We all have unique talents that make us suitable for specific careers. Once you’ve been in the workforce awhile, it is not uncommon to discover you are good at something that falls outside the lines of what you studied in school. This tends to happen in fields that are closely related, where you are exposed to a skill that sparks your interest and gains the attention of others. It is truly a gift when this happens, and I can attest to it. I would like to share my experience with you in hopes it will inspire you to let your intrinsic talents illuminate your own career path.
I graduated with a degree in business, majoring in marketing. All through college, I knew I wanted to work on the creative side of marketing and advertising. It was my thing. But, what I didn’t know was that my natural ability to write would take center stage in my career after a few years in the workforce.
Here’s how it happened. After working as a marketing intern for a year, I got a job as a marketing assistant in a corporate office. The marketing department I worked in operated a lot like an internal advertising agency and I absolutely loved it. My discovery began when I was asked to write some basic promotional flyers which were used to announce new marketing materials being released to our offices. I accepted the challenge and found I really enjoyed it. Soon, the opportunities to write began coming at me from all directions—from proofing marketing collateral to co-writing articles for the company’s internal newsletter, to writing seasonal flyers, local ads and direct mail campaigns.
It seemed like the more I did, the more opportunities opened up to me. All the while, I continued to excel in my marketing project management role. About five or six years into my career, the corporate writer who wrote the majority of marketing collateral moved on to another company. Without realizing it, my workload became primarily writing-focused and my career as a writer took off!
Now apply it to your career. Is there a particular skill you are gifted in? Do you have any exposure to jobs that play to your talents? Has someone in your company left a vacancy you might like to fill?
When you are presented with an opportunity that appeals to your talents (as scary as it may be), give it all you’ve got. At the very minimum, you’ll demonstrate a willingness to tackle new challenges—and if you discover it’s something you like to do, let your talents shine brightly. In so doing, you may just stumble onto a career that was made for you!