SHOULD you put to work what you're already good at, or should you love what you're doing because eventually you'll be good at it?
Both ways could actually work. Do what you love--that's the common advice--and you'll always have the drive to succeed. Whatever you choose to do for the rest of your life, define it by what matters to you. Commit to doing it over and over, and you'll get better and better at it everyday. You win. And because you feel good about yourself for making it happen, the more you will love doing what you do.
Steve Jobs, in his address to the graduates of Stanford University, said:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
Quite true. About three years ago, I had to make a life-changing decision: to continue engineering or to get a job (and eventually a career) in the call center. I had to sort out the many questions that held me back and redefine myself from being a little bit of everything, master of none. Only then was I able to fully understand what I am good and bad at, and what I love and hate doing. I wanted to write and speak English, make presentations and face an audience. I wanted to teach. I appreciate the maths and the physics, but deep inside they never made me happy. Right there and then, things cleared up. I knew I would make a good trainer.
From Day 1 at work, I kept eye on the goal: to be a trainer within a year. I was focused in everything I did and I was open about my plans to my supervisors. When I finally got the post (from being a customer service agent), I came to understand that training was rather different from what I thought it was--talking in front of a class and giving exams and exercises to make sure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for their jobs. The responsibility that comes with the title is no piece of cake. Yet, despite the challenges, my desire to learn and the resolve to succeed don't fail me every step of the way.
You think you'd like to be a trainer? It's gotta start somewhere--what you're good at, and what you love doing.
Photo Credit | Hugh Macleod, http://gapingvoid.com/