475: Break Out Of Your Career Funk By Digging Into Your Strengths

Not feeling like yourself in your career? Get out of your career funk by using your strengths to become the truest version of yourself at work.


on this episode

Strengths are what make you uniquely you! Understanding your strengths, and how they work for you, is one of the first steps we emphasize when hopeful career changers approach us. Digging into your strengths will lead you to knowing how you can be the truest version of yourself at work.

“When you want to do work that has an impact, and you want to do work that feels good, and you want to work for a company that believes what you believe in, and their “why” is a “why” you feel so connected to… that is why we need to get so far into our strengths, because that sets us on the path to knowing how to find that “unicorn role.”

In this episode, Cindy & Kate explore diving into your strengths, narrowing your career search and finding a role that fits you (+brings you happiness and fulfillment!)

What you’ll learN

  • How to evaluate if you’re working within your strengths in your role
  • How to use your strengths as tools in your career search 
  • The correlation between introspection and true career happiness 
  • How to differentiate your skills from your strengths

Success Stories

“It’s hard to find something that fits, that’s why so many people change careers. When I finally understood my strengths and how I could apply them it all made sense. It just made it easier to see what types of jobs and roles would fit me. In my new career I get to do the marketing that I love with a company I’m excited about.”

Kirby Verceles, Sales & Marketing Director

I’ve been offered the job! It was great having the opportunity to speak with you prior to my interview. It enabled me to highlight my strengths as part of the conversation and I was able to be clear about my enthusiasm for opportunities to be proactive versus reactive. I also highlighted my desire to provide positive individual experiences. Our discussion not only assisted me in the interview but it also helped to increase my confidence!

Bree Hunter, Project Officer, Australia

All the stars aligned and I ended up finding the right thing at the right place at the right time, and it was you guys! Everything that you said was speaking to me and the things that you had done in the job that you had transitioned out of and into. Also how finding work that you love is your passion for people! Honestly, it was you Scott, I mean, the way that you talked about it, how passionate you were, I was like, there's no way he's gonna put out a faulty product. So I'm gonna try it, you know… I recommend you to all my friends, you know, even if they don't realize that they're looking for a new job, I'm like this is the first step, let's do this! Even if you maybe don't move out of this career. This is going to help!

Maggie Romanovich, Director of Learning and Development, United States/Canada

My favorite part was focusing on the signature strengths. I really liked that concept and hadn't heard it before. I realize I'll never be a singer or a triathlete… Then focusing on what it is that I really want to do. I also liked that both of you were pretty transparent with your stories regarding career and finances. That is always uplifting, knowing you speak from experience.

Lily Kreitlinger, Senior Instructional Designer, United States/Canada

Cindy Gonos 00:01

So that her signature strengths really come into play, right? Because it's not just about what you can do well, it's about what you can do well and enjoy.

Introduction 00:16

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:40

Okay, it's Scott. But you're not going to hear from me in this episode, because I'm taking some of our HTYC advice, and I'm stepping away from work. And this time for an entire month to be able to spend time with my family, and unplug. So I'm not going to be on this episode, or the next few. I am leaving you in great hands, of the Happen To Your Career podcast team, I know you're gonna love it.

Kate Wilkes 01:03

Hey, everybody. It's Kate. Cindy and I are back today taking over the podcast yet again. Hey, Cindy.

Cindy Gonos 01:10

Hey, Kate! Can you believe they let us do this again?

Kate Wilkes 01:13

I think that they probably haven't listened to our first one if they're letting us... No, I'm teasing.

Cindy Gonos 01:18

That's right.

Kate Wilkes 01:18

I'm so excited. They're letting us do this again.

Cindy Gonos 01:20

Me too.

Kate Wilkes 01:21

I love it. Our plan for today is to talk about strengths, right? We always love to talk about strengths here at HTYC. But more specifically, even then, that, we really got to talk about what strengths really are. Because I feel like some people don't know, and how we can make the most of those strengths. Well, we're trying to make a bigger career change, which we know everybody does, there's probably... Scott could probably tell us the statistic on the average number of times a person makes a career change through the duration of their working years. But for me, it's probably higher than most, for you, it's probably higher than most. So when we're thinking about making those career changes, your strength is really what comes into play. Strengths are the bomb. They're like our little secret weapons. And today, I think, Cindy and I are going to try, anyway, to show you how we've used them and how you can use them in career change.

Cindy Gonos 02:13

Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the things with strengths, though, is that a lot of times we get confused, or we don't know the difference between our skills and our strengths. I think that sometimes we're not 100% sure, which is which. So for Kate, for you, when you're thinking about strengths... no, skills. Let's talk about skills. When you're thinking about skills, what things come to mind?

Kate Wilkes 02:36

Skills are like tangible things that, like, you learn how to do them, and maybe you start a new job and they say, "These are the skills you need to be able to do." And they don't come naturally to you always. But you can get really good at them. Like you can hone those skills and practice those skills and make processes and just get good at stuff.

Cindy Gonos 02:56

Yeah, for sure. I hear that. So when I think about skills, the first thing that comes to my mind and not to, like, date myself, we were doing it all the time– dating ourselves all the time. The first thing I think about when somebody starts talking about skills is I think about Napoleon Dynamite.

Kate Wilkes 03:12

Of course, who doesn't?

Cindy Gonos 03:13

Everything to me has like a movie reference. But I'm always... in the scene of Napoleon Dynamite when he's talking about how nobody wants to go out with him and Pedro's like, "Have you asked anybody?" And he's like, "No", he's like, "Who would I ask?" And then he says, "But I don't even have any good skills" And Pedro's like, "What do you mean?" And he's like, "You know, nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills" girls dealing with boyfriends who have great skills, though, like when I think of skills, it's those things. It's like, do I have, like, Ninja skills? Do I have that sort of skill? That's what I always think of, skills are like, you have, like, those things that you need to master.

Kate Wilkes 03:49

I do not have ninja skills. I have no ninja skills.

Kate Wilkes 03:53

I always trying to improve my Ninja skills. But I think that skills are those things where it's the stuff you pick up along the way on your journey, right. So for example, some people may get certifications and stuff. Did you know, Kate, that I am a certified pool operator?

Kate Wilkes 04:13

I did. But I don't think that is an obvious thing that most people would think about you.

Cindy Gonos 04:18

It's a skill, right? It's a skill that I needed to have for a role that I was doing. So I picked up that skill. So strengths are a little bit different, right? So when you think of strengths, and you, we talk about strengths a lot, you work with our strengths a lot. So when you're thinking about strengths, what do you know about strengths?

Kate Wilkes 04:42

Yeah, I tell you what, I know a lot more over the last two years of working here at HTYC about strengths than I ever knew. And I had done my strengths before because we live in our strengths. The strengths are just things that you are like, naturally or inherently just good at, things that you just can't help but doing well. We call them our superpowers, right? They come naturally. We're gifted with them. And if you don't know what they are, we're really cheating ourselves, right?

Cindy Gonos 05:13

Yes. And I think you said something really important because you said we're going to cheat ourselves on it, right, because I think the trickiest part about strengths, I always say this to folks, the trickiest part about strengths is because they come so naturally to us. And for a lot of us, even those of us that aren't that humble, we leave something comes to easily, we often dismiss it, right? Everybody can do that. Anybody can do that. Because it comes with so much ease for us. So I think a tricky thing that we have to learn to do is to recognize those strengths, and know what they're about.

Kate Wilkes 05:50

And you're so right on about how we dismiss them. We think that just because we're good at something that it must not be hard, or it must be, it must not take the talent, or it must not take any important skill or work. And so like we just discount it, and we're really just... it's a superpower. So here at HTYC, we we work on our strengths, our whole team does our strengths once a year together, and we talk about them and we go through them. And we know where we can leverage people on the team, because of their strengths. But so if you've listened to our podcasts before, you know that we tell our clients, you've heard Scott, we help our clients really focus on what we call the signature strengths. You've probably heard us talk about those before. But these are the things that really make you uniquely you. And it's important to know what they are– they could be your superpower. It's important to know that you have these superpowers when you're making a career change and what they are.

Cindy Gonos 06:44

You are telling me earlier when we were talking about this topic, and you gave the best analogy and you're talking about Iron Man. Could you share that? Because I just was like "yes", for some reason, that made perfect sense to me.

Kate Wilkes 07:01

I think of Iron man every time we talk about our strengths being our superpowers because I love the Avengers, shout out to them if they're listening. Mr. Stark is my favorite Avenger ever. Robert Downey Jr., if you're listening to the HTYC podcast, Cindy is dying now. Okay, I'm a fan girl. So when we talk about our strengths being our superpowers, I think about Ironman, right? Tony Stark's just a dude with attitude and money. Okay, so he's just Tony Stark, he's doing his thing. And then he needs to be Iron Man, there's a need for Iron Man. We got to save the day, Iron Man, get your suit on. He puts on the helmet, strength. He puts on the suit, the arms, the legs, he stepped into the boots, it covers him. He can now fly, he has weapons, he can shoot at the bad guys, he has superhuman strength. He has that entire system of armor. And these are the things that make him strong, right?

Cindy Gonos 07:59

I love that analogy. Because when we're talking about the career change process, and we're talking about strengths, it's almost like you need all of those components, right? Like, you can't just throw a helmet and be like, "Boom! Done. Ready to save the world." Like you need to have those other pieces to build it for you. And when you are able to recognize your strengths, you're able to, more importantly, right? Because it's, real talk, okay, it's one thing to know your strengths, right, to understand that. But it's a whole other thing where you can say, "Okay, what do these strengths do that make me the realest version of myself?" So when we think about signature strengths are a mix of things. It's a mix of the things that you are naturally good at. But then also the things that you've done, your experience, all the things that you've seen, and all the jobs that you have, and the roles, and the good and bad, and the ugly, and all that kind of stuff. And then the other part of that puzzle, and I think it's the part that people forget about, it makes my heart cry, is that piece... that's the thing that they actually care about, right? The things that are valuable to them, their interests, the things that make them curious. So it's not like "Oh, hey, make your side hustle. Or make your hobby your side hustle sort of thing." But how do you bring those components in? Because the best way to identify whether or not you're using a signature strengths is by how you feel when you're using that strength, right, not to get all “woowoo” or anything on people, but it's that feeling that you get when you're in the zone, you're excited, you're gonna find new ways to use that strength, you're going to look for ways to share that with people. And we use the signature strengths to help our clients find, what we call the unicorn opportunity, right? We're a little bit obsessed with unicorn. Right? Yeah, because it's not just about the things that you're good at, but it's also about the things that you want to do and the things that you want out of a role and what's meaningful and impactful for you. It's just because you can do something, I say this all the time, it's like my mantra now, Kate, you know, it's my mantra. "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something." So that's for signature strengths really come into play. Because it's not just about what you can do well, it's about what you can do well and enjoy.

Kate Wilkes 10:24


Cindy Gonos 10:25

Amen on that. Can I get an amen?

Kate Wilkes 10:27

Amen. I think it's really important to double down on what you said there. It's one thing to know your strengths, but then making them work for you so that you can work happy, that's almost a skill that you have to build. You have to figure out, you have to go deeper, you have to really lean into your strengths, and you have to figure out when you're making a career change, if it's going to be something that uses your strengths, so that you can be happy, for sure. When you're trying to find that unicorn role, or even make a career change that might get you one step closer to that unicorn role, knowing your strengths is a huge advantage. You know what you're good at inherently, you know where you can be an asset, I can read a job description and tell you if my strengths are going to make me hate or love a job because I've dove into those strengths. And I have that deeper understanding of what I'm really naturally good at. And it's so helpful for when I'm looking for that next role. I always make a joke here, I have to stop and make a joke. Where was HTYC, Scott Anthony Barlow, where were you beyond two years ago when I made so many painful career changes? And now, I have all this wonderful knowledge, and I don't ever want to look for a job again. So you know, the best thing is that we can teach other people how to use it as well. So you know, when you want to do work that has an impact, and you want to do work that feels good, and you want to work for a company that believes what you believe in, and like their 'why' is a why that you just feel so connected to, hashtag Simon Sinek. Right? Like, that is why we need to get so far into our strengths, because that sets us on the path to knowing how to find that, quote unquote, unicorn role.

Cindy Gonos 12:16

Yeah, I love that. Yes. And also, yes, double time, Simon Sinek. See what you're doing. Okay, let's talk about it. Let's talk about our strengths, right? Let's talk about... we know our strengths, right? We've done this work, you and I have done this work to really kind of unpack where our strengths are, where our signature strengths are, how we use them. And it was funny, because we were joking a little bit earlier, we were talking about this, and I was like, "Would it be fair to say that we have our unicorn role? Would it be fair to say we're in an ideal situation?" I would say 'yes', for sure.

Kate Wilkes 12:48

I got a horn grown out of my head.

Cindy Gonos 12:49

Yeah. And we're going to show people like, why we think that, right? How that makes sense, right? So we're gonna start with talking about how do people figure out the base strengths, right? Because they gotta start somewhere. And I think this is a place where people do kind of get messed up, because they'll say, "Oh, let me write down my strengths." And then what do they do? They start writing those skills down. So there are ways, there are methods, there are things out there that you can do and you can use. And the one tool that we use here at HTYC is the StrengthFinders assessment, right. So when we're talking about our strengths, we're going to talk about them in the reference of using our StrengthFinders results, our top five strengths while we're doing that. So Kate, I'm gonna kind of walk you through how I do this when I'm talking to people because I really, really love doing this, right. Okay, so in the StrengthFinder's domain, that's what you said they called it, right, the domains.

Kate Wilkes 13:49

The domains.

Cindy Gonos 13:50

Okay, there are four domains of strengths in the Clifton StrengthsFinders assessment, and they are influencing, relationship building, executing, and strategic thinking. So just a little side note, for folks that aren't familiar with the StrengthFinders assessment, the words that you're going to see are big words, right? So Kate's top five are achiever, empathy, strategic, input, and responsibility. So these are really big words. Right? So I think one of the places that we start with clients is, what do those words mean to you? So we're just gonna kind of walk through them Kate, right? So achiever is a strength that's in the executing domain. So I want to know how you relate to that strength? How you use that strength and about how the superpowerness of it comes through?

Kate Wilkes 14:50

Yeah. This is funny because all of my life, I've felt like the girl that gets stuff done. And long before I ever took the assessment for the first time, probably three years ago, four years ago, I knew I was a doer. And that is one reason I spent so much of my time assisting people in life is because I just... I'm an achiever, I like to get stuff done. If we've got a goal, how are we gonna get there? So that really helped. I think that really helps around here in HTYC land, when we have a project going, and we need help getting to the end of it and getting to good results. And just handling stuff and getting it done, I love to make a checklist and start checking stuff off. That's the core of an achiever, I feel like.

Cindy Gonos 15:35

It fills your bucket to get it done. Right?

Kate Wilkes 15:37

That feels great. Yeah, absolutely. And then for my empathy, also, it's funny. And if you've never taken StrengthsFinder before, once you take it, I feel like it gives you a little mirror into yourself, and you're like, "Oh my gosh, this is why I've always done XYZ so well", or, you know, "this is why I'm good at this thing." So my empathy is strong with this one always. We have Samantha on our team, we talk about her harmony, she wants everybody to get along, right? Mine is the empathy. So with empathy, when you work with a group of people, you kind of can put yourself in their shoes a lot, and it helps you to really relate to and understand people. And that's what I love about my empathy superpower. So I use that a lot. I use it on people, I can come to wherever somebody is. And I like tha. I like that I have that strength. My strategic...

Cindy Gonos 16:30

They had you for owning a positive mind. The thing that we didn't do is maybe we made the assumption that everybody already knows what we do here. So maybe we should tell them what our roles are so it makes more sense, right?

Kate Wilkes 16:45


Cindy Gonos 16:46

Kate, tell the folks at home what your role is. So then this is kind of going to make sense too.

Kate Wilkes 16:50

What my role is... We, here at HTYC, wear many hats. We are a small group of people, I'm going into my customer service voice, a small group of people getting a lot of stuff done. So I started out as Scott's executive assistant, if you listen to mine and Cindy's other episode, you might have already known all this. But immediately there was room for growth in this company as we had people exiting, and Scott would bring to me, "So I would like for you to try to do X." And I would say, "Oh, I've never done that before, let me get on it. And I'll see if I can do it." And some of those things were way outside of my strengths. But it was a great time of learning for me. So now, I help with bringing new members of the team on finding those right people to fit with our team and bringing them on, equipping them to do, you know, setting them up for success on the team, giving them all the knowledge. And then I also am a team leader. So I have a couple of amazing team members that I focus on supporting every day. And like I said, we wear a lot of hats. But I'm one of those people that will, if it needs to be done, I like to to help doing it, to do it. So wearing a lot of hats for me is not a scary place to be.

Cindy Gonos 18:10

Thank you. I wanted to be able for us to put it in context for folks that are listening. So I know for me when folks start telling me about their roles and what they do, I tried to do like, "can I guess their strengths? Can I guess their strengths?" Or if I know their strengths, and we're talking, I can kind of see, "Oh, I see you. I see you using that strength." So okay, I'm sorry, Kate, keep going. So we talked about empathy, which makes sense, because you already mentioned some things in your role, where you're really using that empathy and releasing that achiever a lot. So okay, we'll keep going. This is all gonna, like, make a beautiful thing here.

Kate Wilkes 18:48

And the next two are another one of my dominating domains or types of strengths, which is strategic thinking. I've always been a strategic thinker. I feel like I was raised in a family of strategic thinkers. But the strategic strength allows me to kind of see what we need to do in order to either keep something from going down the wrong path or keep it on the right path. And here at HTYC, especially, I can really use my strategic thinking hat to help us make sure that we're on track and versus off track. So that's always fun. We do a lot of big funky stuff here. So we have a few strategic thinkers as well. So we try to use those strengths to make sure that we're doing what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. And the one that's like the sister to that is the input. You can't be as strategic if you haven't gathered that knowledge. So the input strengths, if you've never heard about it, it's somebody who likes to collect knowledge. And I did not go to college. You know, I had other... There was other plans for my life. However, I have always been a lifelong learner, and Cindy, you are the same way. We love to gather knowledge. I'm not a hoarder in my physical life. But in my mental life, in this noggin is all this information I want to gather, I love to make a spreadsheet and just fill it full of information. And I love to start a project having just researched the heck out of what other people are doing or in other spaces. So the input one is really, really fun. If you want to know some really dumb facts, I've probably got something for you as well. Facts that no one cares about.

Cindy Gonos 20:32

That's where it's gonna take to, like, trivia Night at the...

Kate Wilkes 20:35

Trivia night. I am the bomb at trivia night.

Cindy Gonos 20:38

You did mention too, earlier, like five seconds ago, about when you're describing your role. And you were talking about having the opportunity to do new things in the organization and learn new things. And I know that part of the reason why you feel so comfortable doing that is because you do have that input piece, right? You'd love to gather that info and get the information and do research and try new things and keep learning, right. So I think that even though it's scary, right, to do new things for you, your input just draws you to that information. I love that. So you got one more.

Kate Wilkes 21:20

One more responsibility. And I think a lot of my strengths, I think our strengths are sometimes inherit. But I think a lot of our strengths depend on how we were raised and what our parents poured into us. And I have the most responsible set of parents a girl could have. Responsibility has to be one of my top five, right? My parents owned small businesses my whole life, I saw that you had to do the work if you wanted to eat. So responsibility for me comes so easy. And that means that you know, you really care about the work that you're doing. And the role that you play a part in, and the company that you work for. So I will say that, a lot of times when I'm falling asleep at night, I'm trying to shut off the work brain because it's like, it's just there. And it's thinking about all the things I want to do tomorrow. And I don't want to forget anything important. And it's just the core part of who I am. It's responsibility. And I'm the same way in my personal life as well, to the annoyance of my husband probably sometimes. But those are my top five, we here, at HTYC, have unlocked our top 34. If you want to go really crazy deep into your strengths, there's always that room to expand. But I cannot wait to hear... Cindy, I know your strengths. And I know that you... you know, I'm purple and green and you're like orange and blue. So yours are a whole different mix. So tell me about yours, and how you apply them.

Cindy Gonos 22:51

Yeah, they're definitely a different mix. There was something too, though, that you said, which I think is so important is that you mentioned your strengths and how they show up in your personal life too. So strengths are not exclusive to what you do at your job.

Kate Wilkes 23:06

Not at all.

Cindy Gonos 23:07

Your strengths are your strengths, because they're ingrained in you. So I love that you kind of call that out, that all things should be equal. I think that's really important to point out because one of the reasons that we focus so heavily on strengths is because we want you to be able to come up with who you actually are, right? So you need to use those strengths to say, "This is me all the time. This is who I am at my core, I guess, so I just wanted to highlight. Thank you, ma'am, for adding that on. Because I felt like that was really important. I mean, you think of something." Yeah. So in regards to my strengths... So for those of you who do not know, I'm the Director of Client Success here at HTYC. My big joke is that I do part detective work and I do part matchmaking work, right? Because I talked with all the folks when they first reached out to us, I helped get them started on this journey, I find out more about them, all that kind of stuff. I'm even getting excited just talking about what I do in my role. So you can kind of see where this is going. So most of my strengths live in all of my strengths on the top five, either live in that influencing or that relationship building domain, because that's what fills my bucket, right. So my number one strength is winning others over. It's my favorite strength because it's "Woo." yeah, so essentially for me, what fills my bucket is getting to meet lots and lots of folks and getting to make friends every... I have to make...

Kate Wilkes 24:34

Hold up. We, all on this team, have said a thousand times, Cindy's going to make a new best friend every time you're off to talk to somebody.

Cindy Gonos 24:44

Yes, if you schedule a call with me, there is a very likely chance that within 45 minutes we will be best friends. That's just how I roll. I don't know, again, like you mentioned like your parents, right. So if anybody's heard this podcast before it's heard about my dad, probably more than one time, but shout out Dave, whatever. But my dad is like a social butterfly. And he would say he's not, he's lies. But I think I kind of got part of that from him too, just that kind of outgoing need to talk to everybody. I was also a middle kid who's, you know, that goes. But I think that being able to use that strength when I'm talking with folks, it's important dude. Like, it's important for me to win people over, because when they reach out to me, it's hard, right? Reaching out for help with anything is hard. Right? So I love the fact that folks can get on a call with me and feel comfortable. They're like, "Oh, she's not that, you know, scary or intimidating", that sort of thing. So I use my "woo" quite a bit, actually. Communication, well, I talk all day long, that is all I do. I talk to people and I listen to people, and we go back and forth. And it ebbs and flows. And if I didn't have that, I don't think I would live, I would not be able to survive without being able to talk with folks. And it's not even about talking, right? It's communicating, hearing their story, knowing their story, getting to be a part of their story is so intriguing to me. So communication, humongous part of my strengths and the most dominant part of my role.

Kate Wilkes 26:17

Absolutely. And I think beyond that, beyond how you said communication works with your role, you are a very good communicator. It's not just about the communication, but how you communicate... you're welcome. I communicate with you as much as I can through every day, because I enjoy the way that you relay information, the way that you have conversations, and so your communication is like a two fold superpower, you know.

Cindy Gonos 26:45

Yeah. Thank you. I love that. Okay, the third one lives in relationship building, which is weird that "woo" is not in. Anyway, another story another day, I guess. Why woo is not in relationship building. But the third one is positivity. So I mean, it is what it is, I guess.

Kate Wilkes 27:03

It is what it is.

Cindy Gonos 27:03

How I am. I will tell you this, though, like real talk, you know, I'll keep it real, is, I don't have the easiest adult life, right? Like I dropped out of college, I was in a traveling sales cold, tell you guys about that some other time. Like, it wasn't easy for me, right? Going through it as a really young mom, I was an unmarried young mom. So I cling to this fact that positivity is one of my strengths, because I feel like it's one of those strengths that has carried me through the toughest stuff, right. It's not even my number one. But I think that having positivity, sharing positivity, but at the same time, positivity doesn't mean toxic positivity. It's about being positive, and seeing where things can get better, right? Not pretending like things are better when they're not. So, there's that too, because for every strength, there's a shadow strength. And that's the adverse side of that strength. And I think that with any of our strengths, with your achiever, you can always go too far, you can always go...

Kate Wilkes 28:13

It's been done.

Cindy Gonos 28:14

Yeah, definitely. So, positivity. My fourth strength out of my five is actually honestly my favorite strength, it is by far my favorite string. So my fourth strength is what is called Maximizer. So the way that I sum up maximizer is I am simply the hype girl. Right?

Kate Wilkes 28:34

You are.

Cindy Gonos 28:35

I see something and I'm like, "how much like flair can be added to this?" right. Whether it's somebody's life, whether it's...I'm not really close, I'm like a flashy person, but it's how do we make this the most that it can be? How can we make it extra? So when I'm talking with folks, they're like, "Oh, this is blase, blase". And I'm like, "What? That is awesome." Like, you know, like, I feel like I can see the awesomeness in things. So I enjoy having Maximizer. And I also, I think one of the things that I really love is when I'm talking to folks, and they get that little spark of confidence, right? For me, that is my favorite thing where I'm just like, I don't know how many times I have to tell you, you're awesome. And finally, they're like, "You know what? I am awesome." And indeed they are, right. So last but not least, is connectedness. I would say honestly, functionally, and this is still what would be considered a relationship building strengths. I use this strength so functionally in my role every day. It's crazy because connectedness means that you, obviously, see the connection between things, right? So my favorite thing is when I'm talking with folks, and they don't see how things are related, like when you did this when you were 10, how is that related to something you did when you're 30. And I love being able to find that common thread with folks, especially when it comes to... how do I take the things I really love and use that to help me make a career change, right. So those are all of my top five strengths. And obviously, you can tell that Kate and I get really excited. There is something I want to say, I do want to say this, because there was a second there when you were talking about my Greek communication, right? And for a second, I almost was like, "no." Right? So that's crazy, right? So for somebody like me, I love my strengths, I embrace my strengths, I want to live in my strengths. But it's still even hard sometimes when somebody gives you a compliment, right? Be like, "Thank you", right. And that's exactly what I'm talking about. When I'm talking about, like, embracing the strengths, right? Like owning them and seeing your strengths. Like you need to show up for your strengths, Kate, you need to show up. Your strengths are there waiting for you to show them off, you need to show up for them better.

Kate Wilkes 31:37

Yeah, that's a great point, you're almost doing yourself and your team a disservice if you don't come with your strengths, right? And when you're going through the career change process, like, I think about it in interviewing, right? When you think about when you're interviewing for a role, and you always want to put your best foot forward, and sometimes the best foot forward is agreeing with what that person who's doing the interview is saying, "oh, yeah. I agree. I agree." You know, when maybe deep down in your strengths, you're like, there's a better way, or there's something that I know that they don't know, and I could probably help them or add value because of what I know. Right? So, again, you're doing yourself and maybe your potential, maybe not potential, next, you know, role by not really coming with the things that you can do the best.

Kate Wilkes 31:08

I think my favorite thing about us is that our strengths, yours and mine, complement each other so much. So when the two of us find... When we find ourselves working together on projects, which we do every day, I feel like knowing what your team members strengths are, and matching up people who have strengths that can play off of each other, that is where the magic happens. And that's why it's so important to know your strengths and know how to leverage them.

Kate Wilkes 32:30

Absolutely. 100% agree. So now you have had, kind of, the digest copy, right? Like the quick and dirty...

Cindy Gonos 32:42

Version, if you remember.

Kate Wilkes 32:45

The Cliff Notes, the Cindy and Kate Notes version on how and why we feel strengths are so important, you know, especially if you're making a career change, but also, you know, if you want to figure out if you are working within your strengths, you have to know what they are. So thanks for listening today. I'm gonna throw it over to you, Cindy, to let people know about some of our resources and how they can move forward to figure out their strengths.

Cindy Gonos 33:13

For sure. Yeah, we got resources, we always got resources, Kate, me and you are always giving away the goods for everyone. So if somebody would like to find out more about their strengths, if they want to take the StrengthFinders assessment, find out what their top five are, find out what their top 34 are, you can email me at Cindy@happentoyourcareer.com put 'Strength' in the subject line, so I'll know what the heck you're talking about. And then, if you're interested in StrengthFinders, I'll send you the link to the website where you can find the info for StrengthFinders, so you too can know your top five strings. And then there's also some additional resources that we have and some podcast episodes that I'll be able to send, folks. And if you know your strengths, but you don't know what to do with them, right, you're like "I've done StrengthFinders, now what?" or if you just want to talk more about your situation and your strengths and how to use them and making career change and all that great stuff, then you can also email me at Cindy@happentoyourcareer.com. And you can still put 'Strengths' in the subject line and we can talk more about your situation.

Kate Wilkes 34:16

A couple of final notes and a couple of thoughts on what you just said. They can also run to happentoyourcareer.com/schedule if they just absolutely are dying to talk to my work bestie, Cindy, happentoyourcareer.com/schedule will get you there. Email always works as well. We are freaks about checking our email. And also if you've done your strengths, and you feel like you've maybe not been working on your strengths, it might be time to redo them. And you know, we take the assessment every probably 18 months or so around here because your strengths will evolve. Some will move up, some will move down in the list a little bit. I've seen mine evolve based on the places I've dove into new places in HTYC alone. So it's okay to do your strengths again if you want to see where you sit. And also, I believe Scott will be back next week on the podcast.

Cindy Gonos 35:07

I heard a rumor about that.

Kate Wilkes 35:08

That's right. We know that, you know, people have probably enjoyed listening to who else is behind the scenes at Happen To Your Career. And we're going to try to fade back a little bit and give Scott the spotlight back for a minute, we might take away the microphone again, we haven't decided, we don't know what we're going to do. But listen next week to Scott, he's going to be bringing some awesome, awesome stuff about his time in Greece with the family, and we're very glad he's back. So stay tuned for that.

Cindy Gonos 35:36

Awesome. Thanks, Kate.

Kate Wilkes 35:37

Thanks, Cindy.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:43

Many of the stories that you've heard on the podcast are from listeners that have decided they want to take action, and taking the first step of having a conversation with our team to try and figure out how we can help. And if you want to implement what you have heard, and you want to completely change your life and your career, then let's figure out how we can help. So here's what I would suggest, just open your phone right now and open your email app. And I'm going to give you my personal email address, scott@happentoyourcareer.com just email me and put 'Conversation' in the subject line. And we can absolutely connect you with my team. I'm not answering my email right now, but I have a team member, Kate, who absolutely will make sure that you get connected with our team and the right person on our team so that we can figure out the very best way that we can help with that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:39

Hey, I hope you loved this episode. Thanks so much for listening. And if this has been helpful, then please share this podcast with your friends, with your family, with your co-workers that badly need it. Here's a sneak peek into what we have coming up in store for you next week.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:58

We have talked a lot about what it takes to thrive at work as opposed to just do work, come in and maybe it's good for you, maybe it provides a paycheck, maybe it provides some growth, maybe... but that's different than thriving, it's different than extraordinary. It's certainly different than what most people have.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:21

All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

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