By Teejay Dowe - Talent Dynamics for Young People
So many of our young people today struggle to articulate just who they are and that’s no surprise really as it’s not exactly something we teach in school. We rarely are asked to define our identity much deeper than our name and perhaps role in a team, or later business, and so when faced with options and opportunities how do they know what to choose?
Well, the answer to that all too often unfortunately is they have no clue and so are pushed in one direction by parents, pulled in another by teachers, given suggestions by careers advisers and influenced by peers. No wonder they can often in later life find themselves in jobs that put them completely out of flow, they become disillusioned, stressed, miserable and under perform. Know anyone like that?
I met a young man like that recently, his name was Robert and he was working in a firm of accountants. It was actually the senior partner of the firm who asked if I could help because if he didn’t get sorted out then he was out!
Robert is a very bright young man, and a little cocky with but he’s young and it’s part of who he is. We began the conversation around his profile as he came out as a Star and he immediately told me that he felt it was all a bit superfluous, there wasn’t really any substance to it was there? And his boss had thought that too (or maybe planted that seed?)
It made me smile when I asked him if he’d actually read the detail of it and he admitted he hadn’t and that’s very typical of a Star, just looking at the overview. So we explored the report in more depth and he resonated with much of it, nodding and agreeing that was so like him and in other things agreeing it was not. Then, after all the agreement he said
“Actually this just makes me more confused. Now I really don’t know who I am at all. It’s made it worse!”
I smile and we go back a few steps in the conversation and add more insight in to his natural gifts and talents and the types of roles that would suit who he is. We go around in circles for a little as he continues to protest and then all of a sudden he stops and looks at me and says….
A Bitter Pill
“This is a bitter pill to swallow. I really do know more about who I am than I have ever admitted to anyone and now I am realizing that the reason that I am struggling in this job, feeling as if no one appreciates me, bored with the data entry and detail is that I’m in the wrong job.
I love the job when I’m able to go out with the boss and meet new clients, or greet them and show them around the office and I get to have some variety in what I do. That’s not very often in this job though and I’m miserable. I was going to go on to train as an accountant but I know I would find it really hard and too much for me. I just wanted to please my dad and my boss. What should I do?
Should I leave?”
Of course that is an option but not the only one. There was no reason why he could not stay with the firm but find another role there that allowed him to shine, interact with people, promote the business and work in a team.
Or, understand why he felt stressed in this job and start to look around for those types of roles in other industries where he would be in flow, build trust in who he is and what he does best and really add value to a business so he can feel appreciated.
Discovering that his thoughts of “I’m not good enough here and nothing I do is ever good enough” was just a case of mistaken identity and that when he does what he is naturally gifted and talented at he will shine, Robert is excited to find that new role and enjoy his career again.
Teejay Dowe will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.