Last week we introduced the idea of professional alignment: When our interests, talents, values and requirements  intersect. This week, we want to take it a step further, exploring our interests and talents – Specifically, our strengths.

The thing about strengths, is that we often misunderstand what our strengths are. We think our strengths are simply what we’re good at. We’ve also been taught several myths about them – Where to put our energy and efforts, how to “improve” ourselves professionally, what “should” happen as we grow and develop in our career, etc.

A leading expert in the field of professional development, Marcus Buckingham, has turned traditional notions of “strengths” upside down. And we think he’s on to something. His research at Gallop points to the fact that merely two out of ten professionals feel they’re playing to their strengths most of the time at work. Two out of ten. If our goal is professional alignment, and therefore career satisfaction, we need to figure out how to be one of those two out of ten.

Buckingham insists our strengths are not just what we’re good at. They’re the things that make us feel strong. The activities that don’t “feel” like work. The activities that leave us feeling filled up and at our best, that get us out of bed in the morning. Here at Crafted Career Concepts, we call that our Power Zone. You’re in the power zone when you’re spending time in activities that engage your expertise AND enjoyment.

If you’re serious about finding professional alignment – about being one of the two out of ten – make the effort to watch Buckingham, himself, explain how to play to your strengths everyday.

It’s 23 minutes, but it’s worth it.