Some great career advice this week passed along by Marc Cenedella, founder of The Ladders.
Marc reports in his column on a recent post by Silicon Valley tech expert Paul Graham. Entitled "What Doesn't Seem Like Work?" Graham notes that "If something that seems like work to other people doesn't seem like work to you, that's something you're well suited for. The stranger your tastes seem to other people, the stronger evidence they probably are what you should do.”
Deciding what work you should do isn’t always easy. Sometimes the process requires figuring it out from subtle clues "like a detective solving a case." As a career coach, I’ve noticed like Graham that the same task or job can be excruciatingly painful to one person and pleasant to another. So here's Marc's question (and mine!): What seems like work to other people that doesn't seem like work to you?"
Think about the things that don't seem like work to you and see if there's a pattern. Don't confuse what you're good at (aptitude or skill) with what you enjoy. Differences in how you feel when completing a task or a project indicate preferences that can set you apart from others who can do the work, but with less enthusiasm. After all, as Marc points out, we usually feel happier, perform better and enjoy work more when we're doing things for which we are well-suited.
Focusing on things you excel at AND enjoy will lead to better results in your career. Don't waste time trying to bring all your skills up to the same level as your strongest motivated skills. Not only is that unlikely to work, but it reduces the time you have to master capabilities for which you have a gift.
Take Marc's advice: this week, think about what doesn't feel like work as you plan your next career move.