We’ve been talking at length about the “Great Resignation” that has been ongoing in America for months now—millions of people quitting their jobs, many with no real alternative job prospects, simply because the recent pandemic shifted their priorities and they realize that they were not happy in their job or career. If you’re one of those people, you’re likely in the process of reinventing your life, and doing that effectively means you must figure out what’s really important to you and begin restructuring your life and career based on those priorities. Part of that process is “finding your why,” which we discussed in our last post…but that’s just the first step.
Once you’ve discovered your why, your primary motivation and passion, the next step is to take an inventory of your gifts—the things you’re good at—and take a fresh look at them with your why in mind. In other words, you need to start asking the question: how can I use my talents to serve my why?
Here’s why this matters:
- When you combine your primary motivation (your why) with your primary talents (your gifts), you become much more effective and productive in the things you undertake; AND
- Aligning your why with your gifts helps you see your gifts in a new light, opening up new possibilities and new ways to apply your gifts.
Direction for the Next Chapter
Let’s bring this a bit more down-to-earth so you can see how important this is. If you’ve recently walked away from a job because it wasn’t fulfilling you, that may indeed be an important first step toward a more fulfilling life—but it doesn’t give you any guidance as to what you should do next. In fact, recent surveys have shown that within this so-called “Great Resignation,” about 1 in 5 people now regret leaving their jobs. The most likely reason for this is that they haven’t got any sense of direction for the next chapter in their lives. They pulled up anchor, but now they’re just drifting.
That’s where reimagining your gifts comes in. When you know your why and you start looking for ways to aim your gifts in that direction, it frequently opens up new ideas and career choices you never even thought of before, but which would in fact be a perfect fit for you.
A Real-World Example
Using my own story once again as an example…this is effectively what happened to me. When I found out my 30-year position as an HR executive would be ending, I knew I had to reimagine my future. So I asked myself what I loved most about my job—and I realized that my favorite part of the job was where I got to mentor and coach people, to encourage them to identify their career goals and help them pursue those goals within the company. I didn’t have the “find your why” vocabulary yet, but that’s basically what I did—I discovered my why was to encourage people toward their goals, and that my gift was coaching and mentoring people. Once I had those two pieces of the puzzle, I was able to see my gifts in a whole new way and envision a brand-new career path for myself that I wasn’t able to see before. Today, I see that being a career coach is the perfect fit for me—it combines my why with my gifts and talents in a new and powerful way.
Just as finding your why isn’t always easy, it also can be challenging to reimagine your talents if you’ve only looked at them in a certain context. It often helps to have someone alongside you to ask the right questions and help you set goals. If that describes you, I’d love to help. Just click here to access my calendar and set up a free 30-minute consultation.