Tuesday, 6 May 2008

work/life fusion: talents

Back to the task of clearly defining the building blocks of work/life fusion. Next in line are talents so here are a couple of dictionary definitions to get us started:

talent: a marked ability or skill (http://www.wiktionary.org)

talent: a capacity for achievement or success (http://www.dictionary.com)

It should be pointed out that there are other definitions of the word 'talent' that are not as relevant to work/life fusion. As an additional point, the two dictionary definitions above do not capture the role that experience plays in shaping the talents that drive individual career success.

Dealing with the less relevant meanings first. Talent in the work/life fusion context is not used to describe natural ability. Neither is it used to describe something that one individual can perform better than another or anyone else. In the context of work/life fusion, talent (or more accurately, the talents than every individual possesses), is the collection of skills and abilities that an individual has exhibited and developed across the sum of their experiences to date.

Talent can also apply to the abilities and skills that an individual would like to continue developing and using in the future. Understanding these talents (past, present and future) therefore plays an important role in the formulation of a career direction that more accurately represents personal success.

That brings us to the second point regarding experience. An appreciation of experience needs to be incorporated into our definition of 'talents' in order for it to be understood completely. In work/life fusion, experiences are to talents what chickens are to eggs. Without our experiences it is difficult for our talents to emerge and evolve.

In the context of describing an appropriate career direction (see an earlier post on Vocationeering) it can also be true that experience has shaped our talents in areas that we are not always aware. Exploring our experiences and taking a more objective view of the talents that they have hatched and honed is therefore a rich seam of not only insight but potential as well.

In summary, talents in the context of work/life fusion are how we as individuals and the outside world perceive our abilities. Many people allow only the latter to discern their talents but when they are explored, understood and incorporated (into objectified, self-actualised direction planning) our talents can be the authors of our personal success in every sense of the word.

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