Passions and Gifts

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

Over the past several months, I have noticed that an increasing percentage of my clients have been expressing concerns about a lack of passion and meaning in their work. They will often say something like, “I know I’m lucky just to have a job, but I feel like I’m just going through the motions. I don’t feel particularly engaged or excited about my work any more. Is this all there is?”

I believe that every working person has the right and responsibility to discover (or re-discover) his or her professional passion. With this in mind, I thought we would do something a little bit different this month. I invite you to do an exercise that has proven to be very powerful with my clients. It won’t take you very long, and I can almost guarantee that the results will give you a whole new perspective on your own job or career path.

“Passions and Gifts” is a wonderful exercise to keep you focused on the larger purpose of all your work. It connects you to your “WHY” and is also a great tool to help sharpen your delivery during business meetings and job interviews.

Here is an example of this exercise, completed a few years ago by one of my clients:

Passions and Gifts (Sample)

At work, I love to …

  • Build organizations
  • Move things forward, solve problems
  • Turnaround problem situations, get big results (generate, produce, achieve, create)

I am passionate about …

  • Doing the impossible, taking on big challenges
  • Creating new structures to achieve big results
  • Solving problems, removing obstacles
  • Getting the best out of people

I am excited about …

  • Doing the really tough job
  • Being able to do what no one else seems to be able to do
  • Seeing people grow, do more then was ever expected
  • Being the best – person, organization, team

What I really like is …

  • Working with very bright people who have good values
  • Working with companies that are respected or where respect can be created
  • Building a culture that will succeed and be a place where people can grow and enjoy work M

My greatest contribution is …

  • Being able to do many different things well
  • Accomplishing the mission, exceeding expectations
  • Building an organization from scratch
  • Saving the day – taking dire situations, fixing them and turning them into winners

I am particularly good at …

  • Taking things that look like failures and making them into exceptional successes
  • Developing people – getting them to be creative, committed and accountable
  • Getting the job done quickly with practical, interesting solutions

I am known for …

  • Creative leadership
  • Overcoming challenging obstacles
  • Rising to the occasion
  • Seeing the core issues, problems, solutions
  • Get to the heart of the matter quickly, intuitively analyzing the situation

I have an exceptional ability to …

  • Be innovative
  • Devise straightforward solutions that are efficient and practical
  • Take complex problems and quickly developing elegant solutions
  • Create solutions that get the job done

OK, now it’s YOUR turn! Get out a pad and pen, or create a new Word document. Please complete the following sentences as candidly as you can. Feel free to provide multiple answers to each question. Keep your responses focused on the career and work aspects of your life (as opposed to your personal or social life, etc.) You can also come back to your answers after a day or so, and refine or expand them:

  • At work, I love to …
  • I feel passionate about …
  • I am excited about …
  • What I really like is …
  • My greatest contribution is …
  • I am particularly good at …
  • I am known for …
  • I have an exceptional ability to …
  • Colleagues often ask for my help with …
  • What motivates me most is …
  • I would feel disappointed, frustrated or sad if I couldn’t do …

After you’ve completed this exercise, ask yourself these important questions and write-down your answers in detail:

  1. Do your personal gifts, goals and passions correspond/align with your current career direction?
  2. What implications do these answers have on your current and future career choices?
  3. What is one thing you can do right now to enhance or change your current career situation, so that it will be more in-tune with your true passions and gifts?

Remember: it’s never too late to take charge of your career and find the work you love – as long as you have the right resources and support!

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, television and radio networks. He has also conducted presentations at many companies, associations and universities. Learn more at www.CareerPotential.com or contact Ford directly at 1-800-972-6588.

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