Are you using your superpowers wisely?
You could be gifted with numbers, or words, or both. You could be a natural at building deep relationships with people or able to charm a roomful immediately. Maybe you have a talent for breaking a problem into its components to find a logical solution. I have a friend who can look at a machine and instantly visualize its inner workings in 3-D.
You have superpowers. Maybe you have more than one. If you’re lucky, you’ve found a place in the working world that uses those talents.
But it’s not enough to simply use them. A gift for quick mental math is useful because most people lack it. It helps the minimum-wage worker at the hot dog stand make change. But (combined with a few other talents) it’s also useful for negotiating mergers & acquisitions in the millions or billions of dollars.
I’m not dissing the idea of using your superpowers to serve customers hot dogs. With 13 years of bartending experience (which was vital to financing my college education and subsequent MBA) I can’t afford to cop an attitude. And I believe that all work is inherently noble and inherently ennobling. I’m just pointing out that the guidance counselor at high school might have advised Spiderman that his skills were perfect for window washing.
As you assess your career from time to time, I suggest that you ask two questions:
- Does my current role use my superpowers? If not, are you consciously making a choice to play against strength for a time to learn new skills or offset weaknesses?
- Does your role use your superpowers for their highest and best purposes? If not, is this role a step towards a role that makes better use of those superpowers?
Photo courtesy of Dulce Pinzon