From Discovery to Decision
"I just realized I have a talent for seeing patterns in random
events and data. I can see how everything fits together while
everyone around me remains confused." -- Hermione
"My job drives me crazy. I spend hours preparing a presentation
and, when the time comes, the client wants to talk about
something entirely different." -- Marvin
Hermione might enjoy many types of research or analysis --
anything from military intelligence to finance. She might be a
planner -- anything from meetings to advertising strategy.
Marvin might prefer a structured environment, where he's
rewarded for carrying out approved plans rather than showing
initiative and spontaneity.
When clients say, "I've discovered a talent for..." or, "I have
a strong need for..." I suggest they continue exploring options
and opportunities. Talents and needs become part of the
checklist you construct to assess potential opportunities. They
rarely allow you to make a firm decision. And often they act as
red flags -- signaling what not to do, rather than offering
Hermione and Marvin need to see their new discoveries in the
context of the rest of their lives.
Does Hermione find herself drawn to chaotic environments where
she can introduce order? Does she have a high tolerance for
Does Marvin seek certainty when he moves to a new location or
hires a career coach? Can he identify circumstances where he
enjoys responding spontaneously?
Some clients discover they cannot work around a particular need,
such as a desire for structure or a craving for autonomy. Others
can learn to operate in a new style. Marvin, for instance, may
learn to trust his intuition and give up some need for structure.
Some clients learn that a certain talent must be the focus of
their working lives. Others realize that expressing the same
talent is a "nice to have." Hermione might find a dream job that
doesn't seem to make use of her talent for seeing patterns in
unrelated data. Or she may find ways to use this talent that
aren't included in the job description.
The first "aha" moment becomes, "Hold that thought." It's only
by delving into the meaning of discovery that we can talk about
its place in your business and career strategy.