It is a challenge to know ones unique talents and discover our hidden ones too. Everyone is born with them. As we develop ourselves in our careers and our private lives we begin to understand more fully what they are. We are then confronted with choices and decisions. Some of us lose sight of our talents if we make the wrong choices and decisions that we may (or may not) later regret. Others may be sleep walking into the abyss perhaps falling by the wayside. Some of us grow wiser as we make the effort to redeem ourselves, change then learn to rediscover them, as we realise it is all part of life’s experience. Some of us may even begin to understand who we are and why we are here. And others… are still searching.
In my last article I had put some important questions across on how to kick start looking for a new position and ideas on how to get an interview. For example ‘With my talent what contribution can I make where there is a need (and get paid for it?)’ But how does one get the perfect job? The reason for this question is that so often nowadays so many people, bright people; gifted people are in the wrong job or apply for any job, simply because a job is a job. Or how often have we heard ‘This is the job I want because the money is good’ or this is exactly the job for me because it matches my skill set.’ Take note skills are not talents. Talents are your natural gifts and strengths. Skills are the knowledge, expertise and know how you have acquired and developed throughout your career. It is often the case that the two are confused with each other. Yet it takes great skill to develop your talents. Without discovering them or tapping into them we run the real risk of being unhappy and dissatisfied in our job.
I spoke to a senior investment banker recently from the lending side. He was highly educated, intelligent and experienced of around 40 years of age. Due to the on-going crisis and the continual banking problems, he described how the banks have been forced to take on so much extra costs such as: new regulation & controls, more audit and compliance. This has fuelled so much unnecessary bureaucracy. Deals are getting smaller, and therefore very cumbersome. He felt his talents were more and more compressed until they were simply quashed.
I noticed at the same time he felt trapped, financially too, and was unable to unleash himself. This soft voice crying out from within perhaps seeking a higher purpose yet feeling imprisoned whereby having no peace of mind. The older bankers from the baby boom generation seemed indifferent or aloof as they move closer to their retirement. With more than one secretary these persons were quite content, looking forward to their pension and playing more golf, seemingly undeterred by the banking mess they and their generation have left behind.
He described that he was not the only who felt this way and that it is a common phenomenon amongst the culture of bankers nowadays. It seems such a waste of talent in our world that great people with MBA’s from Erasmus, Solvay or London Business School, with so much experience and so much more to offer to get caught up this way, to have their aspirations crushed.
Aristotle said ‘Where talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation’
This takes some courage to figure out. I emphasise again this importance of tapping into our talents and to link it to societies needs as it will provide us with a sense of direction, fuel our passion, unleash a drive and provide us with a sense of purpose. Take your time to re-think, listen to that ‘voice’ which is softly speaking through you and the answers will come. If we can succeed in this challenge by then you will create a certain ease and a peace of mind and you will find a voice. You are ready to make that change and the step forward. You are ready then to conduct the ideal interview and for the perfect job. Your chances of success are high.
I remember there were times albeit rare in my career when I was introducing potentially talented individuals to employers seeking talent. In the interviews they came across as bright, totally at ease, at the same time humble and still able to sell themselves. They knew themselves well, had a focus and a sense of purpose. (A little humour is also good in interviews) Employers would give their feedback to me. ‘We want this person!’ they would say. ‘What do we need to do to get him or her on board?’ It seems ironic he or she had very little to do with the job description at hand. The employer felt the need to alter the job description considerable to fit this person’s needs and talents. Or they simply created a totally new position out of nothing. They knew that he/she would make that difference to them. They knew that he or she would add value to their company. It turned out that together they created the perfect job.