“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, says the well-known maxim. Here’s why you need to be in a job you love, and in a role that best utilises your talents. Each person in the workplace is unique; in their character, their personality, their experiences and their talents - which means they are also uniquely valuable in the role they are undertaking. Many managers and career development officers repeatedly get an important thing wrong: they focus too much on what isn’t there and not enough on what is there. Helping somebody find their optimum vocation in life isn’t really about finding what isn’t there and trying to put it there; it is about working on what is already there and helping individuals maximise the talents they already have.
When it comes to the attempts that are made to put in what’s missing, you’ll find that people generally don’t change very much. But when it comes to making positive changes by finding the seeds of what is already present, and helping individuals cultivate those seeds to achieve their potential, people can change a lot - they just need the right guidance and support.
The best way to help someone find their direction in life is to help them draw out the uncultivated talents that are already in there. The most beneficial way you can be helped to find the direction that best suits your talents, and the most helpful kind of career support you can have in your vocational path, is with someone who can work with you to discover what your unique talents are, assist you in setting expectations, and motivate you into developing your potential into maximum effect in finding the kind of career to best suit your strengths, qualities, skills and experience. With the right support and guidance, your untapped talents can be located and thereby released into performance, making your happier and more fulfilled in your work life, and in all other areas of life too.
Here’s what you need to know about you. When it comes to matching your career to your unique character and personality, your talent is more important than your skills and knowledge. Your talent is made up of the inner qualities you have that can be consistently applied to productivity. Unlike skills and knowledge, talent isn’t something you can teach – it is the strength that best drives you to success in the most suitable vocation that complements the real essence of you.
Your talent is like a cognitive filter that sifts through every stimulus and constructs a world uniquely perceptible to you. It is the quality that makes you the most reliable explicator of ideas in a team meeting; it is the numerical aptitude you exhibit in being the one in the team who makes the most reliable budget forecasts; it is the ability you have to identify a measured balance when others are losing their heads.
The key to successful career development is finding the match between your talents and your career – because then you will most optimally excel in the workplace, and be happiest in yourself, in your work life, in your personal life, and provide the most value to those around you too.
James Knight - Guest blogger