Your Talent, Your Timing, Your Future

by The Red Recruiter on September 10, 2009

AlarmClockThe right place at the right time…

Can you imagine how your life would change if you could solve that riddle?  Where is this “place” and what “time” has everyone been referring to?

After a day of way too much brainstorming and a few too many philosophical wanderings, my conclusion is that the time is always and the place is everywhere.

Consider this:

  1. Opportunity never stops, it just evolves. Our job is to see it and pursue it.
  2. No matter where you live, what you do or who you want to be… your chances are greater when you focus on and pursue your desires.  The alternative is to sit idle… become stagnant.
  3. Opportunities present themselves in many forms. When we are open to those many forms, it is easier to recognize them when they come our way.  Leave the preconceived notions of a “perfect opportunity” behind.
  4. Disappointment is your friend… it forces you to move on. These moments of truth can become your best chances to recognize and embrace a new opportunity… so stay open!  The more time you dedicate to focusing on the bad – the less time you focus on point #2.

Strengths and Clarity

I’ve been exploring some concepts lately around career development and potential as they correspond to a person embracing their strengths.  For reasons that I will eventually discuss, the topic is at the center of a pretty exciting project that I’ve been engaged with.

As someone who has dedicated their professional career to talent acquisition, the concept of strength alignment definitely perks my interest.  It makes me consider a few things:

  • How many people who are outwardly miserable dedicate to professions that fall outside of their passions/strengths?
  • How could a person’s life improve if they were given a path to capitalize on their main strengths?
  • How many high achievers have you met who did not fully embrace their inner talents?

Whether you are hiring someone or advancing your own career… exploring how long-term success and personal strengths operate together seems like an important topic to consider – really important!

It might seem all fluffy and idealistic to think that we can all achieve more and accomplish our dreams… but is it?  Perhaps our reluctance has everything to do with our inner fear of rejection – the risk of striving for something and falling short… the potential embarrassment we will face by failing to accomplish our dreams.  Perhaps it has to do with the perceived complexity of identifying what we are good at and figuring out how we can funnel those talents in a constructive direction.

Just remember, dreams are like Play-Doh – they can morph and change as much as you want them to.  Natural talents, on the other hand, are a part of who we are… starting with these key elements, we are able to build a huge array of potential dreams and desires.

Build a dream, pursue that dream, fail, build another dream, add water, repeat.  The likelihood of you living in a van down by the river is pretty low… so, take some risks.

Talent Meets Opportunity

I had a point… so, let me get back to it.

Timing is one part, but talent/strength alignment is the other.  The likelihood of a person recognizing an opportunity goes way up when they are dedicating to something that they are skilled at or passionate about.  I’ve seen this in my own life and I see it in the careers of the many people I encounter.

I don’t know what the true answers or conclusions are to all of these mental wanderings… I suppose that it’s just some food for thought.  Perhaps it will spur something that leads you to something greater – perhaps it won’t.

I’d love to know what you think about the topic.

How do you see talent manifest itself… cause major change… impact a person’s life?  Do you think that people tend to do what they are good at or what they find a job in?  How can we change all this and open doors?

Photo Credit, Michel Filion

  • http://www.keystrategies.com/ Mike Tannenbaum

    This is a very interesting point you are making! As a career recruiter, I too have made some of the same observations. Clearly, recruiters make a living because people are constantly looking for greater fulfillment in their professional lives due in large part to being in a position where they are under-utilized or miss-matched with their talent, interests and abilities. One of the key culprits is the hiring process with the focus on experience to the detriment of goals and interests. In other words, people get jobs they are qualified for based upon their experience. Likewise, hiring managers will hire someone based upon their experience. Of course, this seems obvious after all, how else are you supposed to hire someone if not based upon their experience? Unfortunately, there is not enough emphasis on how happy and excited someone will be in a given role and what the longer term growth opportunities might be. Most hiring managers are not concerned with the next steps for a given hire as they are focused solely on getting the job done they are hiring for.

    The answer, in my humble opinion, is to identify and understand the types of things you, the candidate, enjoy working on, the skills you need to do those types of things and the places where you can develop those skills and work on the things you are passionate about. These are all areas that most people spend very little time thinking about and this is what perpetuates the problem. To be fair, many people simply need a job and can not afford to wait around for the perfect opportunity to come along. However, I have been a strong advocate for creating a career plan whereby you would actually spend some time thinking about and planning for how you can achieve your ultimate career goals and be proactive about developing a more fulfilling career for yourself rather than simply falling into just any old job that comes along. This is much easier said than done and many people are reluctant to spend the time doing it. Clearly, those that have managed to land in roles they truly enjoy and are passionate about are working harder, realizing far greater fulfillment and are significantly more successful in their careers. The bottom line, do what you enjoy and try to avoid getting stuck in roles you don’t. Also, easier said than done!

  • http://www.keystrategies.com Mike Tannenbaum

    This is a very interesting point you are making! As a career recruiter, I too have made some of the same observations. Clearly, recruiters make a living because people are constantly looking for greater fulfillment in their professional lives due in large part to being in a position where they are under-utilized or miss-matched with their talent, interests and abilities. One of the key culprits is the hiring process with the focus on experience to the detriment of goals and interests. In other words, people get jobs they are qualified for based upon their experience. Likewise, hiring managers will hire someone based upon their experience. Of course, this seems obvious after all, how else are you supposed to hire someone if not based upon their experience? Unfortunately, there is not enough emphasis on how happy and excited someone will be in a given role and what the longer term growth opportunities might be. Most hiring managers are not concerned with the next steps for a given hire as they are focused solely on getting the job done they are hiring for.

    The answer, in my humble opinion, is to identify and understand the types of things you, the candidate, enjoy working on, the skills you need to do those types of things and the places where you can develop those skills and work on the things you are passionate about. These are all areas that most people spend very little time thinking about and this is what perpetuates the problem. To be fair, many people simply need a job and can not afford to wait around for the perfect opportunity to come along. However, I have been a strong advocate for creating a career plan whereby you would actually spend some time thinking about and planning for how you can achieve your ultimate career goals and be proactive about developing a more fulfilling career for yourself rather than simply falling into just any old job that comes along. This is much easier said than done and many people are reluctant to spend the time doing it. Clearly, those that have managed to land in roles they truly enjoy and are passionate about are working harder, realizing far greater fulfillment and are significantly more successful in their careers. The bottom line, do what you enjoy and try to avoid getting stuck in roles you don’t. Also, easier said than done!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Excellent feedback Mike!

    I wonder what the baby steps are to making this a mainstream effort…

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Excellent feedback Mike!

    I wonder what the baby steps are to making this a mainstream effort…

  • http://Www.iamemma.com/ Emma Wallace

    “The likelihood of you living in a van down by the river is pretty low… so, take some risks”

    Great line!

  • http://Www.iamemma.com Emma Wallace

    “The likelihood of you living in a van down by the river is pretty low… so, take some risks”

    Great line!

  • Shennee

    Very thought provoking article Michael~ I have a huge issue with Disapointment at the moment. I have a few personal health challenges, I am trying to manage, Working to find a job, and trying to remain positive in an awful economy.
    Let’s chat more about this.
    Shennee:)

  • Shennee

    Very thought provoking article Michael~ I have a huge issue with Disapointment at the moment. I have a few personal health challenges, I am trying to manage, Working to find a job, and trying to remain positive in an awful economy.
    Let’s chat more about this.
    Shennee:)

  • http://www.peoplereport.com/ Joni Thomas Doolin

    Michael your post reminded me of this wisdom sent by a mentor one time when I was working through some tough transitions. Since you were in a philosophical mood yesterday, thought you might enjoy it. Your post is timely and thought provoking, as so many people are dealing with the challenges and opportunities of this recession.

    HOPI ELDERS SPEAK

    You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
    Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
    There are things to be considered.

    Where are you living?
    What are you doing?
    What are your relationships?
    Are you in right relation?
    Where is your water?
    Know your garden.

    It is time to speak your Truth.
    Create your community.
    Be good to each other.

    And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
    This could be a good time!

    There is a river flowing now very fast.
    It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
    They will try to hold on to the shore.
    They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
    Know the river has its destination.
    The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,
    keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
    See who is in there with you and celebrate.

    At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
    Least of all, ourselves.
    For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

    The time of the lone wolf is over.
    Gather yourselves!
    Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
    All that we do must now be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

    We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

    The Elders
    Hopi Nation Oraibi, Arizona

    Take care, Joni

  • http://www.peoplereport.com Joni Thomas Doolin

    Michael your post reminded me of this wisdom sent by a mentor one time when I was working through some tough transitions. Since you were in a philosophical mood yesterday, thought you might enjoy it. Your post is timely and thought provoking, as so many people are dealing with the challenges and opportunities of this recession.

    HOPI ELDERS SPEAK

    You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
    Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
    There are things to be considered.

    Where are you living?
    What are you doing?
    What are your relationships?
    Are you in right relation?
    Where is your water?
    Know your garden.

    It is time to speak your Truth.
    Create your community.
    Be good to each other.

    And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
    This could be a good time!

    There is a river flowing now very fast.
    It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
    They will try to hold on to the shore.
    They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
    Know the river has its destination.
    The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,
    keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
    See who is in there with you and celebrate.

    At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
    Least of all, ourselves.
    For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

    The time of the lone wolf is over.
    Gather yourselves!
    Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
    All that we do must now be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

    We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

    The Elders
    Hopi Nation Oraibi, Arizona

    Take care, Joni

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    @Emma – Love that skit! 😉
    @Shennee – Despite the challenges… remember to stay as positive as possible and open to opportunities.
    @Joni – That’s good stuff! Times are challenging right now for many. It can be a great time for creativity! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    @Emma – Love that skit! 😉
    @Shennee – Despite the challenges… remember to stay as positive as possible and open to opportunities.
    @Joni – That’s good stuff! Times are challenging right now for many. It can be a great time for creativity! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.peakhistory.com/ Marguerite Granat

    Michael, first of all I’d like to compliment you on how clean your blog looks. What synchronicity. Today I attended a meeting in Denver where this topic was talked about in a slightly different way but still the same. One of the panelists said that luck had played a big part in his success. I tend to agree with your assessment of opportunity rather than luck. If a person aligns his/her talents with a focused approach, the likelihood of opportunities showing up increases. The better we are at being clear about what we are good at, what we enjoy and having a plan, the higher the likelihood that we will notice opportunities when they appear. I agree that dissapointment is our friend. It allows us to move on to new opportunities. Flexibility is key. You never know where the opportunities will come from. In the end fullfillment is a high challenge/high skill situation. When we are using all our talents and facing challenges that enhance those skills, time stops because we are in the flow. Your topic is timely and encouraging. Bravo!

  • http://www.peakhistory.com Marguerite Granat

    Michael, first of all I’d like to compliment you on how clean your blog looks. What synchronicity. Today I attended a meeting in Denver where this topic was talked about in a slightly different way but still the same. One of the panelists said that luck had played a big part in his success. I tend to agree with your assessment of opportunity rather than luck. If a person aligns his/her talents with a focused approach, the likelihood of opportunities showing up increases. The better we are at being clear about what we are good at, what we enjoy and having a plan, the higher the likelihood that we will notice opportunities when they appear. I agree that dissapointment is our friend. It allows us to move on to new opportunities. Flexibility is key. You never know where the opportunities will come from. In the end fullfillment is a high challenge/high skill situation. When we are using all our talents and facing challenges that enhance those skills, time stops because we are in the flow. Your topic is timely and encouraging. Bravo!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Very interesting Marguerite! The “Luck” conversation has always been a bit of a thorn in my side. Yes, there is a very small chance that someone will just get lucky… but, so small that it would be impossible to plan on. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like to gamble – lucky me!

    I’m sure that you’ve had the opportunity to assess talent/strength alignment many times throughout your career. Has anyone stood out among the rest? How did they do it? Was it planned or just evolving circumstances?

    RE: The blog – Thank you 😉

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Very interesting Marguerite! The “Luck” conversation has always been a bit of a thorn in my side. Yes, there is a very small chance that someone will just get lucky… but, so small that it would be impossible to plan on. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like to gamble – lucky me!

    I’m sure that you’ve had the opportunity to assess talent/strength alignment many times throughout your career. Has anyone stood out among the rest? How did they do it? Was it planned or just evolving circumstances?

    RE: The blog – Thank you 😉

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  • Todd

    I enjoyed your article. Disappointment chases me and I can’t clearly see strengths in front of me. You helped remind me to rub my eyes and refocus. Thanks!

  • Todd

    I enjoyed your article. Disappointment chases me and I can’t clearly see strengths in front of me. You helped remind me to rub my eyes and refocus. Thanks!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Todd – I’m glad. It’s not always easy… but, if we see the potential, we can push towards progress!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Todd – I’m glad. It’s not always easy… but, if we see the potential, we can push towards progress!

  • http://thehumanracehorses.com Michael VanDervort

    Very good post, Michael!

  • http://humanracehorses.blogspot.com Michael VanDervort

    Very good post, Michael!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Thanks Mike!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Thanks Mike!

  • DaniSchiliro

    Hi, Red Recruiter. I’m Danielle, writing for you from Blumenau city, in Santa Catarina state, Brazil. I’m 29 years old, i’ m a doctor, I have 3 jobs, i’m geriatric doctor and work at governant program called ESF,all of my jobs are public and I got in by realizing concurse, I already have my own car, and my on apartment they are almost all paid. I do not think I’m better than anybody, but i work hard, 12 hours day even saturday, my third job, at saturday! So if you live in United States, India, Japan even on Brazil, if you concentrate and work hard you get it!

  • DaniSchiliro

    Hi, Red Recruiter. I’m Danielle, writing for you from Blumenau city, in Santa Catarina state, Brazil. I’m 29 years old, i’ m a doctor, I have 3 jobs, i’m geriatric doctor and work at governant program called ESF,all of my jobs are public and I got in by realizing concurse, I already have my own car, and my on apartment they are almost all paid. I do not think I’m better than anybody, but i work hard, 12 hours day even saturday, my third job, at saturday! So if you live in United States, India, Japan even on Brazil, if you concentrate and work hard you get it!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Thank you for the comment Danielle!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Thank you for the comment Danielle!

  • Chris

    Wow — this posting really spoke to me. I’ve been through some career turmoil lately bouncing between some opportunities that have seemed like the right thing, but only to be severely disappointed. I recently returned to a previous employer for all the wrong reasons and ones that would ultimately lead to stagnation. And that’s just not acceptable to me. I’m not a rocket scientist, or an amazing business person or a visionary, but I do know that I have strengths and talents that make me unique and valuable. I’m making a move to put those talents back on stage and to push myself beyond my own (high) expectations. If that results in failure, at least I’ve tried. If that results in success, it’s going to continue to fuel and propel me through my career into places I never dreamed of. I’m 37, with two kids and basically spent the last few years sleepwalking through my jobs and not understanding what my path was. I had things easy and started to stagnate both professionally and emotionally. It’s taken some gyrations, but I feel like I’m back on a path that makes sense for me. Your posting really spoke to me and will inform future career decisions. Thank you.

  • Chris

    Wow — this posting really spoke to me. I’ve been through some career turmoil lately bouncing between some opportunities that have seemed like the right thing, but only to be severely disappointed. I recently returned to a previous employer for all the wrong reasons and ones that would ultimately lead to stagnation. And that’s just not acceptable to me. I’m not a rocket scientist, or an amazing business person or a visionary, but I do know that I have strengths and talents that make me unique and valuable. I’m making a move to put those talents back on stage and to push myself beyond my own (high) expectations. If that results in failure, at least I’ve tried. If that results in success, it’s going to continue to fuel and propel me through my career into places I never dreamed of. I’m 37, with two kids and basically spent the last few years sleepwalking through my jobs and not understanding what my path was. I had things easy and started to stagnate both professionally and emotionally. It’s taken some gyrations, but I feel like I’m back on a path that makes sense for me. Your posting really spoke to me and will inform future career decisions. Thank you.

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    Chris,

    That was some impressive introspection on your part! I appreciate you being so open and candid about your situation… someone will read it and you will make a difference to them.

    This is life and no one ever said it would be easy… that’s for sure!

    I wish you all the good fortune in the world! Congratulations on getting back on a path that makes sense for you! It must feel great!

    Looking forward,
    Michael

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    Chris,

    That was some impressive introspection on your part! I appreciate you being so open and candid about your situation… someone will read it and you will make a difference to them.

    This is life and no one ever said it would be easy… that’s for sure!

    I wish you all the good fortune in the world! Congratulations on getting back on a path that makes sense for you! It must feel great!

    Looking forward,
    Michael

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