What if you had to tell your life story in just six words?

Since the focus of the GOING CIVILIAN Blog is to share things that might help you make that Military-to-Civilian career transition, I've decided to share five of my six words from an outside source.

I worked for a biotechnology company for several years starting just before the new millennium. Senior Management at this biotech giant launched an initiative designed to help each and every employee identify their individual strengths. Drawing upon the book Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, employees read and learned about how their strongest attributes cannot only be categorized but also personally leveraged and understood and appreciated by co-workers. In other words, if I know my strengths I can excel and play to my strengths. If those I work with understand my strengths - and me theirs - great things can happen! (I'm paraphrasing this excellent book of course!)

In 1998, the Father of Strengths Psychology, Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003), along with Tom Rath and a team of scientists at Gallup, created the online StrengthsFinder assessment. In 2004, the assessment's name was formally changed to "Clifton StrengthsFinder" in honor of its chief designer. When I read that Gallup backed this program, I knew this was some solid research. But, would it accurately assess my strengths?

I read the book. I found it all very interesting. What's more, when I took the STRENGTHSFINDER, I found it to be one of the most accurate assessments of my individual strengths!

With exception of the last one (which is one I just made up from a specific hobby and passion of mine), these 6 words come from STRENGTHSFINDER from the book Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton:

Woo® - People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Activator® - People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Relator® - People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

Maximizer® - People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

Strategic™ - People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Musical - I just love music! A song is always in my mind and listening, playing, and learning about music is an all-time favorite pastime. Playing the Saxophone since age 10 is something I absolutely enjoy!

All in all, I found these six words to be on point. Those who know me well agree.

You can learn more about STRENGTHSFINDER 2.0 and gain a better appreciation for how your strengths might benefit your next Employer, and how you might personally benefit.

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