Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tough career choices

Talent vs Skill. One you are born with, the other one takes time and lots of sweat. Still, no matter how hard you try, the most well-skilled person will lose to someone who is naturally talented. So why trying?

In Buckingham M & Clifton D (2001). Now, Discover Your Strengths the same questions are echoed when it comes to making decisions about your career:
  • What are your talents?
  • What roles and careers would make maximal use of your talents?

Now, Discover Your StrengthsDeciding on particular skills to develop, I can start the list with

  • Public speaking.
  • Interpersonal influence.
  • Analytical reasoning.
  • Ability to emphasize.
  • Doing research.
  • Acquiring knowledge.
  • Thinking creativity.
  • ...and it will take us a couple of days to complete it.
Marrying supply with demand, what are the skills required in the market nowadays? I am going to give you the most common MBA answer - it depends. If we talk about CEOs and their jobs, it's one set of skills ( When we look at, for instance, South Africa, its government is interested in a somewhat different agenda, provided shortage of skilled workers overall:

The decision is yours and it is difficult to give recommendations. There may be areas you are passionate about but not being naturally talented in them, you will be always playing second roles, while your natural talents may not excite you as much and you may decide not to leverage those in a work environment. Good coaching combined with personality assessments will help, and a bit of judgement will be useful too. Plus I always trust my gut feel and as the saying goes, "He who does not risk, does not drink champagne."

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