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Michelle LaBrosse


Advancing in Your Ideal Career

Use your innate strengths to better learn and get things done

Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 12:01

Jane is an amazing photographer, but her family feels her photography skills aren’t going to help her earn a living. Consequently, she was offered a job in her sister-in-law Kerry’s company calling clients to collect on invoices. After several months, both Jane and Kerry realized they’d had enough of each other. Jane once again feels like a total failure, and Kerry has an even bigger problem than before with clients not paying on time.

What are some lessons to learn from this scenario? There are of course the standard cautionary tales about hiring your family. But more important, this scenario shows the consequences of failing to draw from your innate strengths when choosing your career path. Here are three ways Jane could find a more fulfilling and lucrative career by using her innate strengths.

1. Leverage your innate strengths—even if those closest to you have no appreciation for who you are (which is more often than not the case). Every single one of us has unique strengths that, when used correctly, help us create more success, fulfillment, and happiness in life. The more you know how to build off your strengths, the more value you create for both yourself and others.

2. Use your innate strengths to better learn, get things done, and build off others’ innate strengths. Who you are, when used in targeted and focused ways, can enable you to succeed in ways that are unique to you. Success means something different for each of us, but what is universal about “success” is that it is the expression of how well we are using our innate talents. Don’t just use the closest and most available person to take on your biggest challenges (like Kerry did). Jane needs to seek out those opportunities where she can develop the skills required to make it as a professional photographer. While learning how to collect on delinquent accounts is a valuable skill especially if you don’t set up your business correctly, it’s not the best use of an aspiring photographer’s talents.

3. Find and create better opportunities based on your innate strengths. Jane is the one who stages some amazing group photographs. But her family generally thinks she needs to just give up on it and get a “real” job. Think about the “ugly swan” metaphor here; when you work in alignment with your innate strengths, you are able to seek out opportunities that better fit who you really are. This requires inside information about who you are and how to make who you are create value for others.

Can you imagine a career that is aligned with the best of who you are, the people you prefer to be around, the work you prefer to do, when and where you prefer to do this work, and in which you achieve results you know you are capable of achieving if only you had the necessary support?

This can be your reality. With the right insights into your innate strengths, along with skills to best use your strengths in coordination with the development and implementation of a feasible plan that works for you, you can succeed in a career best-suited to who you are. Take Cheetah’s Career Strength Finder Assessment to see how you could best use your innate strengths to advance your career.


About The Author

Michelle LaBrosse’s picture

Michelle LaBrosse

Michelle LaBrosse is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring project management to the masses. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management program and holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. More than 50,000 people have used Cheetah Learning’s project management and accelerated learning techniques.