Name: Tammy

Age: 44

Family Status: Married with two children

Occupation: Display and packaging specialist

Strengths: Ability to communicate with customers; enthusiasm for job

Weaknesses: Patience; lack of tolerance when dealing with co-workers who are not customer-driven

Biggest lesson from workshop: Step up and take control of your job/your life; identify your strengths and find a way to incorporate them into your work; stop stressing so much about your weaknesses

Update since workshop: New job, new opportunities and back in college

Goal: To continue to find ways to incorporate the things I do best into my job on a daily basis

Meet the first 20 participants!
Name: Janene

Age: 47

Family Status: Married with two children

Occupation: Operations supervisor in supply chain management

Strengths: Process development and refinement, customer service, project analytics, teaching others new things/ideas and project ownership

Weaknesses: My weaknesses as defined by Marcus and what I learned in the workshop (things I don't like doing) are repetitive administrative tasks and projects where I don't influence the outcome or affect a decision

Biggest lesson from workshop: The biggest lesson from the workshop is that what you are good at is not necessarily your strength and that it's never too late to find out what your strength really is and try to find a new position that uses your strength at least 75 percent of the time

Update since workshop: Since the workshop, I have a new position as an operations supervisor, and I love it. When I returned from the workshop, I had a meeting with my boss. We discussed what my strengths really were and what area(s) of the company and jobs within the company would be a good fit for me. I also helped out in an area that didn't utilize any of my strengths but did show me that just having a job wasn't the answer. I survived a corporate downsizing/restructure that developed the position that I am now in.

Goal: My goal is to build a bigger foundation and gain more experience in my new job and within one to two years be promoted to an operations manager. That promotion may be on the existing account or a new customer account.
Name: Marcia

Age: 45

Family Status: Divorced with two children

Occupation: Instructional designer—consultant

Strengths: Developing soft-skills training, collaborating with clients to resolve performance gaps and managing and leading development teams

Weaknesses: Developing highly technical courses and working solo over long periods of time

Biggest lesson from workshop: I can focus my career and take projects that play to my strengths; when I make work decisions based on my strengths I am more successful, productive and happy

Update since workshop: I've identified the types of projects that weaken me so I can avoid them and have begun to focus my career on taking projects that strengthen me

Goal: My goal is build my project sources so that I can focus my career exclusively on projects that strengthen me

Read my blog
Name: Erin

Age: 31

Family Status: Married with two children

Occupation: Insurance agent

Strengths: People skills and selling skills

Weaknesses: Delegating responsibilities, balancing home and work responsibilities

Biggest lesson from workshop: If I don't start delegating responsibilities at work, the stress will ruin mine and my family's lives

Update since workshop: My work load has lightened so much and my stress levels are down significantly because I have retrained my assistant to do the work she should have been doing all along, the way I want it to be done. I can focus on selling, and she is doing all the legwork to save me time I can spend with my family. My girls are a lot happier also because they have their mom back.

Goal: To slowly continue to add more responsibilities to my assistant's workload, hire more agents into my office to help grow my agency so all of the load is not on me and to leave work at noon on Fridays this summer so I can actually swim in our pool this summer
Name: Jenny

Age: 31

Family Status: Married with two children

Occupation: Communication specialist

Strengths: I am a great writer with a newfound strength of prioritizing and drive get the job done right and to the best of my ability

Weaknesses: I sometimes take on way more than I can handle

Biggest lesson from workshop: I need to step back and only take on things that will allow me to give 100 percent of myself at work and 100 percent of myself at home

Update since workshop: I am much better at keeping work at work and home at home. I'm much less stressed because I make lists. It's amazing to do this because I was able to see that, in the beginning, no one could take on that much (at home and at work). I needed to scale back a little bit for myself.

Goal: My goal is allow myself the ability to take on a little less, so I have the time to give a little more of myself; I feel that by doing this, my strengths would become stronger
Name: Vanessa

Age: 31

Family Status: Married with one child

Occupation: Pharmaceutical sales

Strengths: Outgoing/social

Weaknesses: I cannot say no

Biggest lesson from workshop: I can say no, and feel good about it; if I focus on myself and my strengths, I can do anything; managing my priorities, so that i can make more free time for my daughter

Update since workshop: Moving to New York City and becoming a consultant

Goal: To be happy with my career and the direction it is going; to be able to say no and mean it; to be a great mom and wife
Name: Jennifer

Age: 33

Family Status: Married with two children

Occupation: Small-business owner, foundation coordinator (fundraising/marketing)

Strengths: Creating new ideas/events, marketing

Weaknesses: Accounting, repetitive tasks

Biggest lesson from workshop: There are two I find equally important:
1. Broad strengths are okay. I was trying to narrow down my strength of new idea/event development into something more defined, but I realize that the purpose of identifying a strength is not to pigeonhole yourself into a label. It's much more about self-awareness. For me, this workshop was about taking the time to recognize a few of my own strengths to help me grow as a person and be on the lookout for opportunities to use those strengths more.
2. Allow yourself new opportunities and experiences to put your strengths to work. (My coach focused on this.) It may not be obvious where you can use your strengths. Using your skills to volunteer, for example, may be a great way to find satisfaction—but you have to know what’s out there, and the only way to do that is to get out there. I think this is just as important as increasing the amount of time you use your strengths in your current situation.

Update since workshop: I'm saying yes! I'm really just trying to experience new things this year. For a control freak, that's a bit of a challenge. But instead of predetermining the outcome of every experience before it happens and then deciding if I want to do it, I'm living by the rule to say yes to new experiences, challenges, foods, etc. (This is not to be confused with being a doormat or a "yes woman.")

Goal: To find that one thing that is missing in my life. I've said from the beginning that I have a great family, great jobs, friends, etc., but also that nagging feeling that there is something more I am supposed to be doing. I think [A New Earth author] Eckhart Tolle said it best: "Ask life what it wants from you rather than telling life what you want from it." So now I recognize some of my strengths, and if I ask life what it wants from me and give up a little control by saying yes more often, I may just give life an opportunity to answer.

Read my blog.
Name: Yvette

Age: 33

Family Status: Single with one child

Occupation: Mortgage consultant

Strengths: Ability to recognize my client's needs and to help them accordingly

Weaknesses: Dealing with rejection, moving on from a deal that clearly makes sense to me but not to the client

Biggest lesson from workshop: Using my strengths to help me overcome my Weaknesses; not focusing on my weaknesses helped me to grow my business

Update since workshop: Increased my pipeline; I am enjoying my job more

Goal: Although my pipeline has increased and I am enjoying my job more, I would still like to pursue another career. Right now, I am focusing on paying off all my bills so I'm able to go back to school and pursue a career in accounting.
Name: Lisa

Age: 41

Family Status: Single

Occupation: Certified project manager (specializing in telecommunications)

Strengths: Ability to remain focused under pressure, detailed-oriented and can thrive in a team environment

Weaknesses: Very shy when it comes to public speaking; when trying to resolve a personal or professional issue I can become too focused.

Biggest lesson from workshop: As a result of this workshop I now view what I believed to be my strengths in a different light. One of my biggest take always was the understanding that some of my strengths are actually survival skills (weaknesses) fine-tuned over many years, especially those utilized at work.

Update since workshop: I am currently working in my field, in a position which presents daily challenges. Since I'm in my area of expertise and enjoy my current position, I greet each working day with enthusiasm.

Goal: To utilize what I learned during the workshop to hone in my personal weaknesses and make the necessary modifications to minimize stress related circumstances
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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