It’s often hard to identify our own strengths.
One reason for this is that we don’t think about our strengths as special because these are often tasks or activities that come naturally to us. Another reason is that we tend to discount those innate skills that we did not acquire through long or intensive training.
It sometimes takes other people pointing our special something out to us before we recognize them ourselves.
And of course, figuring out our strengths is one thing. It’s another thing altogether to figure out a role or a career path where we can use those to shine and thrive.
That’s why I think Karyn Kelbaugh’s career story is an interesting one to analyze.
You want to pay attention to how—although it took a while and with help from other people—she finally identified her unique skills and strengths.
Notice too how, after the penny dropped, she took action and created a unique career path for herself.
It was like a square peg, round hole. It was not working. Meanwhile, I kept getting hit over the head with ‘Karyn, can you help me with this. Karyn, can you help me with this.’ After a while, I finally said I should probably look into this. —Karyn Kelbaugh
In Karyn’s case, she chose to build a business to offer a service that a lot of other small business owners would love to outsource.
But you don’t have to build a business yourself. You can just as well decide to use your strengths as a key differentiator within the organization that you’re part of.
Had Karyn been employed in a large company, for example, she could have built a business case for the same role within the company.
Key Takeaways from Episode 44:
- Take the time to discover your strengths and skills
- Pay attention to everyday clues that point to your key differentiator
- Identify the role or career path that can best leverage those skills and make you shine
- Look for external models to help you design your path, but don’t be pressured to fit the mold
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