“I don’t know what I’m good at”

Do you know what you are good at? And I don’t mean “kinda” good at or “sorta” good at. I am also not referring to the things you “think” you are good at (like driving) when in reality, you are merely average (sorry to break it to you – your driving isn’t really that good). I’m referring to what you are really good at. I’m talking about those abilities or skills that you possess that are rooted in your hard-wiring giftedness and your hard work – that wonderful combination of talents and time translating into what we call strengths. More importantly, are you using the things you are good at (your strengths and talents) at your job?

Strengths matter. If we know what it is we are good at and we use those abilities every day, in addition to leading to greater success, it also leads to greater efficiency and greater enjoyment of what we do. Work feels “easy.” In other words, if you ever want satisfaction on the job AND work / life balance, you can’t get there without knowing and maximizing your strengths.

Over the next month, we’ll be tackling the following big questions as it relates to discovering one’s strengths:

  • Are you using your strengths at your job? What are the signs?
  • Do you know what your strengths are? How do you find your strengths?
  • How do you plan your work and your life based on your strengths?

Over the years of working with thousands of individuals in both clinical and professional settings, what’s become clear to me are the following:

  1. Everyone has talents and most of us have discovered some our talents and translated those into strengths (through time, effort and hard work) but few of us have discovered all of our talents
  2. Most people aren’t consciously aware of or able to label their talents and strengths. We use them, but we are largely unaware of their presence and never call them out by name
  3. Most people don’t use their strengths on the job
  4. As a result of #2 and #3, many of us take jobs, or worse, get promoted into jobs that actually prohibit us from using our strengths (the roles require daily tasks that aren’t our strengths)
  5. Work doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it if we intentionally use our strengths every day

So, get your thinking caps on. Discovering and maximizing the usage of your strengths is a tough but worthy puzzle to attempt to solve. After all, who doesn’t want happiness, enjoyment, fulfillment, efficiency and work / life balance? If you answered “No” to that question, we’ve got bigger problems on our hands.


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  1. Brandon Smith says:

    Getting to $40K immediately without experience in a field or a degree may be tricky. That being said, here are some options:

    – Car sales – in the right environment, a degree may not be required and if good, you could make good money quickly
    – Luxury retail – working at a higher-end luxury retailer that has a solid commission plan could easily net you $40K… if you are good
    – Home services – jobs like pest control, heating and air maintenance, etc… can pay well (admittedly I don’t know if they hit the $40K threshold), don’t typically require college degrees but may require some training or certification
    – Other options – anything that has a degree of danger (as you found with the oil fields) or is unionized will also tend to start you off at $40K. Also consider starting your own business. Home service businesses (lawn care, landscaping, maintenance, pool cleaning services, etc…) could be easy to start with a little capital and after a few years of growing your customer base could bring home more than $40K.

    Now, depending on your risk tolerance, if you want more stability, investing in training and/or a degree could get you and of the following jobs that would clear $40K:
    – Electrician
    – Plumber
    – Medical technician
    – Teacher
    – Etc…

    I hope that helps. Let me know what you ended up choosing and good luck!


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  3. micah says:

    I am 30 years old, and I have no idea what I’m good at. I have some college under me, planning on finishing an associates in graphic design, and I’m not even sure that’s what I wanna do.
    One thing I know I’m interested in is weather, or meteorology. I could study that, but that’s a LOT of money at a university, and I don’t really know how much opportunity there is out there for that field other than the weatherman who stands in front of the camera on the news, and I don’t think that’s me. I would want to do more field work, actually physically be out there monitoring storms and what not. Unfortunately, most people who do that do it as a hobby, and make no money at it, unless you’re super smart.
    I am interested in graphic design, but I don’t know how much, or if i’ll be that good at it. I’ve already wasted a lot of money $30k+ on college that I haven’t finished, taking prerequisites and some design classes.
    I like to write for fun, but I dont really know how to go about pursuing a career field in it. I mean, how do I just sit down and write a book? I could write articles, but how realistic is that anymore?
    I’ve been really depressed over this for a while now. I’m 30, have a wife and 2 young kids. My wife’s passion is the medical field, she has two amazing jobs, one at a hospital and at a dialysis place right in front of the hospital, and all she has is her CNA! She is going for her RN as well. I’m very proud of her.
    I just want to find what I’m good at, and make money at it.
    Other random facts about me is I currently work at Sprint, I’m a phone technician, and repair phones, which I love. It just doesn’t pay well. I’ve thought about repairing iPhones on the side. I also am way into paintballing. I’ve toyed with the idea of opening a field, but not sure how well it would do.
    Anyway I’d really appreciate your thoughts and any advice you may have.

  4. Chelsea Hessels says:

    I am 16 teenager girl. I love art and bake. I like with children. my job is cleaning and I don’t really like. I don’t know what I good at but my parents thought I am goo at cleaning. what should do

  5. Day-Z says:

    Dear MIcah,

    Why are you getting a degree in Graphic Design? It doesn’t sound like you are too enthused about it. Is it something that you, like me, did to please someone else? (Both my parents were artists.) Also, is your interest in meteorology fanciful, or is there some aspect of the weather that intrigues you, and why? You have a job, which you love. BINGO! Not many people can say that. You can repair things! And you understand technology! These two things should land you a higher paying job. Try an Apple store. Maybe they pay better. The paintball anecdote confirms that you like using your hands and being physical. Maybe the grahic art major is too free-form for you, since you largely define your own parameters. I know it was for me. I work better when there are clearly defined limits.
    Hope this helps.



  6. Raymond says:

    Hello, I think I know what I’m good at but I’m not sure which job is the best place to apply those skills. Below is a list of things that tests and myself think I’m good at:
    – Analyzing
    – Creative solutions
    – Creating systems e.g. a system that simplifies grammar explanations for language learners
    – Organization

    Any ideas on specific jobs where I can apply these skills?

    Thank you,

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