If you wish to excel in what you choose to do, than it is critical to identify your built-in talent, trait or core competencies early on in your life. However, it is no less important to know that it is never too late to discover same at any stage of your life or make corrections in the ones identified and pursued earlier!
Normally, people don’t make conscious efforts or there is lack awareness on how to identify their hidden taste, tendencies and competencies, in which they could shine. There are also cases, where some people are capable of finding out what their hidden talent is; but, they are unable to map or match it correctly to the career path. Therefore, often they end up following advice of friends, father or fraternity in selecting their career or brain, Beauty, profession. Some may still develop well; but most fail to do a good job. There are wiser ones, who rather than living a frustrated life, change their pursuit mid-stream and come out then with flying colors in the new profession.
Lot of school going students tend to follow hype created by their friend circle. They are cut to be artists or architects, but go for engineering and then struggle for success. Children of business families are inherently pushed by their parents to pursue family business, regardless of their capabilities or choices. I have come across host of employees, who were doing very well in their career as engineers but opted to pursue MBAs only because that would give them better career opportunities and salaries, even though they hardly had any flair for managing businesses! There is a kind of fear in minds of most young professionals to follow their hidden talent, lest they should fail and miss the bus of opportunities that their peers are enjoying by following text book rules.
Look at hidden talent of some well-known personalities – Hedy Lamarr, “Bombshell” beautiful actress of 1940s used to experiment at home for automated control of musical instruments and also received a patent for invention in this field. She wanted to be better known for her innovative brain than her skin beauty. Famed suspense movie director Alfred Hitchcock was a graduate from London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation. An engineer’s mind often gave his movies a cutting edge! Former US President Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer and engineer, before he catapulted to become top political leader. Super and successful model Cindy Crawford was nearing her graduation in chemical engineering when she firmed up her mind to fire into entirely unrelated field of modelling!
Where does your talent and tendencies hide?
“What we can’t identify, we declare it invisible (hidden)!” As a matter of fact, core talent and tendencies of anyone are never hidden. These are visible through one’s behavior and responses all the time. Real challenge for most is lack of adequate knowledge on how to co-relate and collate these in a structured manner, as same surface in a random manner and moreover, these can undergo some variation over a period of time depending upon experience made by the person and his/her beliefs having undergone a change.
There are 3 aspects, through which hidden talent or tendencies come out –
- Type of original or primary thoughts
- What you do with those thoughts
- How you respond to a given situation
What you consistently or repetitively do nearly 80% of time in above 3 aspects is your talent or tendency.
Type of your primary thoughts is the seed for your talent!
Most important thing to know is that primary thoughts are the ones, which come on their own and come effortlessly. Please ignore thoughts, which are secondary, provoked or induced.
Categorize your primary thoughts as follows:
- Conventional or unconventional
- Positive or negative
- Old (repeat) or new
- Abstract, object, people or transaction related
What you do with your primary thoughts is how you nurture your talent!
This is a key to build your core competency. Watch out how you handle your primary thoughts:
- Ignore or discard
This does not help in building any competency!
- Investigate (analyze) and implement
- Implement straightaway
- Improve and implement
- Innovate new ideas based on primary thoughts
How you respond to a situation determines your trait or characteristic!
It shows what kind of person you are or you would become:
This would take your talent in wrong direction.
- Accept but no further action
- Accept and offer help
- Define or understand it, decide on path forward or seek a solution
- Develop it further
- Dissect and debate
These 3 aspects can help you unleash your true potential
Understanding these 3 aspects in you can indeed boost your decision making power at any stage of life, since these clearly guide you to shoot it right – be it decision to plan a new career or change the existing one.
Don’t believe that your talent is hidden only in your DNA and that it can’t be changed. DNA only determines basic tendencies; but by practice, same can be altered.
Once you know your current hidden talent, it empowers you to alter if you discover that better opportunities lie elsewhere. But, before you embark upon any opportunity, you must make sure that your core talent is aligned to it.
Hiring manager can take advantage from knowledge of these 3 aspects how to frame their questions and understand the talent of candidates being interviewed from answers given by them.
Examples of matrix for areas, you would score the best
Remember you need to pick only what you tend to repeat most of times, ideally 80% of instances: