At one point during my MBA program, I signed up for the mentorship program to meet other business leaders in the community. I was matched with a hard-hitting former marketing executive who built his career at all the right CPG’s. And boy did he teach me something about myself.
During one of our first meetings, he asked me to recite a few of my skills. After each one, he replied “that’s not a skill” or, “nope, that’s not one either”, until I finally realized I had been talking about acquired strengths or things that I liked to do. I was missing the point entirely. He wanted me to identify innate skills, or what I’ve been good at since I was a kid, because when you’re able to utilize those skills in your career you will be exponentially more successful. I mean, it’s all fine and well to work on improving our weaknesses, but what if we tapped into our natural potential to TRULY SHINE?
I’ve spent an unusual amount of time taking personality and career tests in my life. In fact, career counselor used to be my dream job. I find learning more about myself and how I relate to others to be absolutely fascinating.
But, none of these prepared me for the tough questions my mentor threw my way, as he forced me to dig way into the archives to uncover what I’m naturally good at.
Why does this matter? Because this knowledge is powerful, and it allows you to create a career and a life that is more fulfilling than you could have ever imagined. My good friend, Jessica, over at What’s Happyning blogged about career fulfillment recently, and I had to share.
Most people can “check” the box in one, maybe two of these categories. If you’re ONLY meeting the “what you can be paid for” category, you’ve got some soul searching to do. And that’s ok! You just need the right tools to get you to the sweet spot – the intersection between what you love doing, what you’re (naturally) good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for.
A-HA! Guys, it really is this simple if you can just FIGURE OUT what matters to you in each of the quadrants.
- What do you spend your free time doing?
- What doesn’t feel like work to you, but others highly value?
- What produces the most satisfaction for the amount of time spent?
I love to research food and fitness trends across the country. Tell me where you’re traveling, and I’ll hook you up with where to eat and where to work out. Wouldn’t you love a wellness concierge like this?! But I also spend a ton of time on personal development, reading books on how to better myself, and be a more effective leader and business person.
Here’s a quick exercise from The Big Leap. Answer these questions as clearly as possible, and I’ve shared a personal example to get you started.
I’m at my best when I’m _________
Inspiring others to reach their full potential as individuals and as leaders
When I’m at my best, the exact thing I’m doing is __________
Building and leading teams by creating tools and resources to help them be successful
When I’m doing that, the thing I love most about it is ________
My personal interest in the subject matter and the overwhelming response from those I’ve helped
I’ve been looking for a better way to utilize my innate skills of 1) Communication 2) Problem Solving and 3) Building Relationships/Connecting. At the same time, I want to help and motivate others in their journeys – whether it’s health/fitness, career or life in general. That’s why I’ve decided to finally make the leap and become a healthy lifestyle and wellness coach in addition to my full-time job!
This has been a LONG TIME coming. In fact, I’ve been researching how to become a certified coach (beyond my RDN credentials) for well over a year now. But, the financial and time investment required while working full-time just wasn’t panning out. That’s why I’ve aligned myself with a company whose products I already use and advocate for in my daily life.
So if you’re looking for MORE out of your life and how to identify these skills/put them to use – I can help!
Already know YOUR top 3 innate skills? I want to hear ’em!