so it should come as no surprise that employees dress casually with very few restrictions. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, was recently spotted at a conference wearing open toed Nike sandals and slouchy jeans. These successful CEOs would rather have employees focus on the work the are doing than if their clothes are work appropriate.

We, at launchbox, believe in being comfortable and have no formal dress code, although all employees consistently show up looking put together. Outfits are never sloppy, but the laid-back dress code allows employees to fell comfortable in the office. We would rather focus on getting work done than spend time enforcing dress code rules.

However, while innovation is desirable, is it wise to ditch the formal dreads in more corporate offices? Should the partners of a law firm be sporting baseball caps and clever graphic tees? There is definitely a line between causal and sloppy, but where is that line drawn, and who draws it? How do we decide between looking professional and being comfortable? Do we have to choose?

This Fast Company article addresses many of those questions, and poses a few more. We would love to know what you think!