Finding My Strengths 2.0

Today I took the Strength Finders 2.0 test for my next course on entreprenuerialism at the Heritage School of Interior Design. I am a full-time sales executive for a healthcare company (to pay the bills) but I am studying design in my off hours. I really want a change. 

It was an interesting homework assignment for me because it made me reflect on how much has shifted since 2013, the year I graduated from college. Before I entered my senior year, I attended a summer program at Boston University that helps upcoming grads develop their careers. At the start of the program, they had us take the Strengths Finder test as well. The results were lost on my student- level maturity and understanding of the world.  Now, as a 26 year old contemplating a career change to design, I scoured the pages of the Strength Finders book and clung to this self-development online test as a lifeboat away from a job that doesn't quite fit. 

As I took the test today, my eyes were glued to the screen and focused intently on the questions that popped up as if the next loading page held the key to my future, "designy" self. I clicked through the exam, drooling with excitement to see what secrets the results would reveal about my new, creative path. My talents finally appeared, "Empathy, Futuristic, Individualistic, Learner, Strategic..." The next paragraphs expounded on how my raw talents speak to my ability to "read" the room, visualize the future, understand people, research my interests and make strategic moves to achieve success. 

Rather than revolutionary, these descriptions sounded familiar to me, an echo of my nature just arranged nicely on a well layed-out-out website page. I wouldn't say the experience was underwhelming but it certainly was not the road map to a career in design that I was hoping for. I was reminded, once again, that a self-help book is not going to make a change for me. I need to challenge myself to capitalize on the content and learn how to apply this information in my pursuit of the creative. 

Even though there is no road map, no secret key, no clear answer that I am doing the right thing, I am motivated to use this information to make a change to become a designer. After a bit of reflection, I realize I can use my talents to envision my future as a designer. I can practice describing my designer- self to the world to get others on board and excited as well. I can use my ability to understand people to better guide them on their projects. I can use my strategic nature to differentiate my business model and anticipate roadblocks. I can use my desire to learn to complete the masters program at Heritage School of Interior Design... 

Let's just hope the design world is ready for me :)