One of the most common questions I get asked is
“How do I work out what I’m best at?” (…and what I should base my future career on?)
I usually answer in two ways. One is around what you’re passionate about and the second is what are you good at.
This forms part of my Career Compass, so if you’re watching this and you haven’t seen the “Career Compass” blog you might want to check that out.
I’m going to talk in detail about how I advise people to discover those two things about themselves. Once you discover those two things, those strengths and those passions, they can be the basis of forming your own business if that’s the option you want to take, or they can be the basis of choosing your next role and either of those two things enable you to move forward from where you are at the moment.
If you want to move forward and you want to base your decision on your strengths and your passions stick around.
STRENGTHS & PASSIONS: There are really two questions you need to answer.
The first question is “Who do I want to be a hero to?”
By that I mean: of all the potential clients, all the potential customers, all the potential people in the world that you could work with or do work for, who are you going to choose?
The second question is “What are you going to do?”
What are you most passionate about, what do you care about? This is NOT to do with capability or strengths or what you CAN do, this is more about what you care about and what you’re passionate about.
For many people in your career you don’t think about this stuff too much.
You kind of just go “I do a job, I do it for these people and they pay me and everything turns out alright most of the time…”
When it comes to being lost in your career and not knowing how to move forward, that’s when these two questions become really powerful. This is what I use with people because it allows you to work out what you’re going to say “No” to which is just as powerful as what you’re going to say “Yes” to.
If we take the “Hero” question, what I would get you to do is draw a rectangle on a bit of paper and split it in half. Now write down as many of the people that it’s NOT – that you DON’T want to be a hero to. It could be large corporations, it could be “mom & pop” businesses, it could be people in the hospitality industry – for whatever reason, maybe you don’t want to work with cafes… I don’t know why you wouldn’t, but you may not want to – put as many on the list as you can and if you need to come back to it, do that. Take a break and come back and write some more. Then I want you to split the page into quarters. AGAIN, I want you to write down what it’s NOT. You might come up with three more ideas of what it’s not.
The magic of this is that you’ve identified so much about what it’s NOT, what it does do is crystallise what it is. Your job then is to (in the final quarter of your page) say “Well if it’s NOT all these things, who is it the most?” I don’t have the definitive answer, but who is it the most? Write down three options and then choose the one.
The most powerful thing about this is that you know then which audiences you want to target. WHO you want to do your best work for and who you want to serve.
In terms of finding passion and what you care about the most… I’ve done “Passion Filters” with people before where you say: Here’s your filter, all the way from “Saving The Whales” down to “I’m passionate about sleeping in in the morning” and there’s a hierarchy to it but I find that people can’t easily say “Well I’m passionate at about THIS level” so I do the same process with them: Draw the rectangle and firstly, AT WORK, what are you NOT passionate about? It could just be daily activities like admin, it could be meetings, whatever it is, anything you’re not passionate about and again, split it again, what are you not passionate about? Get to the point where you can write three things that you are passionate about and choose the one.
Big picture here is: we’re asking you the passion question.
Who do you want to serve? Who do you want to be a hero to? …and what do you care about most?
The big mistake people make is they sit there with a blank piece of paper and say “I don’t know!” I’ve done that too and I’ve found that what works with people the best is to answer the question of what it’s not. Who it’s NOT. What becomes clear is who it is. The same with what you care about – what do you not care about so that reveals what you do care about.
For those that haven’t seen the “Career Compass”, this forms the “S” component of the Career Compass and it’s a really important part. If you are lost and you’re not sure how you’re going to move forward. Get clarity about where you’re at so you can plan your future.
For those of you who are wanting to find your direction and you’re asking the “Who?” question and the “What?” question, leave me a comment down below: After having done all the “NOTs” what have you found “IS?” what have you found IS WHO you want to serve and WHAT you care about?
If you want to share with me send me a message or leave me a comment below.
Take care, see you next time.