When it comes to finding a career that’s right for you and good for the world, you have to know your strengths. A key to the success of our Echoing Green Fellows, for example, is their ability to uncover and focus on what they rock at. (They often fill in the holes in their expertise by supplementing them with talented people on their team.) It’s a simple formula for impact. With that in mind, we want to know, what are you good at?
What am I best at? It’s hard to separate out the things we get rewarded for from the things we truly excel at. Is the man who stands outside our building best at selling loosies, or is that just the opportunity he’s exploited for himself? When we ask what you are best at, we hope you can think beyond your job. If you get paid everyday to do what you are best at, it’s amazing. If not, don’t worry.
What’s great about our approach at Work on Purpose is that we expand the definition of work and career to include all of the activities that we do, not just your main paycheck grind. Some of the things I am best at include biking in heavy traffic, not getting lost in tropical vernacular urban planning, and organizing complex narratives into succinct multi-media deliverables. Maybe I would make a great designer @#$% courier in the Zona Norte section of Rio!
When you imagine your future, it is hard to see yourself getting paid for something other than what you have been doing in the past. Because we invest time into the skills we practice at our jobs, it’s scary to think about switching to a new type of job, even if the new opportunity allows you to do what you are best at. For people just beginning their careers, it’s amazing to decide early on that you want to have a positive social impact. For people further along in their career it can be incredibly difficult to make a serious change, even if it is towards increased fulfillment. Money and prestige in particular can get in the way of decisions to make changes in our careers. Beyond what people think they are best at right now, I would love to know what everyone thinks they will be best at a few years down the road. It’s an easy question to ask, but hard to answer. I think I would love to really develop my skill for telling complex stories about people doing meaningful work!