Should You Work on Your Weakness or Strength?Feb 17, 2022
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to your career, you need to decide whether to focus on improving your weaknesses or capitalizing on your strengths. Both paths have their own set of pros and cons, and the decision ultimately depends on how you view them and how they matter to your career.
Weakness or strength? It depends.
All of us have our strengths and weaknesses. However, when it comes to personal improvement, one can decide whether to improve strengths or weaknesses. Some people will advise you to work on your strengths, while others will advocate fixing weaknesses. I believe that there is no correct answer, and it depends on how your strengths and weaknesses matter in the development of your career and personal life.
Your way of thinking will help determine whether to focus on improving your core strengths or weaknesses. For example, if you believe that your talents are innate, you have a fixed mindset. With this mindset, one will be more willing to work on his strengths because one sees weaknesses as something unchangeable, that one is born with such flaws, and one can do hardly anything to improve them. People with a fixed mindset will be more inclined to work on strengths than weaknesses.
On the other hand, if one believes that talents and skills are not innate and can be learned and improved, then you have a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset will be more willing to work on their weaknesses since they don't see them as fixed and can see an opportunity to grow by working on them. Identifying your mindset will help you focus on which aspect to work: strength or weakness.
Your current job and how you want to progress in your career will also help determine if it will be better to work on your strength or your weakness. For example, suppose you're not that good with numbers and currently work as a writer, and writing is one of your strengths. If you want to progress your career in this path, you might not need to work much on improving your weakness in Mathematics but instead work more on improving your writing skills. On the other hand, suppose you will be promoted to a leadership position in your company, and it involves handling different people and working with them. If your leadership skills are one of your weaknesses, it will be better to start focusing on how to improve your weakness, such as learning the skills needed in managing people. Again, your current needs will determine which one you should focus on improving.
When should you start fixing weaknesses?
If your weaknesses are starting to impede you in your career progress and personal life, it's high time that you start working to improve them. You will lock yourself of opportunities and make you less confident to work on things. Ask yourself some questions and see if it's worth your time and energy to work on your weaknesses.
Am I willing to improve my weakness? - Sometimes, weakness is not a weakness, but it becomes one due to how we perceive such a thing. For example, lack of interest and effort is why you tend to think of such a thing as a weakness. However, if you give time and attention to your weakness, it might become a strength. Your willingness to improve will decide if it's worth investing time in improving your weaknesses.
Is there somebody else that can help or do it for me? If you can find somebody who excels at your big weakness, maybe you can delegate the work to them instead or ask for advice or support. However, if no one is available, and it's necessary to work on what you are weak at to progress, you have no choice but to work on it.
Can I ignore my weakness? - If your weakness doesn't deter your life at the moment and in the foreseeable future, then you can ignore it. But, if not, you better start working on them to grow faster and be successful.
Developing your strengths
Before deciding to focus on your strengths, it's essential to identify what you excel in doing. It might be challenging to see something as a strength when it has become a routine practice to do things you excel at every day. Also, watch out for things that make you feel energized and happy, even if you are not an expert at them. These things might be hidden strengths that you can develop and become pretty good at if you spend time working on them, such as your passions and hobbies.
You can pay attention to what people say about you, such as praises or criticisms. Sometimes, they know us better than ourselves, and there could be a hidden message behind what they say that can indicate our strengths. For example, look back at your achievements or remember what subjects and activities you excelled at back in school. Any activity that makes you feel excited can be your strength. Various personality tests and assessments online can determine what areas you excel at to know where to focus.
Once you know your strengths, you can develop them further for your success. But, you might think, what's the point of working on strengths when you're already good at them, but there is always room for improvement. It will help if you do not underestimate your strength as there will always be people who can be better than you, so it's always helpful to keep on learning and see what you can improve further. Be aware of criticisms and remarks about your mistakes, as they can indicate areas for improvement. Put an additional effort to learn related skills and knowledge to your expertise, so you can expand on your natural strengths and delve into other areas of interest. Try to find work or projects that make good use of your strengths, so you can regularly practice them and don't become stale.
Work on whatever can make you better
Before you start working on your strengths or weaknesses or possibly both, it's crucial to have the willingness and motivation to develop yourself and the proper mindset. So first, look at your current situation and see what skills and knowledge you will need for further improvement. Then look at what things you excel at and not and focus on those necessary for your career and personal life. You can even focus on strengths while improving weaknesses at the same time. Your mind and current situation will help you decide what can work best for you.