I know that sounds like a particularly funny thing to say, especially as I am running a blog about being a ‘go-getter’ and have experienced a fairly comfortable amount of ‘success’ in my short career. But I can say that I am ‘untalented’ and still be ‘successful’ without being contradictory. Why? Because career-success isn’t just for the highly skilled ones.
Confused? Hear me out!
In school, I regularly scored a B+, not an A. I always came second or third in primary school sport carnival events. I was the last to be picked on sporting teams (because hand-eye coordination is hard) and my friends were always far better at me – this was evident in their extra-curricular and academic resumes.
In university, I was dwarfed by the ideas and work of my peers. Somedays I would listen to their presentations or read their work and think to myself that I would never be ‘successful’ because my brain just wasn’t wired like theirs.
I have always been ‘just behind’, not bad enough to fail but not good enough to succeed. And while I could have just thrown myself a pity party and resigned myself to a life of average I didn’t. I did possibly the smartest thing I have ever done and flipped how I was looking at the situation.
I have always been ‘just behind’, not bad enough to fail but not good enough to succeed.
I began to look at my lack of skill differently. What if my ‘skill’ was that I had no skill?
It sounds crazy, I know. But this is literally how I landed on what I wanted my career to be. My passion and talent lie in the strategy, structure, systems, and management of a business. My purpose is supporting the highly-talented people thrive and in turn, we all get to enjoy our versions of ‘success’! Talk about a win-win situation.
By determining my strengths (and my weaknesses) I was able to reset my career goals, push forward my career trajectory, find my groove and feel pretty f***ing fulfilled in the process.
Often people ask me how I went from managing a single cafe in West End to managing a marketing agency within 12 months but to me, they are one in the same.
When I was working at the cafe, I wasn’t working there because I was a talented barista or chef. Hell no! Everyone there was supremely more talented than me at their craft. This is the case for the marketing agency I am at now, I am surrounded by supremely talented copywriters, SEO-geeks, advertising enthusiasts, graphic designers and social media nuts. I can, hand on my heart say that I will never NEVER NEEEEEVVVVVEERRRR by as good as them in the things they do.
Sure, I could have been bummed out (and sometimes I am) that I am not the most talented person in the room OR I can work with what I have and hustle forward regardless.
By adopting this mindset and identifying a pretty big weakness I was able to pivot my career early on and experience ‘success’ at a young age. And to be honest, I am pretty glad I realised that I was untalented when I did versus slugging out a career only to stagnate for 30 years.
So there you have it folks – proof that career-success isn’t just for the highly skilled ones.
I hope this has helped anyone feeling a little lost or inadequate. Sometimes your weaknesses are trying to tell you something and if you just listen to them rather than ignore them you might learn something pretty cool.
Thank you so so much for reading,
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Pps. Ever wondered why I put the word ‘success’ in inverted commas? Because the word ‘success’ means something different to each and every one of us. There is no one definition. So for you to compare your ‘success’ to mine or for me to compare my ‘success’ to Beyonce just doesn’t make any sense.