If you use your career strengths at work, you will be happier

“I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago.” Stacy said.  Stacy worked in a bank in Guilford, Connecticut and came to Career Counseling Connecticut for career guidance as she felt she was at a career crossroads.

“I always was creative.  But my parents urged me to become a business major for practical reasons. I wound up working in a bank in New Haven, then one in Branford, and now in Guilford.  Each time, I got by largely on my people skills.  Otherwise, my reviews would note that I needed to improve my detail orientation and my general organizational skills.

As I do for all our new clients, I put Stacy through our career questionnaire.  For those familiar with the Myers-Briggs, you’ll quickly note that Stacy’s ENFP type was not suited for bank manager positions.  ENFPs are idea machines.  They feel stifled if they cannot generate and discuss new ways of doing things or creating things.  They are big picture oriented and do not like structure.  Being an E (extrovert) did help as she had to make small talk throughout the day and being an F (feeling), while not optimal for tough decisions such as turning down loan requests, was good for empathizing with clients.  And, Stacy was right, that’s where she did well.  But large parts of the job dealt with staying within the distinct lines of bank procedures and doing the same tasks repeatedly throughout the day… and weeks… and months… and now years.

There is a whole new world of work that requires creative energy.  In Stacy’s case, her creativity was not tangible – as in making jewelry – but rather advisory as in figuring out ways to help others.  Given her knowledge about the banking industry and money management in general, she could be quite valuable to numerous web-based financial management companies.

Making the move required a strategic plan. Showing our job searching methodology will be the next step.  With hope, Stacy will soon be happily working in a place where she can leverage her strengths.