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This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.
- Identifying gifts, loves, and skills
- Assessing personal performance
- Applying your strengths and talents at work
- Making continual improvements that impact your career
Skill Level Beginner
What if many of your job responsibilities don't match your natural talents, or you've discovered through the previous exercises that you spend most of your time working on things that you're not good at, or don't enjoy doing? While a few people hold jobs that are a perfect match for their talents, most find that their job description doesn't match their talents to some degree. The good news is that you have control of this situation and your job satisfaction. The best approach to matching your talents and responsibilities is to look for opportunities with the company you're in right now.
The more you understand your business, the more valuable you become. If you were to move to a new business, you would lose momentum and become less savvy. The transition time of moving from one company to another is very costly. Instead, you can work toward a job description that better matches your talents. I will take you through a multi-question process to discover how to do this for yourself. The first question is, are you willing to make a change? If you're completely satisfied with your career, you may not find it necessary to make any changes.
If this is the case, then simply make a commitment that you're going to do your best in your current position. If, however, you want to improve your value per hour and your job satisfaction, then now is the time to commit to make whatever changes it takes to do so. The second question is very important. Is your employer flexible? Generally speaking, the larger and more established your company, the less flexible they are going to be. From their perspective, they have a job to fill, and either you're fit for it, or you're not.
In a small to medium-size business, or one that's growing very quickly, there is usually a higher degree of flexibility. There may be an opportunity to move to a different position or even change your current job description. Understanding your employer's flexibility is the first step toward aligning your job with your talents. If your employer is willing to change your responsibilities, this is the most direct approach to making a change. The third question asks, is there a position within the business that better matches your talents? Staying with your current company is ideal because you will already understand the company culture and the way they operate.
For instance, if I'm currently in a sales position, but I understand that my talents are better suited toward marketing, then I may research open positions in marketing and what I can do to move into a marketing role. If you identify a position that's a better match for your skill set, then ask yourself, what's the next step toward moving into that position? If you have a good supportive relationship with your manager, you might tell them you think you'd be better suited for a different position and ask what steps they would recommend to make a transition.
The final question is, if you can't find a position within your business that suits your talents, what position or career outside of your current company would be a better fit? Nobody benefits when an employee is in a position they don't enjoy or doesn't match their skill set. Businesses are more successful when their people are highly talented and well suited for their positions. Employees are more motivated and productive when they're in positions that match their talent.
In short, what I'm recommending is that you don't try to change yourself to match the position. Instead, change the position to match you. Be patient with this process. The exploration of whether you're in the right position can sometimes take weeks or even months, but if you're willing to do the work to understand your talents, and do what's needed to be in the right position, your career satisfaction will improve dramatically.