HomeExecutive Career TransitionHow Understanding Your Superpowers Helps You Win The Job By Gina Riley

    How Understanding Your Superpowers Helps You Win The Job By Gina Riley

    In the middle of a coaching call, I heard a sniffle on the line.

    “Are you OK?” I asked. Her voice wavered,

    “Yes. I’ve never felt this way before. I feel so special right now.”

    Over the course of a two-hour coaching call, my client’s self- perception had shifted so dramatically it moved her to tears of relief and joy.

    Over the past few years, she was doubting her value in the workplace, feeling beaten down, and disconnected from her manager and peers. While she had a strong sense of her contributions.

    she wasn’t getting the feedback needed to help her thrive and she was not able to articulate how her unique approach helped her company win.

    Like my client, many feel stuck in their job, company, or career.

    They know something is wrong but don’t know what the first step should be to make a positive change.

    If this story resonates, I can assure you, the mindset shift starts right in your very own seat.

    You need to start with YOU.

    One of the first things I ask a prospective job seeker is if they know their top 3-5 strengths.

    Here is a sample of the answers receive:

    • “I create strategies and drive toward goals.”
    • “I develop strong cross- functional teams.”
    • “I am known for being reliable and meet my deadlines on time.”

    Let’s break down the answers above.

    All of the phrases speak to a person’s transferrable SKILLS and not their innate, natural STRENGTHS.

    Most people find it easy to talk about their SKILLS because they know how to

    You take most of your accumulated professional skills from job to job or assignment to assignment.

    When I tell a job seeker the answers above are their skills versus their strengths, they usually sit back in stunned silence.

    I’ll ask, “Do you know your unique core STRENGTHS?

    These are the innate talents you have that nobody else has. According to Gallup, if you’ve taken the StrengthsFinder, your top five strengths are unique. You are one in thirty-three million people!

    These are the talents you came to the planet with and it tells me HOW you do what you do. Your skills tell me WHAT you do.”

    In order to coach executives and leaders in career transition, I need to understand who I am working with to help.

    I want to know who they are so we can create a cohesive story about their strategic value. But what assessment gives me this holistic view at a glance?


    About a quarter of the people I engage with tell me they are very familiar with various assessments. They can rattle off they are “red” or “blue” from the DISC or they are “Introverted Thinkers” from the Meyers- Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Some are even certified to administer these assessments.

    These assessments have their place in the careers landscape, but they only represent one of four pillars of career satisfaction – PERSONALITY.

    This is why I use the YouMap® Career Profile, because it measures all four aspects of career satisfaction and helps me unpack a person’s top strengths, values, motivated skills, AND personality – all in one assessment.

    The top five STRENGTHS tell me HOW a person does what they do, their VALUES tell me WHY they do what they do, their motivated SKILLS tell me WHAT they know how to do, and the PERSONALITY assessment tells me WHO they are when they show up.

    The YouMap® assessment enables me to catapult a leader’s career story forward faster with accurate details and depth that showcase how they manage their organizations, what motivates them, and the skills they most enjoy.

    It also helps to map out ideal jobs and weed out opportunities they would find soul-sucking or misaligned with their values.

    “Your personality tells us “WHO” you are”

    Why is this important information for jobseekers?

    If you are in a career transition, you must be ready to explain who you are and how you get work done. Once you are able to articulate this, you need to be able to explain how your values are aligned with the values of a prospective employer’s people and organization.

    This is a powerful one-two punch needed that works in conjunction with your professional skills and the results you can deliver.


    Most people prepare for interviews by obsessing over their resume and worrying about behavioral interview questions. To stand out in the interview process, you need a different approach.

    If you have done the deep work to understand and describe yourself, you can then position yourself as a unique solutions provider when applying for a job.

    Any candidate can fool themselves into thinking they are a match if they look purely at the list of functional and technical skills needed to do a particular job.

    The reality is, every organization and group of people want to know WHO they are hiring.

    The hiring team needs the candidate’s help to remove doubt about making a hiring misstep and reduce friction in the offer process. If you are currently in career transition or you plan to make a career move in the near future – my advice is to first start with YOU.

    Who are you? How do you do what you do? What do you know how to do? Why do you do it?

    This will help you answer without hesitation the question, “So, tell me about yourself”.

    Gina Riley
    Gina Riley
    Gina Riley is an authority in career transition at the powerful convergence of career coaching, executive search, and interview skills training. She created the Career Velocity™ system to help leaders and executives effectively manage career transitions. Inspirational writer and speaker, Riley is a certified YouMap® coach who also consults for Talence Group Executive Search.


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