“What are your greatest strengths?”
This is a question that might be asked during a job interview. The goal of this question is for an employer to figure out what makes you a valuable asset.
Your strengths go hand in hand with your skills, so what are they? To figure out the answer to this question, I thought about the way I get stuff done and the way people have described me. What are my skills and how do they relate to the value I’m able to provide?
In this post, I’ll be sharing my top 3 skills.
Ability to Think “Outside the Box”
Thinking outside the box is a metaphor that means to think in an unbounded way. It enables me to bring a fresh perspective to any scenario. It requires imagination, conceptual foresight, and the ability to identify many different possibilities. This is supplemental to my critical thinking skills.
One time, when I was working as a Library assistant, there was a problem with some recently ordered prints. 30 posters that needed to be put up were delivered with typos and inaccurate information. To re-order these posters would’ve been an expensive undertaking.
I proposed an affordable solution where we would create “patches” for the areas with typos. In order to do this, I matched the colors and font size of the effected areas on the poster and created small cutouts which fit right over the typos.
The patches were printed out using a color printer and then physically cut and pasted over the posters.
In my life, I’m always gathering information. While doing this, I try to ask meaningful questions. As a healthy skeptic, I always take in new knowledge with a grain of salt. I address my own biases and actively challenge my assumptions in order to broaden my perspective and remain adaptable.
I took a class on conflict resolution and mediation. It was by far the most interesting and beneficial class I’ve ever taken. The concepts I learned in that class apply to everyday life in many ways. Learning about communication and emotional intelligence, this experience was all encompassing.
During the class I participated in a role-play mediation session as a mediator. I was tasked with helping two people solve their problems. Throughout the mediation I had to ask each individual, meaningful questions while remaining completely neutral. The goal of mediation is to not impose a solution, but rather encourage the discovery of a solution to come from within the people involved.
Mediation is a great challenge, because you have to be careful about what you say given the circumstances. You have to be emotionally intelligent, and be able to generate many questions to delve deeper into the core of the issues.
While most mediation sessions are private. This one was being observed by 30 students. So I had to do all of these things under pressure.
Initiative is my ability to use outside the box thinking. Rather than sitting back and thinking about things, I take action on my developing ideas and perspective.
While working at the Library, a student came to the reference desk in need of help. She had recently spent several hours compiling a list of links to articles she retrieved from a database, however, the links she saved only provided temporary access to the article files. All the links were broken and she couldn’t remember the titles.
All hope was lost for the student when no one could figure out how to locate the original articles. However, I took the initiative and talked to her about the issue to gather as much info as I could. Then, I dedicated myself to finding a solution to her problem. She sent me an email and I received the list of URLs.
I figured there had to be some sort of clue about the article in the URL. Although to me, it was scrambled letters and numbers. Suddenly I had an idea. When I was off the clock, I created a support ticket with the database host company requesting any info identifying the article. A support agent responded and showed me something called an AIN code. This could be reverse searched in the database in order to find the article!
With this new information, I spent time identifying all of the missing articles and sent them over to the student. For this problem, I relied on my initiative and ability to think outside the box to find the solution.
I take a creative, artistic approach to my everyday life and projects. By doing this, I find ways to channel my creative energy into my work. This helps me stay motivated and on top of the work that I do.
My appreciation for small details applies to more than just art, it provides insight so I can notice things that people have overlooked. My ability to analyze and critique an artistic composition helps me design in a conscientious way.
When I take photographs, I have an intuitive understanding of how light scatters. I know how our eyes move across an image and what shapes and colors grab our attention. The texture, emotion, and form, help play a role in telling a story.
I create content that’s emotionally engaging through experimental processes. Exploring various mediums allow me to branch out and keep things fresh. Like me, my artistic pursuits are always evolving.
These skills will serve as a solid foundation for many things to come.
I’m excited to see what the future has in store.