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By Khalilah Starks

Children never cease to amaze me.  If you pay attention, there are lots of lessons that we can learn from them.

Recently, my daughter took up knitting.  From the very beginning, she naturally excelled at knitting.  She even used an advanced knitting technique on her first project which hadn’t even been taught.  It was just natural for her.

She instantly fell in love with knitting and takes her knitting kit everywhere she goes.  She knits while watching her favorite TV programs.  She knits while we’re in the car.  She knits during recess while the other kids are playing.  She knits on the elevator.  If there’s a moment to spare, she pulls out her yarn and starts knitting.  She’s a knitting maniac. 🙂  She knitted so much that she started to develop a sore on her finger.  But, even with that, she refused to stop or slow down the pace of her knitting.

So, what lessons can a 10 year old teach us about choosing the right career?

1. We Quickly Excel At Natural Talents.

Natural talents and strengths are those God given talents that we automatically excel at without much training.  Training helps us enhance our natural talents and ability to achieve supreme mastery at an accelerated rate compared to our peers.  When choosing a career, look for careers that utilize and capitalize on your natural strengths.  You’ll excel in your career at a faster pace making your journey to the top that much quicker.

2. We’re Motivated to Work Hard on Things That We Enjoy.

Think back to that hobby that you loved as a kid.  Was it basketball?  Was it dance?  You could probably spend hours upon hours practicing your craft.   And, no one paid you.  Your career should be no different.  Now, of course, you need to be paid.  We all have bills.  But, if you do something that you enjoy and love, you’ll work harder and won’t even realize it.

3. When the Going Gets Tough, It’s Easier to Get Going When You Love What You Do.

Enjoying what you do makes it easier to get through the tough spots.  Obstacles don’t seem like impossible mountains to climb when you’re doing something that you love.  Athlete’s play through their pain because of their love for the game.  You should have the same level of love for your career.  There should be some pain that you’re willing to play through in your own career game.

Now, what does all this mean?

If you’re not in a career that’s utilizing your natural strengths and talents, it’s time to take some action.  It’s possible to find a career that gives you the same level of enjoyment that you felt as a kid practicing that free throw for the hundredth time.  The most fulfilled people have found ways to make a living playing to their strengths while doing something that they love.

So, what are your natural strengths?  What do you naturally excel at?  Are you a whiz with technology?  Are you a gifted conversationalist?  Do you have the ability to convince anybody that you’re right, even if you’re wrong?  We all have those things that we’re great at!  The key is to identify your strengths and start researching careers that will allow you to use those strengths.

Don’t know what your strengths are?  Don’t feel bad.  Sometimes our careers take us so far away from our strengths that we actually forget what we’re good at.  But, here’s the thing.  You’re probably playing to your strengths in your personal life and don’t even realize it.  You just have to take some time to self-reflect and rediscover your strengths.

Start your rediscovery process by asking a few friends for their opinion.  Our friends are able to see things that we often can’t see.  What are the things that people constantly compliment you on?  What are the skills that your managers have always listed as strengths during your performance reviews?  When somebody needs a special favor, what are they asking you to do?  Start asking these questions and you’ll start to get closer to finding that career that makes you feel like a kid again.


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