In 2001, Gallup released the first edition of Strengths-Finder in a book titled Now, Discover Your Strengths (Buckingham & Clifton, 2001). Strengths-Finder 2.0 was most recently introduced and updated to include 34 themes from the original five (Rath, 2007). In a personal evaluation of the constructivist-constructionist approach to career development I took the Strengths-Finder 2.0 in an attempt to discover my own strengths and how they relate to my past and current occupations.

Results indicated the following top five strengths: 1) input 2) achiever 3) learner 4) intellection and 5) responsibility (Rath, 2007). Input refers to someone who is inquisitive and in my case, likes to collect information obtained from books, research articles and sermons.

Those with input strengths also enjoy variety and learning from as many sources as are available (Rath). For example, I love to travel and read because I enjoy acquiring new information which informs my experiences and provides me with knowledge that I can use for speaking, writing and networking with other people to find common interests.

As with many who have input strengths, I am not as concerned with using the information to give clarity to a theory. Instead, the purpose of obtaining such knowledge is that it may be useful at some point in my life. This strength bodes well for my current position in which I research, write and speak often, and must constantly be learning and integrating new material.

Achievers must always be achieving something every day, no matter how small the accomplishment. Achievers are motivated by an internal fire that moves them toward task completion and provides much reward when things are accomplished (Rath, 2007).

In my case, I am constantly driving to finish the next task, regardless of whether it is work related, around the home or an accomplishment in my personal life. I am never satisfied with the current status, and must always be working toward the next. As an achiever, I don’t burn out easily after long work hours as long as I feel I have accomplished something.

In my previous positions and now as the President of The Connextion Group, I oversee teams of people responsible for resource development, publications and conferences. As a team leader the strength of an achiever is helpful as I have the internal wherewithal to drive and propel my team to accomplish goals and meets deadlines.

Learners simply love to learn and they love the process of learning. The process of learning is more of the goal than the actual content (Rath, 2007). For myself, I always want to learn something new. Short project assignments that require learning new subject material in a short period of time provide significant motivation and excitement.

Although the fast pace of my work satisfies the achiever theme, I find the administrative tasks keep me from my learner theme. As a result, there are times I am feel unchallenged or tasks become monotonous. It makes sense now knowing that the learner theme is one of my major strengths and is something that needs to be satisfied in my work role.

People with intellection strengths like mental activity and stretching the mental capacities in different ways. The focus of mental activity requires time alone to allow for introspection and thinking. Those who are strong in introspection often find themselves discontent because they compare the current state of their life or career with all the ideas and thoughts in their head (Rath, 2007).

For me, my brain is constantly going, not allowing me to rest. I find time alone is necessary for me to engage in my best thinking and for me to feel grounded in life. Because of the fast pace of my work and the achiever theme in me, I tend to have to fight for the time to sit and think.

This can leave me in a state of anxiousness, feeling a strong need for time to think and process the deeper things in life, but not having the time to do so. I have learned that this desire to spend time in intellection is not to avoid relationships, but to enhance them.

Writing is one of the best ways I engage in intellection as it allows me to process my thoughts with written word. In my current role, I am writing on topics and issues that intrigue me. This wasn’t always the case. In past positions, I have had to be creative in my personal time to fulfill this theme.

Responsibility strengths propel a person to take charge of a task and follow it through to completion. Those with strengths in responsibility have a focus on doing things right, combined with solid sense of ethics, which results in an unrelenting sense of conscientiousness.

Often people who are responsible are depended on because others know the task will be completed which can lead to taking on more than one should (Rath, 2007). I have been in successful positions because of this dependable and consistent theme in completing tasks. I find it very difficult to let a task fall through the cracks and will do everything in my power to make sure tasks are completed by their deadline.

The challenge is that much of the workload in past positions was left on my plate as my colleagues and superiors recognized that by giving it to me, it would be done. I often did the work of others and was easily roped in to taking on new tasks. I still find it difficult to say no to a task when I know that if delegated to another person may not be completed well.

Overall, the Strengths-Finder 2.0 (Rath, 2007) was very accurate in its assessment of my strengths. I found that the strengths it isolated are indeed some of the key drivers of my work performance and my career choice. My input, learner, achiever, intellection and responsibility strengths are used daily in my current role.

When I am operating in tasks that utilize these strengths, I notice the work is more enjoyable and satisfying. I did notice, however, that in the past, the two predominant strengths of learning and intellection were not used as frequently as I would have liked. I realized that the administrative tasks I was required to do meant the learning requirement had decreased significantly.

I am now operating in a more balanced position where most of my top five strengths are being utilized. Intellection is one strength that is more difficult to engage in when the pace picks up, however, this is overcome by intentionally scheduling time to think and process. I also read more books outside of my field in my free time to help balance this strength. Overall, I recommend anybody to take this test for the intrinsic value and self analysis it provides both for career development and life satisfaction.

Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is a speaker, author, counselor and professor. He specializes in attachment and relationship research, the Millennial generation, crisis and trauma, marriage and family, and spiritual formation.

In 2001, Gallup released the first edition of Strengths-Finder in a book titled Now, Discover Your Strengths (Buckingham & Clifton, 2001). Strengths-Finder 2.0 was most recently introduced and updated to include 34 themes from the original five (Rath, 2007). In a personal evaluation of the constructivist-constructionist approach to career development I took the Strengths-Finder 2.0 in an attempt to discover my own strengths and how they relate to my past and current occupations.

Results indicated the following top five strengths: 1) input 2) achiever 3) learner 4) intellection and 5) responsibility (Rath, 2007). Input refers to someone who is inquisitive and in my case, likes to collect information obtained from books, research articles and sermons.

Those with input strengths also enjoy variety and learning from as many sources as are available (Rath). For example, I love to travel and read because I enjoy acquiring new information which informs my experiences and provides me with knowledge that I can use for speaking, writing and networking with other people to find common interests.

As with many who have input strengths, I am not as concerned with using the information to give clarity to a theory. Instead, the purpose of obtaining such knowledge is that it may be useful at some point in my life. This strength bodes well for my current position in which I research, write and speak often, and must constantly be learning and integrating new material.

Achievers must always be achieving something every day, no matter how small the accomplishment. Achievers are motivated by an internal fire that moves them toward task completion and provides much reward when things are accomplished (Rath, 2007).

In my case, I am constantly driving to finish the next task, regardless of whether it is work related, around the home or an accomplishment in my personal life. I am never satisfied with the current status, and must always be working toward the next. As an achiever, I don’t burn out easily after long work hours as long as I feel I have accomplished something.

In my previous positions and now as the President of The Connextion Group, I oversee teams of people responsible for resource development, publications and conferences. As a team leader the strength of an achiever is helpful as I have the internal wherewithal to drive and propel my team to accomplish goals and meets deadlines.

Learners simply love to learn and they love the process of learning. The process of learning is more of the goal than the actual content (Rath, 2007). For myself, I always want to learn something new. Short project assignments that require learning new subject material in a short period of time provide significant motivation and excitement.

Although the fast pace of my work satisfies the achiever theme, I find the administrative tasks keep me from my learner theme. As a result, there are times I am feel unchallenged or tasks become monotonous. It makes sense now knowing that the learner theme is one of my major strengths and is something that needs to be satisfied in my work role.

People with intellection strengths like mental activity and stretching the mental capacities in different ways. The focus of mental activity requires time alone to allow for introspection and thinking. Those who are strong in introspection often find themselves discontent because they compare the current state of their life or career with all the ideas and thoughts in their head (Rath, 2007).

For me, my brain is constantly going, not allowing me to rest. I find time alone is necessary for me to engage in my best thinking and for me to feel grounded in life. Because of the fast pace of my work and the achiever theme in me, I tend to have to fight for the time to sit and think.

This can leave me in a state of anxiousness, feeling a strong need for time to think and process the deeper things in life, but not having the time to do so. I have learned that this desire to spend time in intellection is not to avoid relationships, but to enhance them.

Writing is one of the best ways I engage in intellection as it allows me to process my thoughts with written word. In my current role, I am writing on topics and issues that intrigue me. This wasn’t always the case. In past positions, I have had to be creative in my personal time to fulfill this theme.

Responsibility strengths propel a person to take charge of a task and follow it through to completion. Those with strengths in responsibility have a focus on doing things right, combined with solid sense of ethics, which results in an unrelenting sense of conscientiousness.

Often people who are responsible are depended on because others know the task will be completed which can lead to taking on more than one should (Rath, 2007). I have been in successful positions because of this dependable and consistent theme in completing tasks. I find it very difficult to let a task fall through the cracks and will do everything in my power to make sure tasks are completed by their deadline.

The challenge is that much of the workload in past positions was left on my plate as my colleagues and superiors recognized that by giving it to me, it would be done. I often did the work of others and was easily roped in to taking on new tasks. I still find it difficult to say no to a task when I know that if delegated to another person may not be completed well.

Overall, the Strengths-Finder 2.0 (Rath, 2007) was very accurate in its assessment of my strengths. I found that the strengths it isolated are indeed some of the key drivers of my work performance and my career choice. My input, learner, achiever, intellection and responsibility strengths are used daily in my current role.

When I am operating in tasks that utilize these strengths, I notice the work is more enjoyable and satisfying. I did notice, however, that in the past, the two predominant strengths of learning and intellection were not used as frequently as I would have liked. I realized that the administrative tasks I was required to do meant the learning requirement had decreased significantly.

I am now operating in a more balanced position where most of my top five strengths are being utilized. Intellection is one strength that is more difficult to engage in when the pace picks up, however, this is overcome by intentionally scheduling time to think and process. I also read more books outside of my field in my free time to help balance this strength. Overall, I recommend anybody to take this test for the intrinsic value and self analysis it provides both for career development and life satisfaction.

Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is a speaker, author, counselor and professor. He specializes in attachment and relationship research, the Millennial generation, crisis and trauma, marriage and family, and spiritual formation.

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