My daughter Merrilee has Down Syndrome and is low functioning within that group. My son James got a perfect score on the SAT Advanced Calculus II college entrance exam. Each can do things the other can’t. We look at James and say, “He can do anything!” No, he can’t. He doesn’t have the patience his sister does. They have different realities and infinite possibilities.
The highly paid people I recruit all know their strengths and weaknesses. When I call up their references, every reference lists the same strengths and weaknesses the candidate lists. Often the poorly paid people give me a list of strengths and weaknesses that bear no resemblance to what their references think.
Really knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to do three things:
- Play to your strength
- Get someone to cover for your weaknesses
- Turn your weakness into a strength
Stephen Cannell flunked three grades in school. He is severely dyslexic. He can’t write readably. He also won two Emmy awards for his writing. He created 40 television shows and 6 novels. He has learned to compensate for his severe problem. He plays to his greatest strengths, creating fun characters and complex plots. His assistants translate his unreadable typing into the words he wanted to put on paper.
Figure out what your talents really are. Do you have one or two real weaknesses that prevent you from exploiting that talent? Find a way to compensate. Get help. Find out what others have done to overcome that weakness. You may have to adequately do the part of the job that the weakness prevents you from doing excellently. Better yet, can you get someone else to help with your weakness?
No one can do everything. Figure out what help you need to achieve your dreams.
Something To Do Today
Take an aptitude test and a personality test. Free ones are available at your local Job Center. Some are available online.
Do you know anyone who would dare to tell you what your real strengths and weaknesses are? Ask them.
Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses. Are you exploiting your best qualities?