The connection between your talent and career
You just finished college and you are looking for your first job. Or your current job is draining and honestly, you do not see a future in that line. Relax, we are all born with a special set of skills which allows us to do certain things exceptionally well and with minimum effort. The best part is that you will enjoy doing these things anytime, anywhere and even if there is no recognition for it. Your talent and career can be merged to give you a very fulfilling life where you work every day but feel like you are just having a good time.
The world is increasingly appreciating talent and even paying handsomely for it, look at footballers and musicians, for example. So, if you find the job search frustrating, you can turn your talent into a full time or part time job and even employ other people in the process. Some of the most successful people in the world have turned their talents into jobs or integrated their talents into their jobs. Doing a job that you love gives you immense satisfaction, something that you cannot derive from just having a job. However, finding your talent may not be easy but, we’ve got your back. It is not rocket science.
How to identify your talent
- Identify something you enjoy doing
Talent comes naturally. One pointer to a natural talent is the ability to get fully immersed into doing something at any time. Do you enjoy giving people advice on their problems even if they seek your advice when you are busy? Maybe you are a good counsellor. Or do your friends call upon you to organise a birthday party because you organise the most lit parties and you do not mind at all? In fact, you look forward to such requests and go all out to deliver the best parties. This could mean that you have great event organising skills. Investigate those things you do effortlessly and completely get carried away while doing them.
2. Ask your family and friends what you do well
If you are not sure, or you think there are several things you are good at, ask your friends what you do best and what skills make this possible. Close friends and family members might see right through you and that is why you are called upon to do certain things without a second thought. They see what comes naturally for you and this is usually tied to your talent.
3. Analyse your strengths
The key is to know where your strengths lie and where your passion lies. You may be good at something due to practice but you have no passion for it. It could also be that those strengths overshadow what you are really good at and the trick is that your talent may lie in your strength and not necessarily your passion. That is why you should ask if you are not sure.
4. Take personality and talent tests
There are numerous online platforms which analyse your skills and strengths and give you suggestions based on the answers you give to a set of questions. These are tools that have been developed through research and testing and they have high accuracy levels. Take time to carefully analyse the questions and answer them as honestly as you possibly can.
Making a career off your talent
- Develop your skill
A talent is a raw skill that needs work and practice to develop a competitive skill that gives you an edge over others. Once you identify your talent, you will need to put in hours of training and practise to perfect it.
Talent is natural but you need to turn it into a competitive skill in order to turn it into a career. You will need to practise, take formal classes and work hard in order to turn the talent into a marketable skill that finally becomes a job and gives you an income.
Remember, you can only turn your talent into a career by perfecting that skill that comes naturally to you. This also helps you to identify unique selling points that help you to make a career out of your talent.
Developing your skills should be a continuous process. There are people who are better than you and there are people who have the ability to learn and work hard and be better than you. If you become complacent, your talent will not get your far. Make a point of being a continuous learner. Even the most skilled musicians in the world are always practicing and learning new ways of improving their singing. Life is a continuous learning process.
“Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work” Usain Bolt.
2. Do a thorough research
Once you have identified your talent, you need to research on its demand and applicability in your environment. You need to know just how marketable your talent is, and how much competition exists so that you do not get frustrated when your talent does not bring you an income.
Market research helps you know whether you can start a whole line of business that makes use of your talent, or whether you can get a job that utilises your talent. Sometimes, your talent and career may seem to be on different paths, thus, starting a business may not be profitable in the long run. In such cases, you might consider taking up a job that will let you utilise your skill and pave the way for your success.
Research will also help you know what training opportunities exist in your area as you might need to undertake formal training in order to develop your skill. Make Google your friend!
“Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind” Marston Bates.
3. Find mentors
In every field, there are people who have gone before you and learnt a lot through experience. It is always important to get such people to hold your hand as they will teach you how the industry works and help you to navigate through the obstacles and challenges you are likely to face.
A good mentor will also guide you on how to develop your skill so that you can gain a competitive edge and turn it into a career. A mentor also has experience and good networks that can help you fast track your career growth. This will also help you develop your personal brand by leveraging on your strengths.
A good mentor also pushes you to be the best you can possibly be through accountability. So, get a mentor who will hold your hand and walk through the journey with you so that you can successfully turn your talent into a full-time job.
Mentors are also helpful when it comes to helping you open doors. Your mentor is likely someone who has been in the industry for many years and has the right networks that can help you grow. Your mentor can, therefore, help you make the right connections and get opportunities that will exploit your skill and help you grow.
In the same breath, be open to criticism and guidance. If you do not make room for criticism, you are likely to encounter pitfalls that can cripple your growth. The role of a mentor is to help you see your blind side which might hurt your growth. Be open minded and take criticism positively.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction” John Crosby.
4. Get started
Execution is the most important phase as this is where you start making a living out of your career. First, you can turn your talent into a business where you sell your skill and this becomes your long term career. A person who loves music can learn deejaying skills and then goes ahead to perform in clubs and events at a fee. This can become a lifelong career.
Additionally, you can look for jobs in areas that utilise your skills. This way, your will enjoy your job as you will be using your talent to execute your duties. For example, if you have great communication and interpersonal skills, you can look for a job in customer service. When you combine your passion and your day-to-day activities, you are on your way to a successful and enjoyable career.
“If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today” African proverb.
5. Be patient and persistent
Nothing good comes easy. You know that, right? You will need lots of patience and persistence if you are to make your talent and career parallel. Even the best musicians did not get to the top in a day. The best professors have studied and researched for years in order to become authorities in their fields.
You will need to invest hours and energy into your talent before it can become a fulfilling career. The best part is that you will be doing something that you enjoy so giving up will not be easy and you will have an inner motivation to always improve and move on after failure. It takes a strong determination to succeed in anything and that goes for profiting from your talent as well. Be patient, be persistent and be open minded.
“Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression” Elder Russel M. Nelson.
Finding a job is hard but turning to your talent for help can often result in a life-long career full of satisfaction. Find out what you are good at and look for ways of making a career out of it. You can start a business or get a job that utilises your talent, for a fulfilling career. At the end of the day, the idea is to have fun and get paid for it!
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