Maybe today, right now, you’re in a prestigious job (or one that promises to be). It challenges you but it really isn’t your life’s work.
What do you do? It’s especially hard to get out, because the pay is probably good, the whole undertaking is well-recognized by friends, peers, and family, and you’re continuing to grow and learn.
So you say to yourself: there’s no real risk in staying put. I’ll be just as qualified (more qualified) to get that job I really want a few years from now as I am today.
But there is a risk, and it comes from confusing the ability to get the next job and the ability to do the next job.
To get really good at something requires very specific skills. Selling isn’t the same thing as marketing isn’t the same thing as investing isn’t the same thing as advising isn’t the same thing as building a team isn’t the same thing as really understanding what happens when your suppliers give you crappy payment terms and you run out of cash.
So the risk is this: putting off (for years, maybe) starting to become really good at that thing you’re meant to be doing.
Sure this is fine, but what are you waiting for?
7 thoughts on “Which skills are you practicing?”
Fantastic post and thank you for the great question that everyone is afraid to ask: what are you waiting for?
I think that to a certain extent the reason why many of us are unable to answer the question is the way that we have been brought up to think and believe, especially through our educational system. We have been taught to fit into a mold into a certain segment of society and are paralyzed by the choices at hand – believing that we are motivated by the hope of gain or the fear of loss. Perhaps the other question at hand is: what motivates us to take action in life?
This reminds me of a book by Dan Pink on Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. He makes a great case on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and how intrinsic motivators in life are often the most powerful and are most often looked over.
Great Post – It is tough to get outside the comfort zone – and the longer you wait the tougher it gets as you settle into a rut. Thanks for getting the gears going
I think one of the most difficult parts of life is figuring out what we, as individuals, are “meant” to do. How do people go from knowing they want to contribute to society, but not knowing how or in what capacity they can contribute?
Once we know this, determining the skills needed and starting to practice seems logical and linear. The necessary step before is more obscure and less linear in nature. How can more people enter into this reflective process?
Lots of questions without answers. In any event, I enjoyed your post.
Thanks Raj, I agree, though once you make the leap you do find yourself on the other side!
Jocelyn, thanks for your comment. I couldn’t agree more and I love Drive…really learned a lot from it.