Five Ways to Find Work You’re Really Good At

Five Ways to Find Work You’re Really Good At

Five Ways to Find Work You’re Really Good At

One of the surest ways to ensure you are never happy and successful in life is to never find out what you are good at. On the contrary, finding out what you are good at, and what you enjoy doing, is the beginning of finding success in life. Luckily, what we are good at, and what we enjoy doing, more often than not coincide. Ultimately, that thing you are good at will have to be marketable in order to make a living, but the goal should be to find an intersection of what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what there is demand for. Here are five ways to find out what work you are really good at.

What Kinds of Things Did You Enjoy When You Were a Kid?

The times of childhood and teenage years are not without their own unique struggles, but free from having to figure out how to provide the means on which to live, our youth is filled with ample opportunity to try new things and do things simply because we enjoy doing them.

Oftentimes, our younger selves are our best teachers. Before we ever worried about what was cool, or what would make money, or what would bring us prestige, we found joy in doing simple things. What were those things that you loved doing the most when you were young? what was it about those things that made them so enjoyable? Chances are, the things you enjoy doing now are going to be very similar to what you enjoyed doing back then.

What Have Other People Said You Are Good At?

If you aren’t sure whether or not you are good at something, look at what other people say about you. What have your teachers, professors, friends and mentors said about you that stands out in your mind? What praise have you gotten from people who are really good at something? Chances are, if someone who is good at something praises you for being good at that same thing, you probably have a knack for it.

Not had any praise lately, or not sure where to start? Ask a friend what they think you are good at. Chances are, they already know.

What Sort of Things Do You Hate to Do?

When we are young, we are forced into doing so many things we don’t want to do it can seem like we don’t like anything, really. But if you think back, you can probably think of a good many things you didn’t like to do. As we get older and get started in the world, the opposite thing can happen. We can be so wide eyed and excited about making our mark that we don’t realize all the things we don’t like to do. So we take on jobs that include things that we really, really detest.

But one of the best ways to get clear on what work you actually want to do is to think critically about the kind of work you don’t like to do. And I mean really detest.

Did you not like math in high school? Maybe you shouldn’t do a job that’s focused primarily on numbers. Do you dislike meeting new people and prefer to spend time alone? Maybe a job in sales is not in your future.

"You don't like anything that's happening. . . . You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't” – The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

Which Of Your Skills Are Most Marketable?

While it is incredibly valuable to try and lean into the kinds of things you are really good at, ultimately you are going to have to find work that is actually able to make money. For example, if you love building things, engineering is a viable career field. If you like playing music, however, being a musician while technically possible to do presents a lot of challenges and hurdles to overcome.

Ultimately, it isn’t enough to simply “follow your passion” – you need to make a living. How is what you are good at and what you enjoy doing going to apply to a job? Which of your skills are the most marketable. Make a list of marketable skills that you have and then start looking for job descriptions and career fields that require those skills.

Don’t have all the skills you need yet? Don’t fret. There is plenty of time to learn them. Everybody hast to get started somewhere.

To Find Work You’re Good At, Do What Excites You

Everyone is motivated by different things. But no matter the motivation, the common factor between everyone who is successful is that they found excitement in the work they do. Finding out what excites you is an important step to finding work you love. And like with everything else, don’t judge yourself for what excites you. Does the prospect of making a lot of money excite you? Or maybe creating something new does. Or making a difference in someone’s life. Our average work life is somewhere around 40-50 years – that’s way, way too much time to spend pursuing work that doesn’t excite you. Whatever it is that you choose to do for a living should be so exciting that it can keep you motivated for years and years.

Truly successful people don’t do what everyone else is doing simply because everyone else is doing it. They find what they are uniquely good at so that they can stand out in a crowded world. Even if the work you find that you love doesn’t have a lot of prestige right now, even if it’s a brand new field just gaining attention in the world, don’t worry. You’ll be glad you did it some day.

After all, where would we be without all the people throughout history who have pursued the work that mattered to them, against all odds?


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