List your strengths. The concrete skills and knowledge you’ve acquired through work experience and education may come to mind first. The softer intrinsic strengths may be less obvious but more fundamental. Look back to your earlier jobs and to your time at school. What did you enjoy most? What were you best at? Your current job may hold clues. Pay attention. Look for surprises.
Ask others for input. Ask current or former colleagues for honest feedback without pulling punches. They may mention strengths you don’t recognize, raise questions about the strengths you do mention, or ask questions that lead you to imagine new strengths. Get the ball rolling by asking questions like these: What am I best at? What strengths might I build on? What are my weaknesses? What jobs should I avoid? What jobs should I target?
Revisit past feedback. Reread your old performance appraisals or recall coaching from supervisors, even if it’s about a different kind of position.
“Hire” yourself. Think about hiring yourself for your current job, as if you didn’t already have it. Ask yourself why you would — or would not — be hired for this job.
Revisit your strength list. Return to your first list of strengths, and modify it to reflect what else you’ve learned. Categorize and rank that list. Be specific. Generic strengths are easy to state. They’re seldom helpful. Specific strengths are credible. They will naturally target you to some opportunities.