June 17, 2019

Helping jobseekers uncover their talents with StrengthsFinder

PPL Public Sector Administration class

Uncovering strengths, building assets. That is what we work to do at PPL.

Many people can quickly identify their weaknesses, but what about their strengths? Without knowing your talents, how can you achieve success and long-term stability? Tools like StrengthsFinder, a personal assessment that outlines your strengths and talents, can help someone realize their skills and learn strategies for how to apply them, an especially relevant tool for jobseekers.

To help one of PPL's Career Training classes uncover their talents, Chad, a certified StrengthsFinder coach, volunteered his expertise and energy to support PPL's fourth cohort of Public Sector Administration jobseekers.

"Investing in strengths is more powerful than fixing weaknesses," said Chad. "We tend to focus on deficits, but our greatest successes actually come from maximizing those areas we're naturally inclined to be good at."

Chad's process for coaching a class begins with one of his own strengths - Context. He likes to share some of the history of the assessment, as well as his own personal connections with it. As Chad puts it, "It's so fun to talk to people about what they're good at."

Together with participants, Chad walked through the assessment and helped each person better understand their top five strengths. "What I found with the PPL group is that a lot of the talents people have are taken for granted because they come so easily to them."

After understanding the language and themes of the assessment, the next step, which Chad says is the most important and the most fun, is owning it. "These strengths have been there throughout most of your life," he said during class. "Think back to past successes you've had - how did these strengths help you get there? That becomes a really powerful tool for going forward." 

Kelsey, a PPL Employment Specialist, said of Chad, "He was able to bring a diverse group of students into meaningful conversations around the greatness they will bring to their future careers. It was an inspiring event that boosted their confidence, and helped inform their career goals." 


PPL's Public Sector Administration class is a free, six-week career training program designed to help you build computer and professional skills to prepare for office positions in the public sector. Participants spend four weeks in the classroom and two weeks in a hands-on learning experience with employer partners including the State of Minnesota, Ramsey County, City of St. Paul, and the University of Minnesota.