We spend the majority of the week at work, and for some, it can spill out beyond the forty-hour obligation. With this, it seems you should enjoy your work as much as possible. After all, vocational satisfaction can contribute significantly to your overall wellness. If you find yourself not feeling enthusiastic about your work day, it’s time to take a closer look at what can be done differently starting with your strengths.

Putting Your Strengths to Work

Everyone has strengths, but they are not always put to work at work. Why is that? Sometimes we don’t recognize our own strengths and/or they are not recognized by those who assign our work. However, integrating our strengths at work can enrich our work experience. So how do you capture and utilize your strengths at work?

  • Take the time to learn about your strengths: It’s an investment of time that is worth doing providing greater rewards for your vocational wellness. Think about what your key strengths are and write them down. If you are not sure, ask others who know you. Try to come up with three to five strengths. There is also a free online VIA Survey you can take to help you find your strengths.
  • Keep your strengths front and center at work: Think about where you are currently using your strengths and how you could use them elsewhere at work. Sometimes focusing on one strength at a time can be helpful.
  • Create a win-win situation: Talk with your supervisor about getting involved in projects or tasks that allow you to use your strengths while supporting your supervisor’s and department goals at the same time.
  • Build on your strength: Maybe you have a strength that you would like to further refine to better equip you to implement a strength at work. Invest in yourself by attending a workshop or class, reading educational articles or books, or being mentored by someone who can help you further flourish in your strength.
  • Weaknesses can become strengths: It’s possible you may lack a skill set. If it is a skill set you are excited about learning, go for it! If it’s a skill set that may be keeping you from a promotion, or gaining experience in another area that can make your job more enriching, give it a try! You may find you like it. Learning something new provides challenges that keep life interesting and enable you to share more with others.

Sometimes it’s not possible to engage all our strengths at work. However, once your strengths are identified you can find ways outside of work to implement them, be it at home, or in the community. Strengths are a core part of who we are and often bring enjoyment when we can contribute them. Embrace your strengths wherever you can and you might just find a happier you!

Where do you stand in your vocational wellness? Find out by taking the vocational assessment.

Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! SEVEN is a free program from Health Promotion and Wellness for students, faculty, and staff that focuses on the importance of the seven dimensions of wellness: emotionalenvironmentalintellectualphysicalsocialspiritual, and vocational. Seven runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Participants log wellness activities to earn points toward monthly prize drawings and compete toward the end of the year overall point totals. Participants also receive the SEVEN e-newsletter and information on campus wellness events.

For additional details and to sign up, visit our Facebook Page and Wellness.IllinoisState.edu/Seven.