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Advice and Tips

Figure out your strengths

Published: Apr. 1 2022

Who you are as an individual, what you have in your toolkit (= your skills) when you start a new job – and how you use what’s in this toolkit – all play a major role in deciding the extent to which others consider you a valuable resource at work.

Exercise – Define your natural strengths

This exercise is useful for identifying your strengths. It gives you insight into your own behavior and action patterns, making you more aware of your strengths and potential weaknesses.

There are many personality tests out there (both loved and hated), one of which is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. While some individuals might find being defined by this type of test inhibiting, others find it liberating as learning the results may make it easier for them to relate to both themselves and other people.

Getting things done

Purpose: Your natural strengths and personal preferences have a lot to say about what you like to do, and if you’re truly honest with yourself on this point, you’ll be sure to land a job that’s just right for you.

Step 1: Learn something about yourself by taking this easy personality test that gives you a list of opposites to consider.

I get energized from

Being alone


Being with others

Activities that stimulate my thoughts


Social activities and experiences

Personality traits – I am/have




A planner


An improviser






A great need to be in control




A good listener


A talker










Work preferences

Productive under pressure


Unproductive under pressure

Do one thing at a time





Get things done at the last minute

Work independently


Group work

Goal- and result-oriented


Develop new ideas/concepts

What I’m like with other people

A good and supportive listener in conversations


Initiate/Keep the conversation going

Need time to reflect


Need to get quick responses

Think before I speak


Talk while I’m thinking

This exercise has been extracted from Prosjekthåndboka 3,0 by Jonas D. Aakre and Henriette S. Scharning.

This exercise has been extracted from Prosjekthåndboka 3,0 by Jonas D. Aakre and Henriette S. Scharning.

Once you’ve completed the test, take a few minutes to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of work environment would I enjoy?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What might be my weaknesses?
  • Describe your work preferences by writing down a maximum of five words.
  • Describe your personality by writing down a maximum of five words.

Find your superpowers

Your superpowers are often some of your natural strengths you’ve been developing your whole life. These are skills/qualities that are often transferable; they can be used in different phases of your career in different jobs, whether you work alone or interact with others.

Using the exercises you’ve done, look at the list of your competencies, skills and preferences.

Reflect on the questions below to find your superpowers.

  • What am I good at doing, and what do I like to do?
  • What kind of work do I always say yes to doing?
  • What skills do I want to develop further?
  • What do others say I’m good at doing?
  • What do I do that other people appreciate?
  • What kind of work don’t I like doing and prefer delegating to someone else?

Use this competency matrix. Add to it whenever you think of new ideas.

What I’m good at What I’m not good at

Where I’m in ‘the zone’ (flow state) and feel a high degree of mastery (Superpowers)

But I’m very motivated to learn how to do this (Potential)

But I think these tasks are boring or demanding over time (skills I’ve learned)

And I get frustrated when I try (lose motivation)

Use your superpowers and skills when you’re looking at either new opportunities in your current job or new career opportunities in general. You’ll have a greater chance of making good choices and finding a job that’s right for you.

  1. In the first matrix square, write down your natural strengths
  2. In the second matrix square, write down work areas and tasks where you can put your natural strengths to use in several ways
  3. In the third matrix square, write down tasks which, although you’re skilled at doing them, give you no energy
  4. In the fourth square, write down tasks you should avoid and not spend any time doing


(Inspired by Monica K. Brante – How to open doors and get the job you want: 2021)

Use this matrix actively when you’re looking for either new opportunities in your current job or new career opportunities in general. It’s important to focus on your natural strengths as well as the tasks you enjoy and think are fun to do. Listen to your inner sense of motivation and look for your potential in the competency areas you want to develop further.

Read more and find more exercises related to  competency mapping

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