In this week's episode, I'm asking you a tough question: Are you using your talent?
If before that I asked you what you want from your life? It's possible that you would be just like the majority of my clients and tell me that you want to be happy and fulfilled. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And if you are using your talent, everyday, then that it going to be true. You will be happy and fulfilled.
By the end of this podcast and article, you can honestly answer the questions I have at the end and decide if you want to leverage your talent in your current role.
Let me start with a slightly different question: “Who's bag are you unpacking?
A strange question you may think. What I'm really asking is, are you using your strengths and talents at work or are you doing something that is not your calling?
Many of my individual coaching clients are going through a transition in their life. More than 70% are going through what we lovingly call a “mid-life crisis”. And the saddest part about this is that it's happening earlier and earlier.
Gone are the days when the mid-life crisis happened around 50, and meant that a man traded his SUV for a sleek sports car, and the wife for a younger model.
Whilst those men may well have been going through a crisis, today it can be at the tender age of 27 and you find yourself in accounting (because daddy was an accountant and it's a solid career.) having studied accounting and now hating every minute of work because really you'd much rather be doing something else. Almost anything else… if only it paid as well.
You see, people get trapped. They hate their job because they are not doing what they were called to do and they are not using their gifts. But the money is good enough and the benefits OK enough. And we would really like to do something meaningful, but the pay for meaningful jobs is pretty crap.
You’re waiting by the baggage carousel after a long flight.
You’re tired from a week of meetings, and your body aches from the airline seat.
Your bag appears, and you gratefully grab it and head through the green channel to the taxi queue and head straight to the hotel.
Tomorrow is a big day for you. Months of work on that project are coming to a conclusion. It’s taken more than a year to get these people in a room together.
Tomorrow is your day
The traffic is horrendous, and it’s two hours before you finally collapse onto the bed in the hotel room. The porter delivers your bag to the room, and you open it to unpack your suit, ready for the big meeting.
Only your suit isn’t there and your prototype isn’t there.
Instead, you find a roll of cash. Some fine clothes and what appears to be the keys for a rather nice car.
You call the porters desk and tell them they’ve brought the wrong bag up. Could they please bring yours immediately.
The porter assures you that this is the bag that you brought in the taxi from the airport
You must have collected the wrong bag from the carousel
Someone, somewhere has your bag. You check with the front desk just in case another guest has also checked in having arrived from the airport, and perchance is unaware as yet, of the mix up… No. Other hotels… No-one reporting anything sir…
Now in panic you phone the airport.
And there’s no-one answering
Not that surprising really, yours was the last flight in, and it is now 2am.
You berate yourself for being so stupid. For, not checking your bag. For rushing…
You have a choice:
- You could choose to use the fine clothing that is in the bag and wing it through your presentation without a prototype to show them. You’re not certain if the clothes would fit, but with a little squeeze here and there and sure the hotel has a razor you can use. Those shoes aren’t really your thing, but better than the flip-flops you have on now.
- Of course, you could go out and get some more fitting clothing, somewhere, surely something is open at 2 in the morning.
- You could get over to the airport and check with lost and found as soon as they open and just possibly make it back in time for the meeting at 8am.
- Or you could stay in your room. Pretend to have been struck down with a contagious virus and hide.
- Or, get some sleep, wash in the morning and go to the meeting wearing your current ensemble of shorts and a t-shirt and flip-flops and, well, be you. Be honest and open and put everything on the line.
- Or, forget the whole presentation. Take the cash, find the car and enjoy life. It's not your life, but heck, it's been gifted to you.
Months of work and hours of research are at stake. The one real chance to make the payoff is scheduled for the morning. This is the make or break moment. Another day is impossible.
What do you do?
Answer honestly, it’s OK, nobody is listening
Now think about your job…
Are you using your real talent in your job? Or are you getting by with the sufficient skills you have developed to match your CV?
Perhaps you haven't yet identified your real talent? So let me help you with that right now with a Podcast and LeaderShift! Guide from a couple of months ago: How to Find Your Talent, Practice it and Achieve Greatness