If Talented in X, Consider Y

If Talented in X, Consider Y

Do you feel that your talents and interests are not being used sufficiently? Is your job or lifestyle unfulfilling? Often we identify with our job title, or stay in a dead-end career because it’s easier to do that than chance the unknown. We limit ourselves to our title and don’t even consider the possibility of having more. Once we focus on what we enjoy doing, and commit to a creative change, we can spin out an endless array of new work and life possibilities.

Identify two or three things you enjoy very much and do well. Think of how to combine them to create a new enterprise. Here’s a real-life scenario:

Stan worked in IT during his 25-year career. His company downsized and he was laid off. He contemplated what he could do next. Stan encountered that common mid-life dilemma….NOW WHAT? A naturally friendly guy, Stan always loved the bar scene, which was the core of his social life. He put these two interests together – bars and people — and became a bartender. He used his considerable experience and great listening skills to help drinking customers who confided many problems to him including their dilemmas at work.  When patrons realized he could help with their IT problems,. a new world opened to him as a free lance technical consultant. Word traveled quickly, his offers of assistance grew to a point where he launched a lucrative side business. Today, Stan has never been happier or more fulfilled.

Try an exercise to help identify YOUR favored skills and interests.

The following are examples of converting “x” skills to a new “y” career.

X skills                                    Y sample career possibilities

Cooking …                 compile family recipes, write a cookbook, personal cook, holiday baking, sous chef, prep/line cook, dessert creation

Sports …                    health and fitness, lifeguard, personal trainer, cruise ship recreation, sporting goods stores, health clubs, spas, resorts; s

Art…                           greeting cards, teach, event decorations, art therapy, collage-scrapbooks, animation, graphic design, makeup artist, gallery work, stationery/note cards, freelancer, write jingles

Now that you have the general idea, here are 15 other talents and skills and possible reinventions of them.

MAXIMIZING POTENTIAL “I could be anything if I only knew what it was.” – BARBARA SHER

We all have overlooked talents. Applying skills in new ways, opens unexplored opportunities. Below are examples. Circle those that look appealing.

WritingNewsletters, proposals, grants, how-to manuals, textbooks, print media, letter writing, resumes, memoirs, research, greeting cards, fiction, blogs, publicity, articles, ghost writing, flyers, speeches, magazines
ResearchIndependent research, foundations, Gov’t. agencies, consulting firms, polls, statistics, marketing, education,consumer goods, private investigation, internet scams, home remedies, supplements, consulting firms
Human RelationsCustomer service, personal services, concierge, restaurants, human resource depts., tour guide, docent, social work, counseling, community outreach, executive recruiter, outplacement, temp agencies, telemarketing, fund raising, hospitality, civic organizations, psychological services, corporations, natl assn’s.
Mngt./SupervisionCorporations, small business, public/private schools, higher ed., community centers, offices, agencies, think tanks, utilities, service organizations, retail, health care, temp agencies, local government facilities
Teaching/TrainingPublic, private schools- all levels, higher ed., alternative courses, adult degree completion, mentoring, spa tutoring, coaching, personal/group training, newsletters, on the job training, instructional design, clubs
CommunicationsPR, marketing, sales, telecommunications, radio, media, public access, cable networks, specialty programs, public TV/radio, distance learning, AV aids, advertising, publishing, photography, auctioneer, mediation
Repair/MaintenanceHousehold, technology, vehicles, sewing, tailoring, online, on site repair; toys & games, equipment, instruments, maintenance of machines, sporting goods, leather goods, jewelry, agricultural, fix-it, appliances
Info TechnologyWeb design/hosting, graphic design, programming, technician, data entry, electronics, tutorial designers, computer analyst, database administrator, software developer, systems administrator, website developer
Performance / ArtsArt, music, theatre, puppetry, ballooning, audience education, clowning, usher, docent, ticket agent, set design, visual arts, speakers bureau, graphic art, illustration, animation, marketing, PR, MC, galleries, guide
FashionFashion Design, retail, alterations, vintage, personal shopper, jewelry design, online retail, petite styles, plus size fashions, seamstress. tailor, garment technology, stylist, textile design, personal stylist
Outdoor ActivitiesOutdoor ed., camping/outfitting, nat’l. associations, recreation, wilderness staff, volunteer, park systems, referees, youth sports, wildlife/bird preserves, wetlands preservation, conservation, new products, coach, handicap sports, Special Olympics, Invictus games, Olympics, Retail outlets, camp staff, sports medicine
LanguagesLanguage translation, interpretation, cross-cultural coaching, tour guides, teaching, telephone instruction, instruction manuals, training, guide, travel industry, government. agencies, tutors, immersion, Intl. students
Animal CarePet sitting, grooming, breeding, obedience training, pet shows, pet accessories, halfway house for pets, rescue, fostering, adoption, vet assisting, kennel management, associations, pets in nursing homes program
Recreation/LeisurePlaygrounds, rec centers, parks, bike paths, health clubs, senior centers, wellness centers, hotels, spas, clubs, coaching, maintenance, community outreach, adventure travel, fitness, independent living alternatives
Spirituality/ReligionPrayer/Spirituality groups, tutor, hospice volunteer, campus ministries, mentor, meditation, yoga, elder circles, Green burials, Chaplain, Aromatherapy, Herbalist, Reflexologist, Sound healer, Massage therapy

This list is the tip of the iceberg. Once you focus on what’s most significant at this time, many other ideas on how to apply your gifts in new ways will follow.

Many books have been written on this topic of reinventing one’s work life. Here are some recommended titles:

Land The Job You Love : 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50
Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., NCCC Founder of FeistySideOfFifty.com  2014
5th Printing
What Should I Do with the Rest of my Life? Bruce Frankel, 2010
I Could Be Anything if I Only Knew What It Was  Barbara Sher, 1994