Provided by Stephanie Clark, BA, CRS, CIS, http://www.newleafresumes.ca. An award-winning and published Resume Strategist, dedicated to advancing your career goals, proudly serving clients from around the globe.
One Sunday, my husband and I were treated to a rare sight while biking along the trails crisscrossing a local park – two hawks entertained us with close fly-bys. We stopped, mesmerized by their incredible beauty, captivated by their ability to ride unseen wind currents, and hoped to catch a rare spectacle – prey spotted and caught. The experience got me thinking: These birds make the most of their natural talents to get the job done.
Such a contrast to humans who seem fixated on improving faults rather than harnessing the immense potential of natural talents. Think about your last performance review. Did your boss ask what you really enjoy about your position, so that he could harness a natural ability and increase productivity? Did she notice that “special something” you contributed to your team’s successful delivery of a corporate goal? Or, rather, did she suggest you could pull up your socks and perform better? Studies actually prove that most workplaces do not care about, or take advantage of, their employees’ strengths. And that 87% of people agree that “finding your weaknesses and fixing them is the best way to achieve outstanding performance.” But consider that on high performance teams, members say that their talents are utilized 75% of the time, not that they contribute great ideas because they focus on fixing faults. It seems to me that fixating on weaknesses to achieve outstanding performance is misguided thinking.
If you want to flourish in your worklife, you must take control. Refocus your energies from fixing weaknesses to expressing your natural talents, and like the hawks achieve your goals with a seemingly effortless grace. Take responsibility for your career, explore your talents and motivations, and find a position that makes the most of your strengths.
Although hawks are spared the need to wrestle with options, humans have to figure it out for themselves. And some find it easier to figure out what they don’t enjoy doing, and struggle to determine where their talents might lead. But there are indeed processes that can help you discover your natural talents, strengths and abilities.
The key to finding a job you truly enjoy, according to Alan Kearns, includes five variables: Talents + Passions + Values + Lifestyle + Ecosystem = the Right Job. In his recent book, “Get the Right Job Right Now!” Kearns offers a step-by-step process gleaned from over 15 years’ experience helping clients get their jobs right. He also provides a list of useful websites that generate career ideas and offer clear job descriptions.
Other useful books are “What Colour is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles, and “Go Put Your Strengths to Work,” by Marcus Buckingham. And if you are interested in commiserating with others who have struggled with career change, Po Bronson’s “What Should I Do with My Life?” is a thought-provoking read. One of these may just resonate with you and give you a gentle shove in the right direction.
Not into reading books? The website http://www.assessment.com offers variously priced packages for unearthing your talents and pointing you in the right direction. Straightforward, and not too expensive.
Learn from the majestic hawk: don’t worry so much about your weaknesses, and start maximizing your talents.