HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT JOB YOU ARE BEST AT
What Are Your Hidden Skills?
At the age of twenty-two, I stumbled upon a sport that I became quite good at.
On a couple of occasions, I managed to finish in the top fifteen place getters in three world championships. The sport was racing rally cars (Subaru in my case).
To be quite frank it didn’t make sense that I was good at it because rallying involved fine skills and fast reaction times that I had never exhibited in anything else I had ever done.
“I remember once when I took a girlfriend for a ride in my rally car.
As the car rolled to a halt at the end of the run, she said to me:
‘I didn’t think you had it in you’
This girl knew me in lots of other settings but she hadn’t imagined that I would be good at anything like this.
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That was hardly surprising because I was a bit surprised myself. These supposedly new found skills and abilities were at great odds with the abilities I had demonstrated in my previous twenty years of life.
The reason I give this example is to illustrate how difficult it can be to identify our own inborn skills and the subsequent difficulty involved in how to choose a career.
Do Your Inborn Abilities Ever Change?
Maybe my inborn skills and abilities had changed. Perhaps I had become more skilled at things that I previously was lacking in.
But I concluded that this wasn’t the case.
I was still no good at all those things.
[This is where an assessment like the Dream Career Finder would have helped me]
Then I began to hear of other stories where people had suddenly discovered skills, abilities, and talents that for the most part of their life appeared totally absent.
Arthur Miller, in his excellent book The Power of Uniqueness, recounts an example of this.
During WW2, a fellow navy officer’s lack of decisive action almost caused a disaster on their ship. One night when he was in charge of the ship, he realized he was fast on a collision course with another ship that had its lights turned off (as was common during wartime).
The officer froze in action as he was unable to make the necessary decisions to avoid a tragedy. The skipper was immediately called to the tower and managed to avert a collision in the nick of time, much to the shame of the officer involved.
So it was with great astonishment several months later when that same officer found himself in another crisis situation that required fast and competent response, that his reaction was dramatically different.
A fire had now broken out in the ship near some explosives after they had taken a hit from shelling.
While most men on board were scrambling to save their own souls, this same officer rallied a group of men and remarkably led them into the danger zone to put the fire out.
Your Dream Career Finder Revealed
On the surface, there appeared to be an extraordinary paradox to these two vastly different responses by the officer.
It looked like two very similar situations.
But as Miller points out, the small subtleties of human uniqueness meant that the officer could respond quite differently in those two situations and when his natural aptitudes or inborn job skills were factored in, it all made sense.
The Dream Career Finder assessment is helpful in identifying these subtleties.
In the case of the fire, he saw that the threat was limited to just a handful of men and the decision didn’t involve assessing radar data and complex decision making under an emergency situation, areas he discovered he was not gifted in.
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But that job skills list was not required in the fire emergency.
Skills of quick thinking under a different set of circumstances where needed, and in this case, he responded admirably.
And he was able to respond instinctively.
Small Changes In Our Roles Can Produce Big Changes In Our Career Success
Our unique skills, abilities, and motivations are somewhat perplexing but wonderfully intricate.
I believe that we are so uniquely and intricately wired as human beings that although we may not be good at a whole group of related tasks, a slight change in the application or a slight change in our motivation for doing something, can have a seismic shift in the way our abilities show themselves.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t do practical things particularly fast.
When I was a teenager, I was so much slower than everyone else that when I went potato picking, I was nicknamed “myrtle the turtle“.
And that pretty much sums up the speed at which I did most practical things.
However, I began to notice that if you threw me into an emergency situation, the speed at which I responded was alarmingly fast in contrast to my normal responses.
Now we know that everyone has their adrenalin pumping in an emergency and their speed of responding is usually much faster. But I noticed that mine went beyond that.
I was invariably the one who was leading the charge and would become frustrated at the speed at which other people could respond to the same emergency situation.
Interestingly, I frequently found myself in situations of an emergency nature.
My wife would sometimes ask me when I got home at night “What emergency did you get involved in today”.
I would often find myself coming across a situation that involved me having to call emergency services and help until they arrived.
As I thought about this I began to realize that I had an immense desire to see people in difficulty helped and emergency situations brought under control as quickly as possible. Whether it was a crime scene, an accident scene or natural disasters, my motivation was the same.
Life is a hypocrite if I can’t live the way it moves me
When I traveled to Samoa in 2009 to help with the tsunami disaster relief, I became frustrated with the lack of urgency and planning that involved just about every aspect of the response.
In 99% of my daily living I was not fast at getting practical things done, but tweak the reason for doing something, and the difference in speed and effectiveness became extraordinary. This was the type of thing that I uncovered when I first completed the Dream Career Finder inborn job skills assessment.
Some Gifts Are Easily Identified From An Early Age
Of course in other situations, it is unmistakable to all, that a particular person has immense talent identifiable when they are very young.
When Peter Jackson was only eight years old, a friend of his parents could see his passion for taking photos, so she gave him a movie camera to play with.
He immediately started recording his own movies with his friends. The rest, as they say, is history.
Sir Peter Jackson is now a multiple academy award winner with movies like The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and District 9 to his credit.
Recently I watched a similar scenario unfolding on a documentary on TV about a twelve-year-old boy who had a passion for making movies.
He had become so good at it that he was now starting to get noticed and contacted by film industry professionals.
The parents of this boy made a not too surprising comment when they said:
He works very hard at making these movies, working long hours but we never have to tell him to do it or motivate him in any way.
This is usually a reliable way of identifying a young person’s inborn abilities; they have abundant inbuilt motivation and don’t require any external prodding from parents or others.
My belief is that, not only are we all born with these natural gifts and abilities but they are frequently quite difficult to identify in ourselves.
Can You See Your Own Inborn Job Skills, Abilities, and Talents
It sometimes seems easier to see them in other people.
If you have children, you can often see these abilities in them from a very early age.
You can also often identify them in other people that you know well.
One of my children has a particularly gentle and compassionate nature that was easily identifiable from birth.
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As he grew up he showed a naturally kind heart towards his siblings and people in general.
We could see that he could greatly empathize with other people’s pain.
This was something that was not a result of his environment or parental upbringing (my wife will readily attest to my lack of compassion), and none of his other six siblings subsequently showed this attribute so strongly.
His compassion towards others was obvious to me and as someone who had spent many years providing career change advice, I was interested in how that gifting might be put to use later in life.
When our next child was born I was quite surprised to see quite a different situation at hand.
I distinctly remember the events in the birthing room.
He came out of the womb wiggling and fighting like a hooked fish.
When I put my finger out for him to hold he grabbed it with the intensity of a drowning child.
And from that moment on he displayed skills, abilities and personality traits that were vastly different from his brother.
85% of Workers Dissatisfied
The attributes that were so apparent in his brother were nowhere to be seen in him.
But as is the case with everyone, he had his own set of skills and abilities.
One of those was in the area of manual tasks.
He was innately attracted to the building, creating and fixing things from a very early age and his work ethic, speed, and thoroughness at doing those types of activities were quite noticeable.
Workers are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, according to a new survey 85 percent of workers are dissatisfied with their work.– Gallup World Poll
He also began to develop a very mature approach to handling money and before long was earning and saving significant amounts of money.
Once at the age of about nine or ten he had the opportunity to help out a builder who was renovating a shop of ours.
The builder later commented to me how he found him to be such a good worker and how capable he was for his age.
He asked if he could have him back the next day to help.
Linda Barrington, Managing Director of Human Capital at the Conference Board
Workers who find their jobs interesting are more likely to be innovative. Workers have grown increasingly unhappy because fewer workers consider their jobs to be interesting…
I could go through my other children and tell you how one of them has shown a fascination with airplanes for as long as we can remember and at the age of nine had begun clocking up hours towards his private pilot’s license.
There is no doubt in his mind, or mine, that he will be flying commercial aircraft in the not too distant future. I give these examples not because my children are different from anyone else’s.
On the contrary, it is my firm belief that every person is born with certain bents that they are naturally predisposed to use, but for many reasons, we are often unaware of them or perhaps they have been swept under the carpet.
Inborn job skills or motivated abilities are recurring skills that are identifiable from an early age.
Motivated Ability was a term coined by Arthur Miller, who noted that after working with a large number of workers as a personnel manager, he realized that people’s abilities were consistently recurring throughout their life.
But most of the time people were unaware of this happening.
He called them ‘motivated abilities’ because when we work with these abilities we are intensely motivated in what we do.
These are also known as natural work abilities, inborn abilities or worker temperaments.
This dream career finder identifies the skills, abilities, and motivations that you will enjoy using the most in your career.
It produces a more superior result than skill assessment software because of the individual depth it probes to uncover a person’s innate inborn work skills.
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