Find Your Strengths

I find working as part of a team can be both difficult and rewarding. I am happy to say that working as a part of a team for the Capstone project has been smooth. My teammates and I have worked to meet often and create game plans for what each person is working on

But sometimes working as a team is going to be for longer than a school term and that is when understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your teammates, becomes an even more important factor in long-term success and cohesiveness within the team.

At my job, I work with a team of 5 others. The work we do can vary greatly and we are often tasks with challenging data deliverables, implementing new technologies, and tackling problems outside our typical job descriptions. So, understanding where each of our strengths are helps us understand who should tackle what.

For this, we decided to have all of our team members complete the Clifton Strengths talent assessment. The assessment gives you 177 paired statements and you choose which describes you best. This was slightly difficult though because many of the answers are not opposites like you would expect and sometimes do not seem related to each other at all. The results of the assessment is your top 5 talents (your natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving) out of 34 themes. This is meant to help you achieve that ‘aha’ moment for understanding how you work best.

We then sit down as a group and go over our strengths with each other. We try to keep these in mind when working with each other or divvying up tasks for a new project. Here are my 5 (from strongest to weakest top talent) and how I am able to play to them when working as a team.


Adaptability is my top strength which means that I live in the moment and enables me to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if that means deviated from my current plans. Where others tend to get frustrated and resent sudden requests and unforseen deviations from the plan, I do not and can sometimes look forward to the challenges they bring.

I am the only one with this strength among my work team so this means I tend to be tasks with working on projects that have a high chance of deviating from the original request. These types of projects are very frustrating to my other teammates so this alleviates them from having to work on such projects.

This has also helped me when working as a team in school because I do not get frustrated when a team member wants to make changes to the project, even when they are last minute.


I am drawn to the process of learning and have always considered myself a lifelong learner. Whether it is a new technology or a new sport, I am energized by going from unknowing to competence (hopefully!).

If you have read my previous post about learning new things, this should not come as a surprise. Instead of choosing a Capstone project based on a technology I was already comfortable with, I chose to do a project in Unreal Engine which I had zero experience with. This has made the Capstone difficult but is fulfilling in the fact that I get to learn something new.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, often at my job we are tasked with implementing new technology so having the willingness to learn has been an asset. One of the things I dislike is redundant tasks so I am usually not given those and instead given tasks that are new and will require learning something new.


I have a constant need for achievement and at the end of the day I need to feel like I have achieved something tangible for me to feel good. My awareness of this is why I make task lists that I can check things off of throughout the day. Using a task list helps me reflect on my achievements for the day and without it I can easily work very long hours just to try to reach the sense of achievement for the day.

Because of this strength, at work I am usually tasked with the state data deliverables that have strict deadlines. My team knows, if it is on my list, I will get it done.


This showing up on my list of strengths was not surprising; I am fully aware of my competitiveness but before taking this assessment, I just thought it was in sports or hobbies. This assessment made me realize that I can bring this into work as well. At work, I compare myself to my peers and even if I reached my goal, if I did not outperform my peers then the achievement feels hollow. This admittingly can be a difficult talent for me to navigate but I also understand that this means I will always strive to be better, which my managers and teammates have come to appreciate because they know that I don’t have it in me to be a slacker.


I have found this talent to be both a positive and a negative at times. I understand that I have a tendency to hyper-focus on tasks, spending many hours or days working towards it even though that means ignoring non-related tasks like spending time with family. However, this talent forces me to be efficient and my teammates appreciate that when people start to wander down other paths and get off topic, I bring them back to the topic or task at hand. This talent is especially helpful when working in large groups where it is easy to get off course since my need to remain focused allows me to remind the team that if a tangent is not helping us move forward or meet our goal then it is not important.

Being a good team player is not always enough and constantly taking on tasks in your career that you truly loath is not only doing you a disservice but also your team. Finding where your joy is and what your strengths are will allow you to play to those, being a better teammate and bringing more happiness to your work.

I feel incredibly lucky that early in my career, I had a boss who felt strongly about helping his team understand their talents and how to play to them. He introduced me to this and even though it has been many years since I first took the assessment, I still reference it often as well as the supporting materials. Even though he is not my boss anymore, my team and I still do this with all new employees since we have all seen the benefits.

I would strongly encourage everyone to find your unique talents/strength and keep them in mind throughout your career. It was an ‘aha’ moment for me and hope it will be for you too.

Although there are many different assessments of this nature, here is a link to the one I discussed in this post: Clifton Strengths

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