Weakness, Schmeakness

When is a weakness a strength?

There are many cases where a strength might be a weakness in disguise. As a classic example, if someone is in the field of accounting, their weakness might be that they sometimes pay so much attention to details that they lose sight of the big picture. This weakness, in the accounting field, is really a strength. A weakness I have is that I tend to multitask so much that I sometimes find myself doing too many things at once. In my field, this is also a strength in that I need to be able to handle multiple tasks at one time. Some people have overcome personal challenges (illness, for instance) which may have taken a toll in other ways, but gave them greater empathy for others with similar challenges, something which might be appreciated in the nonprofit world (depending on the organization you apply to).

The key with a weakness is to show you are self-aware about your own challenges, and explain how you are working to overcome this weakness. For my weakness, I explain that while I do tend to multitask too much, I am always able to shut off any distractions and focus 110% on a client who is sitting in front of me. I put all of my attention into the other person’s issues and try to facilitate their career questions. In addition, I am able to stay on track and focused in my work because I keep an organized to-do list and calendar.

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Joe Flood

You might want to check out a book called Now, Discover Your Strengths. It says to concentrate on what you do best and ignore what you’re not good at.

Carol Davison

The IRS did some reserach on this recently. They realized that we soar with our strengths; and wallow in our weaknesses. It’s in our best interst to develop in areas supporting our strengths, and collaborate with someone who possesses the competencies we are lacking in. To me this only seems logical.

Jenyfer Johnson

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009 and had to undergo a right mastectomy, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy and 3 months of radiation. I took time off for surgery and a few days here-and-there when I didn’t feel well but overall I worked through my illness. It was hard sometimes, I hurt or didn’t feel well, but I had a job to do and in many ways it took my mind off of my illness; didn’t allow me to “wallow”. I would come to work and make jokes about being bald, about how my breast “tried to kill me”, how I had to “get my dose of poison” for the week or how I was going to set off the radiation detectors coming onto my base. It helped me deal with it and somehow made me a little stronger.

It also (I found out later) made me a role model for other people who were going through cancer or found out later they had cancer. They came to me and told me they hoped they could be like me, able to laugh, be strong, and face it the way I had. I always tell them…cancer is just a word and laughing is better than crying!

So cancer helped me learn just how strong I really can be and how much I can help people by being a role model, without even knowing it.