I get tons of questions about how to align your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Significance with your career. So in this series, I break down one strength per episode. That way, you can add to the insights from your StrengthsFinder report and make a better match between your job and your strengths.
– If you’re exploring as a manager, use this series for career development ideas and even new clues about responsibilities you could give a person with this talent theme so that they can show up at their best.
– If you’re exploring for yourself, use this as a chance to build a reputation for your strengths so that you’re more likely to be given assignments that live in your strengths zone.
Career Branding For Significance
Today, the talent theme of the episode is Significance. You’ll get three layers to chew on:
- Career Branding
- Red Flag Situations At Work
- Fresh Application Ideas
You probably already have a reputation for what you know. If you imagine your resume or your LinkedIn profile, I bet it’s full of “the what,” which are things like job titles, skills, knowledge, expertise, or the degree you earned.
Now, what’s missing in most of them is “the how,” and this is where your StrengthsFinder talent themes live. This is. an. overlooked. use. for tools like LinkedIn, which is not just for job seekers.
I bet you are like my StrengthsFinder training clients, where you don’t physically see your teammates and customers every day. That’s why LinkedIn has become so important for career branding – it’s how your teammates, customers, and vendors go look you up before a meeting. It’s their most efficient way to learn about who they’re about to talk to.
And rather than only telling them what you know, you should also give them a peek at how it is to work with you. Here are a bunch of adjectives you can consider using in your career branding and your LinkedIn profile.
People who lead through Significance are often:
- High Visibility
- Big Dreamers
- Not Afraid Of The Spotlight
- Results and Performance Oriented
- People Who Want Their Lives to BE for Something … Not Frittered Away
Red Flag Situations For Significance
These are the cultures, interactions, or situations that feel like soul-sucking drudgery to someone with the talent theme of Significance. They might even make you want to quit the team. So I’ll give you a couple of these to be on the watch for — because if they fester, you might get the urge to quit the job or become detached at work.
Here are two Red flags for Significance:
- Busy work. If you lead through Significance and you think the work you’re doing has no purpose, it will bother you at a values level because this is not how you want to spend your life.
- No one sees or cares about your results. If you’ve been busting your butt for months in a thankless role, you have a red flag on your hands. People who lead through Significance want to leave their mark on the world — they like to be recognized for making an impact through what they do at work. If you’re doing something big, and it seems that no one will see it or no one will care, it will drain your energy fast.
3 Fresh Application Ideas for Significance
These are ways to apply the talent theme of Significance at work, even when the job duties on the team feel pretty locked in. If you’re reading this as a team manager, be sure to have a conversation around these ideas. You’ll both be able to come up with places to apply them.
For someone who leads through Significance, put this talent to good use with one of these options:
- Take a chance on something big. If you manage someone with Significance, give them a highly visible project that has a lot riding on it. Be sure to communicate the importance and the gravity — when they know that their success (or failure) will be in the spotlight, it’s a hugely motivating factor. Whereas others might feel crushed by this pressure, it brings someone with Significance alive.
- Put them on a project to start a recognition campaign. While people with Significance love to BE recognized, they also love to help others feel significant. Ask them to create a shift in the team culture over the next 6 months so that praise and credit-giving feels like the norm on the team.
- Rub elbows with high achievers. Ask this person to name a few of the top achievers that he or she admires in the company. Then get them linked up on a project. People with Significance love the opportunity to step their game up by standing side by side with people who are great.
So there you have it. It’s a quick tour for building your career through the talent theme of Significance.
Here’s Your Personal Branding Homework
- Go take action on your LinkedIn profile with the career branding section. Challenge yourself to write one sentence in the Summary section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate at work.
- Then think over the red flags to see if there’s anything you need to get in front of before it brings you down.
- And finally, volunteer your talents through the application ideas. And if you’re a manager, have a conversation with your team members about which of these things sound like something they’d love to have more of.