Maximise your natural talents

Identify your greatest talents and then find a job that fits, writes Cecilia Yeung

One of the keys to a rewarding and gratifying career is to showcase your talents and strengths in a job. Every individual has his or her own very distinctive combination of talents and developed strengths. The main difference between the two is that natural talents are something we are born with, are unique to every individual and very clearly displayed from an early age while strengths are skills developed through dealing with our environment, continuous discipline and training. When put together, they create a powerful combination of attributes that count as our most valuable asset and make us individuals.

Through most of our working lives, we concentrate on acquiring expertise in a career and in functional roles without ever really asking whether this is aligned with our basic aptitudes. A person may spend time developing management skills, leadership abilities and specific trade skills like financial analysis, computer programming or client servicing. Such strengths all add to their overall attributes but they may not be getting the chance to make use of their natural born talents on a daily basis.

"This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." - William Shakespeare.

A meaningful career and personal life depend on utilising and displaying those innate talents. You may already be 100 percent certain what your greatest talents are or may only have vague notions. The key is to continue the process of discovery and increase self-awareness. Many resources are available to help you gain insight and understanding of your own untapped abilities.

Some people may have taken aptitude assessments and, if not, should be aware that many personality and aptitude tests and psychometric assessments are now available. Some are offered on the Internet free or for a small fee and professional assessment tools along with one-on-one coaching are also available in Hong Kong. A few websites you might be interested in are:

To obtain a psychometric assessment along with professional coaching in Hong Kong, you can check out:

Profiles International, or St. George's Consulting

The developed skills you have already attained will be clear to you from your day-to-day work. By combining these with your talents and natural aptitudes, your professional life will become more satisfying and you will be prepared to take on new challenges. Companies nowadays are increasingly aware that employees are far more productive in jobs that match their aptitude and personality. A financial analyst client of mine was recently transferred to her company's human resources department to set up a training division. This happened because she was adamant that she was a people-oriented person with a talent to inspire and motivate other members of staff. She showcased this very clearly in her department and, when the time came to set up the training division, she was given the job.

This may not happen in every company but, even if you only showcase your talents through hobbies or extra-curricular activities, you will be certain to find greater satisfaction in everyday life through being able to express your gifts. Especially if you are in career transition, it may be the ideal time to define a new career direction based on your passions and natural talents.

Making use of them will lead you to a far more meaningful and fulfilled life in being able to express your true self. If you can achieve that as part of your work, the rewards will come effortlessly and each day will be far more enjoyable.

Cecilia Yeung, managing director of SpringBoard Resources, is a motivational speaker and business/career skills trainer. Her mission is to inspire others to live the BEST life possible! SpringBoard offers a unique range of motivational seminars and workshops as well as development products and coaching services. For more information, please visit

Taken from Career Times 30 January 2004
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