Strengths (and Weaknesses)

posted May 15, 2012, 12:22 PM by jj pionke
So, for the second week of my internship  (which was technically last week, but don't ask) we had to do this Strengths Finder test as part of the Summer internship class that are required to complete.  Strengths Finder seems to be a new testing metric that is kind of hot right now.  Anyway, my strengths are: Input, Intellection, Activation, Learner, and Achiever.  Basically, what all of these point to is a type A personality who is results driven, smart, on time, curious, and a people person.  On some level, duh.  On another level, some of it felt very surprising for me and some of it not so much. Put another way, it definitely clarified things for me in how I see the world and how I am generally.  I hadn't quite realized how much these fit me and how different I am from other students until I had a discussion this morning with the 2nd year Career Development person (who is awesome and amazing btw).  I met with her because I am very seriously considering doing a PhD and wanted some support/questions answered about job prospects, salary, etc.  Anyway, in passing I mentioned that I had gotten straight A's this past year and judging from her reaction, this was not exactly normal.  To be fair, Fall semester I had 2 A+, 1 A-, and 2 regular A's.  Winter semester I had all regular A's.  My current GPA is 3.96.  This is the highest GPA I've ever had in my life.  I am very driven to do well this turn around in grad school but it's more than that.  Since I've been a teacher for the last 10 years, I know how teachers think and can read assignment and know not only what it means but what it actually wants (and far too often they aren't the same thing).  More than that though, I am willing to ask the professor questions and go to office hours which is also not normal, alas.

So, all of the above indicates that I am highly intelligent and insanely driven.  These are great assets to have and they can also be incredible weaknesses.  To be fair, I know that any strength can be a weakness and vice versa.  What it also boils down to is that I need a constantly changing environment, challenges, goals to attain, and continuing education/professional development.  Doing a PhD would certainly fulfill all of these requirements and there are jobs out there, even in libraries, that would also fulfill these needs.  Luckily, I have enough education and teaching experience that I could even possibly get into some of them. 

It's a lot to think about and explore.  I hadn't thought that doing the Strengths Finder metric would have spurred so much self-reflection, but there it is.  Maybe it just hit me in the right place at the right time.