Step 1: Uncovering Your Talents
In this blog series, entitled “Be YOU,” I focus on how to discover “your best you.” My introductory blog on the topic is an important, quick read before you dig too deeply into the first step that I discuss below. Please check it out!
A quick recap: there are four crucial steps in finding “your best you” – and these are listed in order of importance:
Step 1: Discover Your Talents
Step 2: Look for a Boss that Cares About You
Step 3: Look for Roles that Use Your Talents
Step 4: Find a Company that Cares About People
“Follow your passion and the money will follow” You’ve heard this, right? We all have. It’s the latest, greatest coaching advice. Except…it’s not great.
Many people take this advice literally and they are really struggling with how to translate their passions into a career. Personally, my passions have changed over the years. As I get older, my passion is spending time with my family. I’m married, have three children, two bonus children (in-laws) and three grandchildren. There is truly nothing I love more than having these humans by my side and in my sight.
But, try as I might, I just can’t make a career out of this.
Passions fill your soul, and sometimes your passion translates into a career. But, for many people, their passion is their hobby or the activity they do “off the clock.” In fact, I’ve seen people try to monetize their passion and once it becomes a job it’s no longer enjoyable.
However, talent translates into professional happiness and success!
Talent is the thing you are naturally good at and naturally drawn to do – you can’t help yourself. So, today let’s focus on the steps we can take to discover your talents. Whether I’m working with a CEO or one of my three children (see my last blog post for reference to them!), I encourage all of my clients to commit two weeks to a very important project that begins the journey of this discovery.
We all have things that we are good at and enjoy…and we each have those tasks that we wish we could avoid. Every person is the same in this regard. You are probably already running through those things in your mind!
To discover YOUR talents, grab a sheet of paper and on each side create your lists!
“List A for Amazing”
Record all of the things you love to do, primarily from a work or productivity standpoint. Yes, I love umbrella drinks on the beach, but that’s another blog post for another day and a different “List A”…
From a Talents perspective, your “List A” should encompass activities:
- that make you feel energized when you do them
- you are naturally drawn to and excited about them – you literally can’t help yourself
- that make you feel like you’re in your “zone”
- as small as making a list of your daily tasks to speaking in front of 1,000 people. There is no thing too big or too small, but your list should be as specific as possible
My List A includes speaking engagements, working with someone who needs guidance and coming up with creative solutions.
“List B for Blech”
List all of the activities that you really, really despise.
Your “List B” should include activities:
- that make your shoulders sink or your stomach churn when you see them on the calendar
- that you avoid, consciously or unconsciously
- that if done for a long period of time you get physically, mentally or emotionally weak. Seriously, can we agree that it’s called a weakness for a reason?!
The creation of “List B” can often be quite freeing. You are (finally?) officially naming the work or productivity tasks that you loathe. Oftentimes, there is power in this!
My List B includes sending out invoices, making doctor’s appointments, and any administrative activities that keep me from doing things on my List A.
So, your homework for the next two weeks is to create two lists. My next installment will be a discussion of “What Now?” Once you have these two lists, what is the next step on the journey of discovering “your best you.”
As always, if you have questions, email me!
PS: If you don’t have time, don’t know where to start or just don’t want to do this yourself, I have an assessment that can fast-track this process. The investment is 15 minutes and $275 and comes with a one-hour coaching session.
It’s a psychometric tool that is wickedly accurate and very enlightening!