We’ve all been asked, “What do you want to do, when you grow up?”  I’ve come to realize this is a terrible question to ask a child.  The truth is that the answer is ever changing.  Our goals and desires change as we grow and change.

When I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance in my 20’s, I thought I wanted to be a Finance Manager.  That was no longer true in my 30’s and has changed again in my 40’s after several job transitions.

A perfect job is doing what you enjoy, using your core strengths and the skills acquire over time. 

There are three elements that will help you identify this ideal pursuit:

  • Passion: What makes you tick?
  • Talent: What is your natural talent or core strength?
  • Skill: What skills are needed to support that passion and utilize your strengths?


Some passions are everlasting.  Some aren’t.  There is always time to discover or rediscover your true passion.  Take time to reflect.  Be honest with yourself.

  • What is your favourite activity or subject?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Do you have any newfound interests?
  • What is your dream job?

Some of us have broad interests; I’d recommend narrowing prospects down to 1 or 2 areas.


Do you have a natural ability or strength that can be applied to your passion?  I found Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath useful in identifying my natural strengths, but it doesn’t identify artistic talents.

  • What do you learn quickly and effectively?
  • What are your core strengths?
  • What capabilities come naturally to you?


Talent is nature-born, while skills are acquired through learning and practice.  I believe talent is overrated.  Sometimes, the skill and knowledge you acquire can compensate for a lack of ‘natural’ talent.

  • What skills do you need to acquire in order to bring your passion to life?
  • How will these skills complement your talent?
  • What is your plan to master the skills?

If you are at a crossroad, you should spend time reflecting on your passions, talents and skills.  Having passion and talent is not enough; you need to diligently develop skills and practice their application.  Passion and Talent are immensely helpful in pursuing your dream position but developing your skills is what it takes to realize that dream.  Are you ready to do what it takes?

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Pam Didner

Posted on

February 10, 2012

Personal Journal