Monday, April 26, 2004

Now, Discover Your Strengths

I have spent a few evenings reading Now, Discover Your Strengths, and through the website for this book, I discovered that I had the "Learner" theme. I love to learn. This isn't news to me, but it's comforting having it validated. But the description of this talent contains this: "The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences..."

What interests me most? The book doesn't explain how to answer this, but it does state "You will need to find your field ... by listening to the yearnings that pull you and then seeing what moves you." What pulls me? What moves me? It's something that I've thought about because I am reporting this after my first day at a new job. That's right: I switched jobs.

Over the past several months at my previous employer, I slowly began to lose my interest with their "subject matter". Yes, the work involved computers, something that has fascinated and intrigued me since grade school. The work specifically involved multi-computing hardware and software. The problems I faced were multifaceted. But after a year or so, I was becoming despondent with how difficult the subject matter was. It was an area of computers that ultimately didn't engage or thrill me.

So I stayed in my "comfort zone" amidst all this technology: I focused on software tools, not the hardware that was the mainstay of the company. But even in the comfort zone, I found myself in areas that I wasn't completely comfortable with. More importantly, I was in areas that I didn't find myself desiring to learn.

I was productive, but I was aching to "do more", to "be more". Which leads me to another strength identified by that website. I have the "Maximizer" theme. I have a talent for measuring myself against excellence. I don't want to fix what I lack. I want to increase what I already have.

So over the past few months, I searched the meager market for a position involving technologies that I knew well and technologies that I desired to know well. I networked. I practiced. And now I'm at a new job.

I believe I've found subject matter that greatly interests me at my new job. Now it's time to Learn and Maximize.

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