In a workplace, talent and skills are used to describe unique working attributes that a person has. Regardless of the meaning of these words, most people, including yourself, use the two words interchangeably.
I am sure that you are familiar with the meaning of talent. Talent refers to a skill that a person was naturally born with while skill on the other hand is an acquired ability or something that was learnt with effort.
Some examples of talent are Writing, Research, Inspiring, Networking, Negotiation and Critical Thinking. All these are examples of talents that can also pass as a skill because why some people are born with these things, other people have to learn these things from school or from someone certified to teach these things.
Three Steps On How To Discover Your Talent
You must have been hearing people say “nobody was born without a talent”. This is true because while some people are born with expert writing abilities, some are born with expert singing abilities while some are born as experts in the art of negotiations.
It is possible for more than one person to have the same talent but what makes them different is the execution of their talent. Some people add their own style and personality into their work. For example, you must have heard of Shakespeare. He is a profound writer and author of many books. He is so good to the point that many people already know that a particular prose or play was written by him without even checking for the name of the author. This does not mean that there were no other writers but Shakespeare executed his talent better than the other writers and that’s why he is still recognised and taught in schools today.
It is possible for you to have more than one talent. In cases like this, these talents complement each other thereby giving you a great advantage.
The fact that you are not making use of your talent doesn’t mean that you don’t have talent. It just means that you have not discovered your talent yet.
Research has it that a lot of successful people are not aware of their talents and how it makes them different from other people in their workplace.
Your talent is what sets you apart in your workplace and if you are not able to identify and name your talents and your abilities, then you cannot use them to the fullest and this means that you are leaving a lot of money on the table as well as missing a lot of juicy offers and projects. In a working environment, talents are referred to as skills most times.
You can discover your talent by:
Being Able To Identify What Comes To You Easily
Everybody, including yourself, has a set of incredible talents, skills and abilities. Most of these talents, skills and abilities are as a result of hard work, education and effort while some people were born with it.
Nobody was born without talent. You can identify what you are good at by taking some time for yourself to think and ponder on some past events where you showed great workmanship. Ask yourself what made you stand out at that point. Maybe you are very good at writing and love to handle everything that concerns writing in the team or anytime someone wants to communicate with your boss, the person uses you as a mediator (negotiation). These are instances where you were making use of your talents without being aware. Once you are able to identify what you can do with little or no effort and still produce great results, then you have found your talent. It is now up to you to mould it and use it in ways that are pleasing to you.
Letting Go Of Sour Memories
Another reason why it might be difficult for you to discover your talent and leverage your talent is because you hold on to past experiences that might have crushed your confidence. This could be as a result of a job that didn’t go as planned or a boss that is never satisfied with whatever you do or a huge mistake you made at a very important part of the job or the whole thing was wrong from the beginning. Whichever one it is, you were left hurt and you allowed this feeling to linger on for too long. To overcome this, you need to let go of all the negative energy from the past. Think about the times when you did well in the same working environment that caused (and is still causing) you pain. Don’t let a work mistake crush your confidence and your ability to see all the good things that you are capable of doing. Instead, learn from your mistake and apply the lesson learnt in other activities.
Getting Rid Of Self-Blame
This is very common. Everyone has done this at some point in their life. If something doesn’t go as planned, you blame yourself for it even when you are not responsible for what happened. You do not get the job opportunity that you have always wanted, you blame yourself for that as well. Self-blame blinds you from seeing the real you. It prevents you from seeing the good in you. It does not allow you to see your set of talents, abilities and skills and as a result of this, you will not be able to discover your talent. When you blame yourself for every mistake, your self-esteem and self-respect begin to dwindle. When people around you see that you have no respect or esteem for yourself, they begin to look down on you and treat you as they please. Note that taking responsibility and blaming yourself are two different things.
Now that you know how to discover your talent, it is time to see how you can leverage your talent.
How To Leverage Your Talent
Knowing how to leverage your talent is very important if you want to harness your full potential and be the best version of yourself. These are a few tips that will help you leverage your talent.
1. Know Your Worth
This is where all the work begins. If you continue to blame yourself or think about your past mistakes, you will never have the time to value what you have and own it. For people to see you as a valuable person, you have to see yourself as a valuable person first.
2. Work On Yourself
No man is perfect but it is important to strive for perfection. At least, if you don’t get to the moon, there’s a possibility that you will land amongst the stars. You can’t work on yourself if you don’t believe in yourself. Always show up and carry yourself with grace and poise. Do not fidget or look down on yourself because if you do, no one will ever take you seriously. Let go of limiting beliefs and mental barriers that are getting in your way and preventing you from valuing and leveraging your talent(s). It takes a lot of courage and confidence to put yourself in the spot but it is worth it.
Working on yourself ideally is all about preparing yourself so that you can go into the most difficult situation with a positive mindset.
3. Create A Strategy To Show Your Abilities
This could be by sharing your knowledge in meetings or taking on high projects to show what you are capable of doing. You should also be intentional about the opportunities you say yes and no to.
4. Always Be Consistent
You need to be intentional about this because it will not be easy for you to constantly show up and be ready for you to put your talent to good use.
5. Share your knowledge
In your workplace, always share your opinion on certain issues but be able to discern when you should speak and when you should not speak. Also, speak about what you are working on, the impact you are making and the results you and your team (if you are not working alone) are having. This will allow people to see your expertise and if you continue, you might be given a position that is better than where you were before in your company and it will raise your profile too. But in everything you do, remember to be humble. There’s a difference between being full of yourself and putting yourself out there.
Importance Of Leveraging Your Talent
Once you know the skills you are very good at, use them to your advantage to do better in your daily tasks and to advance to a position within your company or get another job. Leveraging your skills helps you to:
Find A Good Position
If you make use of your talents to get a job, there is a high chance that you would get a role that fits your interest and skills. Go for job offers that need your strongest abilities.
Become More Productive
When you leverage your talent, it makes it easier for you to survive in a position that makes use of your strength thereby making you more productive.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
When you spend your time doing something you are good at, you are bound to excel and this, in turn, boosts your esteem because it makes you feel good about yourself. It also helps build your self-confidence.
Have A Better Chance Of A Good Career
Using your skills to your advantage will help you be more efficient and also show your employer your worth.
The fact that most people were born with talents or the fact that some people have been able to discover what their talent is doesn’t make them better than you. It is important to note that you are capable of reaching your full potential and you should not let anything hold you back.
When you discover your talent, put it to good use. The work environment should not be the only place you use your talent. Apply your talent in every aspect of your life.
Discovering your talent and leveraging your talent doesn’t mean that things will be easier for you but with consistency and perseverance, you will achieve your goals.