To Train Thyself Know Thyself

From Socrates to Benjamin Franklin, the wisdom contained within the simple maxim, ’Know Thyself,’ a phrase derived from the Ancient Greeks contains wisdom still relevant today. Discovering what your strengths are and acquiring the knowledge necessary to realize your career potential, whatever that path may be, is perhaps one of the most important career insights one can gain. Some never do, and perhaps that is why many people are still seeking different skills and career pathways toward happiness.

Do you know your professional strengths? People don’t often ask themselves this question when they are considering their next career step, but it should merit further reflection. Maybe you know what you are not good at, which perhaps is half the battle, but finding career fulfillment is ultimately about knowing what your strengths are and improving them, versus placing yourself in a situation where you become frustrated battling with the things you are not good at.

Management guru Peter Drucker advises that you should not try to change yourself, but rather, you should work hard to improve the way you perform.

Here are 7 questions to get you there:

1. Do you work better alone or within a team environment?

2. Do you work well with structure?

3. What structures allow you to do your best work?

4. What do you gravitate towards professionally?

5. What do your bosses or co-workers tell you are your strengths?

6. What problems do you solve better than other people?

7. How do others classify you professionally?

Once you are making money doing something within an area of your natural strength, you are onto something profound. Is someone paying you cold hard cash for something, or it is still a hobby? Because you’re not being paid for something, and you feel it is a core strength, you might just need to get out there to create more opportunities for yourself.

An easy way to do this is to look around for people doing work similar to what you want to do and seek their advice. Ultimately, to train yourself, know yourself.