Take this Free Career Quiz to Discover Your Unique Talent and Find Your Career Path
Some people seem to be born knowing what their natural gifts and talents are, and they know exactly what sort of work or career they want to have. I was a bit jealous of these people because I was born with a strong sense of purpose, feeling that there was something important I was supposed to do, but no clue as to what that might be. I was pretty good at a lot of different things, but not extraordinarily good at any one thing. It just wasn’t obvious what I was supposed to do career-wise. The only thing I was really clear on was my love of travel so I researched careers that involve international travel or living abroad and ended up getting a job working at Chase Bank in New York City because banking was a good international career. Ironically, the only place they ever sent me was back to my alma mater, Georgetown University in Washington, DC, to recruit on campus. It was only when I started my own business and became a life coach and an international speaker that my international travels really began. I wish I had access to the career tests I now share with my clients as it would have helped me identify my career path much sooner.
Discover Your Unique Talents with this Free Career Quiz
We all have some special talent, skill, or gift – something we do or some way we see things that is different or better than anyone else. Very often what comes naturally to you is so much a part of you that you don’t even notice it. People tend to think that if it is easy for them, then it is easy for everyone else too. This just isn’t so. You might think if it is this easy or fun, then you shouldn’t get paid for it. We like to think that work is hard – that if we don’t sweat and struggle, we don’t deserve to get paid for it. Again, this just isn’t so. In fact, it is more often the opposite: the people who make the most money love what they do and have some natural ability for it that they have honed and developed.
If you can’t figure out what your special talent is, interview your friends, family, and colleagues. They will tell you. It is really this easy.
Here is a quick free career quiz that will help you identify the ideal new career path:
Ask at least five different friends, family members or colleagues the following questions and take note of the answers (you can send it out via email to them, ask them over the phone or photocopy and distribute):
- What do you think is my greatest strength?
- What is my biggest weakness? (Ask this only if you feel up to it, and ask them to tell you in a constructive way. Do not comment on anything they say. You are simply gathering opinions.)
- What do you see as my special talent or gift?
- What do I do naturally and effortlessly that is special?
- If I were on the cover of a magazine, what magazine would it be and what would the story be about?
- When am I most fully expressing this gift or talent?
Once you’ve collected their answers, take a look – is there a pattern emerging? Perhaps there is an activity you could begin immediately to start to express your gift or talent in your current workplace? One of my clients printed out these questions and handed them out to his friends and colleagues to complete. When he got the career quiz questions back, he wasn’t terribly surprised that he was on the cover of Golf Digest or Golf magazine (his favorite pastime!). One person said the story would be about how he used golf to change his career. We both liked this idea! He decided to organize a golf outing for the top clients and top executives in the company (with permission from his boss, of course). This enabled him to meet all the top clients as well as get to know senior management. After this event, it was easy for him to make the transition from operations into sales, where he now regularly takes his clients out golfing and makes more money thanks to the commissions and bonuses on his sales results.
Once you’ve identified your greatest strengths, the next step is to begin to honor your gifts and talents. By that I mean that you fully express it, share it with others, do it, be it, live it. Just start. Do one thing that will allow you to fully express your unique gift. Then, as you start sharing your gifts and talents, the universe will pull you in that direction. Remember, your own special talent comes so easily and naturally that you probably take it for granted. If you find that these answers point you in the right direction, great! Go for it! If you are still not clear after collecting your data, you might need a more objective, scientific approach to identifying your hidden talents and abilities. I certainly wish I had known about these computerized online career tests before I embarked on my life coaching career as it would have given me confidence that I was indeed on the right path and that it was worthwhile to invest the time and money in coach training. (Later, when I took the career assessments myself, I was pleased to see that yes, I do have natural ability in speaking, coaching and writing. Phew!) If you aren’t sure whether or not you are on the right path or whether you should go back and get that MBA or get an advanced degree or additional training, I would definitely recommend taking the career tests in the Career Change Kit™ so you know you aren’t wasting your precious time or money. Even if it confirms what you already suspected, it will give you the confidence to stick with things when the going gets tough, knowing you’ve made the right career choice.
See my related book, Coach Yourself to a New Career (McGraw-Hill) for more exercises to help you discover your ideal career path:
Remember, no one attracts success more than someone who is doing what he or she loves to do. When you are doing what you love, your eyes sparkle, you are happy and excited about life, you are full of energy and joy. You feel satisfied, content and fulfilled. Given all this, why do so many persist in jobs they hate? It is perverse how much time we spend doing what we don’t love to do. The latest research indicates that 50% of the western world is in the wrong job. Given the amount of complaining I hear at parties, this seems to be a fairly accurate assessment. And I used to be one of those complainers when working at the bank!
The happiest people get paid for doing what they love, but don’t wait to be paid before you start. You may never get paid so you had better start now, or you’ll go through your whole life without experiencing the joy that comes from doing something you thoroughly enjoy. Doing what you love rejuvenates you; it gives you more energy than it requires. The people around you will love you more because you are relaxed and happy, and that positive energy will rub off on them.
If you want a more scientific, objective means of identifying your hidden talents than the quick Career Quiz above, we recommend the state-of-the-art computerized online career tests in the Career Change Coaching Kit™ .
If you want to take another free career test that I helped to create, check out the Fortune magazine article by clicking here.