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Enabling YOU to shine!


This week, I wanted to share which factor of the fit & healthy career is most important to you.

And the winner is…

"To be doing something I'm good at"

This resonated with me. Fortunately, I have spent a good chunk of my career doing things that I'm good at BUT I have definitely had roles that did not particularly play to my strengths. You only need to look at the weaknesses in my Strengths Profile to know that I will not suit a role with a lot of planning, spinning plates or repetitive tasks. Neither will I thrive in a competitive environment.

But it also resonated with me because of what I know about motivational theory.

Self-Actualisation, Competence & Mastery

Let's start with good old Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs - you may well be familiar. The theory comprises a five-tier model, often depicted as a pyramid working from the bottom up. The pinnacle of the hierarchy of needs is “self-actualisation.” This is achieving one’s full potential, motivated by the desire to “become everything one is capable of becoming.”

So, our desire to "be doing something I'm good at" is encapsulated partially at the level of Esteem needs and fully at the level of Self-actualisation.

Let's get a bit more up to date with two more modern takes on motivation.

Self-Determination Theory (SDT) links personality, motivation and optimal functioning (Deci & Ryan, 2017). SDT purports that we are driven to meet three basic psychological needs, one of which is competence - (defined as achievements, knowledge and skill).

Dan Pink, in his best-selling 2009 book "Drive" (well worth a read) also identifies three motivational elements, one of which is mastery – requiring a balance between skill (being able to do the task) and challenge (finding it stretching).

Making sure you can shine

So, we can all agree that it's important to be doing something you're good at in order to be motivated in your career. In fact, with motivation in the top 3 most important factors (according to my survey), it feels that "expertise" and "motivation" can work symbiotically together.

Therefore, it's important to make sure you're doing something you're good at in your career at all times. I've devised a checklist that can help you to ensure you're getting as close to this ideal as possible.

  1. (All together now...) Identify your strengths: as the oft mentioned (by me) first pillar to create a career you love; the obvious starting place is your Strengths Profile report. Not only does this help you to identify the things you're really good at but it also helps you to identify those things that you're really good at that also give you energy (in the top 5 most important factors);
  2. Get feedback: seeking feedback from colleagues and friends can help you to recognise your own expertise and boost your self-confidence as well as identify areas that you can develop to improve your performance.
  3. Get the lifelong-learning habit: continual learning will help you to grow and improve your expertise in whatever career path you are on and will help you to prepare you for your future career possibilities.
  4. Banish the inner critic / imposter syndrome: be conscious of your negative self-talk. You can find out how to befriend your imposter in this previous article.

What next?

I hope that's given you some ideas for how to ensure you're in a career where you're doing something you're good at. If you'd like to be more intentional about your personal career health & fitness, then you might want to check out the Flourish Club where we work on all aspects of creating a career you love with weekly masterclasses, Q&As, member spotlights and much more.

Book a call with me if you'd like to find out more.

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