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Three elements of a fulfilling career

sen-image-by-matthew-broomhead

I was introduced to this idea by a colleague and he attributed it to Alan Weiss.

As you can see in the image above there are three lines that cross over in the middle. Like most of what I share it is relatively simple and on the face of it, rather obvious. However, as I say on my skill sessions, “there is an old saying – the only problem with common sense, is that it isn’t very common“.

The ideal position for a fulfilling career is to be in the middle where all three elements connect in equal measure.

Skills

Obviously I am a big advocate of relevant transferable skills which is why I am encouraging everyone to develop the P.R.O.U.D. skills.

This element includes both technical skills that are specific to what you deliver and the transferable skills of becoming a more attractive and valuable to the marketplace.

Enthusiasm

Having enthusiasm for what you provide and how you offer value to your marketplace is crucial to the likelihood of success in your venture. Having a passion is vital to keep going when many of the people you thought were your friends start to question why you are doing what you are doing.
Without a level of enthusiasm┬ápeople won’t be interested in buying from you.
Without enthusiasm you won’t be able to keep going.

Need

How much of a need is there in the marketplace for what you want to do? Whether it is a product or service, will the marketplace pay for what you want to provide? How do we know if they would pay?

Sometimes we may provide something for free to test the market. However, this is only a partial test. There is a big difference between someone liking what you do because they have been your free guinea pig and someone parting with their hard earned cash.

Organisations can spend a fortune on market research asking what people would do, but as we have seen in recent election poll predictions, there is a big difference between what people say they will do and their actual behaviour.

If someone pays money for your product/service then it is very likely that you can find others that will also buy.

If a salesperson has a letter of intent from someone, then that’s a good sign, but less commitment to buy.

If a market researcher asks someone whether they would buy, then that is a lot less commitment.

If you do a poll on social media to ask if your followers would buy, then that is even less commitment because you cannot even see “the whites of their eyes” to observe their congruity.

What happens if we don’t have all three elements to a fulfilling career?

Without all three elements we run into difficulties as the three examples below demonstrate:

Skill + Need = A job.
Something like 80% of people in employment do not like their jobs. They maybe skilled at it and the company they work for has found a marketplace, but without enthusiasm then life’s ticking by until the inevitable sands of time catch up with us.

Enthusiasm + Skill = I heard a story that a guy had spent a significant sum of money on a castle in a remote part of Scotland. He was very enthusiastic and had the skills to create “the retreat”. However, it wasn’t financially viable as he hadn’t checked whether people would be prepared to travel to go there. He hadn’t established a market need.

Enthusiasm + Need = A colleague told me that they had the “need” to have a new shower installed. They hired a tradesman to do it who was very enthusiastic. However, he was incompetent and didn’t have the required skill level to complete the job to a satisfactory standard. So it ended with one disgruntled customer with a botched bathroom.

In conclusion it’s a simple idea, but perhaps not so easy to ensure we have all three elements aligned. You may want to consider these three questions:

What can we do to develop our skill level?

How can we become more enthusiastic about the work we provide? (Perhaps go back to your WHY)

How can we more accurately test the marketplace to determine that there are buyers for our product or service?

Matthew Broomhead
“Raising the level of Business Skills in Britain”
Author of over 50 LinkedIn Articles on Learning and Leadership

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