Trying to figure out what you want to do with your life is hard enough on its own, but it gets even trickier when you’re banging your head into a wall trying to figure out just what it is you’re good at.
Before you give yourself a concussion, just take a deep breath and realize that this is a question that everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives. Everyone wants to be good at the things they’re passionate about, and many people just don’t even know what that dang thing is.
Determining your strengths and what you’re naturally good at is a great way to figure out what you’re passionate about. You might even find that these strengths can direct you to a career path that will allow you to pursue those passions.
Keep reading to learn how to figure out just what it is you’re good at and how you can turn it into a career.
Think about your past work, volunteer, and education experiences. What tasks did you do well, and which ones did you enjoy the most? Think about situations that challenged you — which ones were you able to get through that made you feel the most accomplished or earned you recognition?
If there’s a common thread between any of these tasks or skills, you might consider pursuing them and finding an industry or position those skills are suited for.
For example, if you feel particularly energized by participating in fundraisers, and you just happen to be a natural leader, perhaps you would have a fantastic career working as a fundraising coordinator.
Sometimes our strengths do exactly what they’re meant to do — they make us feel strong and help us succeed. Think about what tasks you do when you feel stressed or overwhelmed and you just want to feel like you’re in control again.
Try to take notice of the times when you feel invigorated or successful — those moments might be the product of you putting your natural talents to use.
It’s easy to overlook our natural talents, especially if you think that everyone can do them or if you just shrug it off as something you’ve always been able to do — just because something comes naturally to you doesn’t mean it comes easy to others, or that your talents aren’t valuable.
When you naturally do something well, it’s easy to unintentionally ignore it. Keep your ears open for compliments that you usually deflect — they may be the key to finding out what your underlying superpowers are.
This is where we tell you that your meticulous D&D planning will actually benefit your future. Thinking about your hobbies and the activities you naturally find yourself doing is a great way to figure out your natural strengths and skills.
Over the course of a week, think about five things that you enjoy doing and think about why you like them. Write them down and take note of specific tasks and why they’re fulfilling for you.
For example, if you set aside time every week to write for an hour, and you have a blog that you regularly update with your creative writing and op-ed pieces, then perhaps your natural talents are your abilities to prioritize your time, tap into your creativity, and work autonomously.
Think about activities and hobbies you enjoyed when you were younger that came to you easily, they may reveal an innate talent.
A great way to figure out what your natural strengths are is to ask others. Ask people who know you well who you trust and respect what they think you’re good at.
Talk to people who know you well, people you’ve worked with, and former supervisors or professors. Ask them about what they think your strengths are, when they’ve seen you thriving, which careers they think would fit your personality and natural talents, and ask them why.
When asking others about what they think are your strong suits and taking note of what skills you use in your spare time, pay attention to any characteristics or strengths that are mentioned frequently by others or that you notice you spend a lot of time doing. The skills and hobbies that come up the most frequently are probably your strongest areas.
Some of these strengths may be related — if so, try to think of jobs in which these skills could work together. For example, if a lot of your friends say that you have a keen eye for detail and you notice that you spend a lot of time organizing things in your room, perhaps you could have a fulfilling career as an art curator.
Some of the feedback you hear from the people you ask about your strengths might surprise you, and that’s okay! Don’t dismiss aspects of your personality that you had never considered to be strengths before — these unexpected qualities could help you succeed in a job or industry that you’ve never even considered exploring.
If you’re trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life, figuring out what it is that you’re good at is a great place to start.
You might find that your hobbies are actually valuable strengths that you can use to start a career path, or you might learn that you have a talent you never even noticed before.
Once you’ve determined what your strengths are, look at the required skill section on job listings that you think may interest you. If you find that your strengths align with the needs of a job that appeals to you, you may just find your future dream job.