We just witnessed Houston’s Astros dominate the World Series. It was a low scoring series as pitchers demonstrated they are just as important as hitters. Once again, we learn that behind rare feats of perfect athletic performance talent, practice and passion come together. According to the Ten Thousand Hour Theory posited by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, if you want to be at the top of your field, it takes about ten thousand hours of single-minded determination to excel at that level. However, what you don’t see when you watch athletes at the top of their game is that there is more than just hours and hours of practice involved that allows them to succeed at that level. It is also the alignment of their passion and interests in the field in action.
How can we, mere mortals, develop passion or interest that will carry us into a field we are willing to spend our hours and hours upon? It begins with learning what you have natural talent or strengths in and, then, marrying that with your career interests and values. We all possess natural innate abilities and when we take the time to learn what they are it can fuel our own passion for our everyday work lives.
The powerful connection between interests, strengths, values and rewarding work
Studies show that humans are only able to truly concentrate on any given work for about four, maybe five hours, in one sitting. Additionally, many individuals haven’t quite figured out what they want to do now that they are grown, or they change their fields a number of times over the course of their lifetime. Getting to know your career interests means that you are finding out what you enjoy doing on a regular basis. Exploring your interests can make you become more self-aware, discover your strengths and reveal your values. This in turn can lead you to identify underlying motivation, uncover where you want to exert your energy and perform work that you are most likely committed to performing.
Not just an exercise for those beginning their careers
Exploring career interests at any life stage is important when you feel you are ready to make a change, or a course correction, in your work life. Not everybody knows the path they want to take which is why people change jobs frequently. We, also, have different needs at different stages of our lives. We may take a job for flexibility if we choose to have children when they are younger and more dependent on us. A desire to live in a different climate or make a change from an urban to a more rural setting may, also, contribute to a career change. We may want structure and training when we are younger, and later on, have a desire to strike out on our own. Our needs for different types of jobs evolve with our lifestyle changes. You grow and change as a person and assessing your strengths, interests and values can be like a beacon for guiding you along the way.
A convenient tool for exploring your passion, strengths and interests
There is an online career coaching tool known as My Career Design Studio which factors in all these components. It looks extensively into your career interests and strengths. This tool has a personality assessment which examines what you are innately drawn to, or good at, and also takes into account the tasks you enjoy and even helps you design your ideal day. All this data is gathered and matched with careers you would most likely excel at; therefore, tapping into your potential career passion. My Career Design Studio gives a roadmap to discover and uncover your professional desires. It is high-level career coaching without the high price.
Letting go of expectations
When designing meaningful careers, it can help to let go of some of your expectations and recognize that there can be a certain amount of disappointment associated with this realization. When life happens to us and we realize we are not going to be the next Martin Luther King Jr, or Gandhi, it can feel like a let-down. And, if we are not working with our interests and strengths, we can often feel as though we’re beating our heads against the wall because we are working against our innate personality type. If you’ve ever been in a job you despised, chances are very good that the job did not align with your personal strengths, interests and/or values. There is a lot of time in career coaching devoted to asking people what they want to do, not just what they can do.
Most of us will excel when we take a look at what our strengths, interests and values are and design a career around that data. Putting your energy into what you do well gives you the ability to make the biggest impact on the world. And, while we may never make it to playing in the World Series, or even tackle the Ten Thousand Hour challenge, we can carve out a niche for ourselves and make a meaningful contribution that is all our own.
You can have all the benefits of hiring a career coach while saving on the cost. Jump start your career search by taking advantage of the seven-day free trial of the My Career Design Studio coaching tool today!