| Hi Taylor
- I'm in between jobs and trying to find some direction. People tell
me to find something that suits my strengths, but I always second
guess what I'm good at. How do I figure out what I do well without
just being unrealistically confident? - Elsie
Hi Elsie - It's hard to manufacture confidence, and that's something
overlooked when people are searching for direction. Until you feel
confident about what you're doing, you won't know if you're playing
to your strengths or not. Meanwhile, that confidence isn't going to
come until you have experience.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to assess whether or not you're
good at something. The most important factor to watch for is your
excitement level. If you feel passionate while doing the work, even
when the work isn't great, you're showing a significant strength.
It might not be evident in the results, but staying excited and persevering
is a talent in and of itself.
The question then becomes will this passion and perseverance lead
to a career? This is where many people have a hard time making their
strengths fit into a job title. You might be really fascinated by
certain elements of web design and photo editing, but you don't know
if you should be a designer or an editor or an animator.
The solution is to ignore the moniker. Not every job will fit all
of your strengths, but that doesn't mean you're wrong for the position.
Every career will come with a learning curve; you should expect to
learn on the job while letting your best abilities serve as an entry
point. Don't search for a named role within a company, and instead
look for any place where you can work on something that interests
Remember, strengths don't have to be specific trades like accounting
or welding. Listening, problem solving, organizing and communicating
are all valuable assets employers look for. I know plenty of people
who have landed jobs they initially thought they weren't qualified
for, but they were hired because they had personality traits and skills
that can't really be taught.
So, what do you like to do? When you're doing that thing or those
things, what makes you feel confident about your effort, and what
keeps you engaged in the activity? Even if you start by focusing on
a leisurely task like reading or gardening, there are still strengths
on display. Your love of fantasy novels might not feel like it translates
directly to a marketable skill, but it's not as far off as you think.
We're typically the best at things we like to do, and that's where
you should start. Consider jobs from your past that have given you
moments of excitement, and think about why that was. Eventually, you'll
be able to align your passions and be a few steps away from a great
career. Good luck!
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an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
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