Global Experiences uses a Strengths-Based Approach to Career Readiness. What this means is that our program is designed to help interns realize their natural talents and apply them not only to their internships abroad, but to their journey in finding a career they love.
All GE interns take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment during their pre-departure phase and participate in a one-hour professional coaching call in order to deepen their understanding of strengths and consider how to apply them during their global internship, whether it be in-person or interning remotely from home with our virtual program, GE Virtuoso.
What are your strengths?
The StrengthsFinder assessment is a personal development tool developed by Gallup Education, which provides an individual with their “Top 5” strengths. 34 different strength themes are divided into four domains of Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Influencing and Executing. Your Top 5 might include the Achiever strength, which helps you burn the midnight oil to get things done, Woo to help you make connections with new people, or Adaptability to help you go with the flow when life throws you curveballs.
Focusing on your strengths on a daily basis has been shown to have profound positive effects on your personal and professional well-being, and here are the “Top 5” reasons on how exactly those gains are achieved:
You will feel the flow!
When you know what you do best and you put yourself in situations to express your innate talents on a daily basis, you will feel extremely engaged. Another way to describe engagement is by “being in the flow”.
People who experience “flow” are doing something where their skill level meets the challenge and they are so engrossed in what they are doing that they lose track of time and self-consciousness. Kind of like when someone expresses their creative side in a Graphic Design Internship or editing film clips in a Film Internship. They are living in the moment and expressing their true selves!
You will make better career decisions
So many students choose majors based on what their parents want or based on what society is telling them is a “good” or “stable” career. Sure, you might make buckets of cash, but if you are spending 35% of your waking life doing a job you hate, how much money is really worth that type of misery?
When you know your own strengths, you can make informed decisions about what to study, which career field to pursue and which job offers to accept because you are actively choosing to put yourself in a position where you will use your best skills. Get a career you love. Faster.
You will have a better internship experience
The most important factor in an international internship success is your relationship with your supervisor. For a short period of time, this individual is not just your task master, but also your mentor, your professional network connector and perhaps your gateway to future career opportunities.
When you know your strengths and communicate them to this vital person, you’re taking steps to ensure that they know you at a deeper level and create opportunities which match your strengths. Also, feedback is extremely important to young professionals, and feedback that is strengths-based will help ensure your growth and development as a person, not just as an intern.
You will have better professional relationships
Similar to helping your supervisor know you better, sharing your strengths with your teammates and developing an understanding of theirs as well, can have innumerous positive effects on your internship and ultimate career success. From conflict resolution, to forming project teams with a balance of the different strengths, to building a strong, positive office culture, at the heart, knowing and communicating each other’s strengths ultimately builds stronger relationships through empathic understanding.
Go on and name and claim your strengths! Put your top 5 in your email signature, on your office door and even on your business cards for all to see! Quiz yourself on yourself on your colleagues’ strengths!
You will experience happiness and career well-being
Because knowing and using your strengths leads to engagement and better relationships at work, you will feel more satisfied and a sense of well-being doing something you love each day with people who truly get you.
A successful career and happy personal life are facilitated by having hope for the future, hope is best cultivated when you have a solid knowledge of your strengths and an onus of control over your own life. In short, when you know what you do best, you feel confident moving forward into that big, beautiful unknown world out there!
That's the basis of it! Learn more about our Career Readiness Program to help you find a career you love.
Now that you have a better of understanding of why it is so important to focus on your strengths in your career, please remember that the StrengthsFinder assessment is a tool, and tools are only useful in the context of how they are used. To get the most mileage out of strengths in your personal development, take time to reflect on them on a daily basis.
It’s not a personality test, however, so don’t focus too much on which strengths aren’t in your top five or if you’re initial reaction to your results is underwhelming. It can take some time and reflection for you to see your strengths in action in your life!