How to Leverage Your Strengths in Job Transition
I’m relatively new to the Leadership Vision team. As I transition into this new role at a new workplace, I want to do everything I can to offer my Strengths for the bettering of the company.
Along the way in this transition, a few colleagues offered me some excellent feedback to leverage my unique Strength profile and this observation-driven period to better the team and establish my voice and personality.
Since very few of us will spend the duration of our careers in the same role, I wanted to share some of the great advice that allowed me to navigate my job switch. Below are three important ways you can leverage your Strengths in job transition.
1. Encourage Others in Their Strengths
I was blown away by the level of talent present in each team member at my new company. Because of my Theme of Competition, I am always hyper-aware of the Strengths of the people around me and how I compare to those individuals. In a new place, it’s really easy to spend the bulk of your time focusing on you and how your Strengths are relevant to the team. In my first days in the office, a teammate with a high Individualization Theme was constantly pointing out how she saw my Strengths playing out in real time and how they would make the team better.
I felt so encouraged by this, I decided to do the same for my teammates. Daily, I made it a point to encourage someone I work with according to his/her Strengths. I talked about how one teammate’s Theme of Discipline made it smoother for me to step into a new set of tasks and in front of a functional team; I thanked a team leader for how his Focus really helped me hone in on what’s important for this quarter.
This resulted in a quicker team buy-in to me and a seemingly greater willingness to encourage me. It also resulted in a deeper understanding of how my new teammates function as I looked for their Strengths in their activities.
Encourage your new team in their Strengths!
2. Be Okay With Different
After a couple months in my new role, I had a conversation with my boss, Brian, about my performance and received this feedback: “you’re much quieter in the office than I expected.” As someone with the Themes of Command and Ideation, I’ve never received feedback along these lines. A quick perusing of my grade school report cards would render quite the opposite. I was troubled by the comment at first, but upon conversations with Brian, I realized this wasn’t a negative at all. In fact, it was instead a reflection of the health of the team. In many previous roles, my Command felt the need to lead in every meeting in order to see success for the team. In this new place, my voice didn’t need to be central to every conversation, because frankly, a lot of people had a lot more expertise than I.
Themes of Strength perform differently in new environments. Often, we bristle at the idea of being a different version of ourselves, but new circumstances can often cultivate a maturity in our Strengths. Today, not needing to lead every meeting is very exciting to me and means my teammates will truly value my input instead of perhaps despising the Command guy taking over another meeting.
You will see different Themes of Strength operating differently in your transition. Often it’s a maturing of those Strengths. Lean into this different; ask trusted colleagues to help you process this difference and stay healthy in your Strengths.
3. Offer Your Fresh Eyes
“You only have fresh eyes once.” In my first meeting with one of my colleagues, I was asked to give feedback on every part of our process as I stepped into this new role. Inevitably, organizations and individuals have funny, sometimes ineffective, methods simply because it’s the way they’ve always done things. A new team member offers the opportunity to assess and sharpen the approach of the team.
The greatest gift you can give to your new company in your transition is your outsider’s perspective. Maybe it’s some exclusive language that disengages customers or a relationship dynamic that you think is a little off. Perhaps a teammate has forgotten how healthy or exciting your workplace is and you help remind them how great it is to be a part of the team.
You don’t have to problem solve. I often ask a colleague, “I don’t quite understand that dynamic, could you give me some context behind the reason we came to do things that way?” or “Have we ever considered a new approach to this process?” This would often help me understand a culture more fully and buy into the process and occasionally, I instigated a conversation that began to change the company for the better!
As you transition into a new job, you will face challenges in learning a new culture, bonding with new individuals, seeing your own Talents mature, and change in a new environment. The goal is to leverage your Strengths to make sense of your transition to grow relationally with your new team and to bring a new insight that makes your team better.
How do you leverage your Strengths in a job transition?