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Career x Calling

By: John Epps

Want to know how to have a great career? It takes talents and skills.

Talents are the abilities that come to you very naturally, and they may include how you think, how you speak, and how you perform different tasks on a job.  

Skills are built by learning how to perform certain tasks or how to perform a particular process. Often you can learn skills faster or with more ease in areas where you are talented.  


Developing your skills is a tremendous opportunity to reach higher levels of proficiency. By practicing strong discipline and consistency in developing your skills, you can achieve great results. You could even surpass someone with great talent, who does not give their best effort. This is a cautionary tale for those with natural talent to not settle!  

Do you have talents that you are not using? Now is a good time to think creatively, identify new ways to combine your talents to do things you’ve never done before, get more done where you are, or to do work better, faster, or for more people.  

Do you need skills you don’t have today? Now is a good time to develop a habit of continually adding new skills to your inventory. Learning new skills stretches us mentally, emotionally, and physically. When we thoughtfully review our mistakes, we can learn from them and turn a negative into a positive.  

Using more of your talents and your ever-increasing skill set gives you access to more opportunities and increases your resiliency when you encounter future adverse circumstances.

How do you take your talents and skills to the next level, in order to best manage your career? Careers can be best managed when we evaluate our competencies and match them to opportunities in the workforce. As you grow and evolve, you will want to constantly reexamine the fit between your skills and talents and the work that you are doing.  

Experiencing discomfort in your work? You will need to determine if the discomfort that you are feeling is there because you have a growth opportunity or if the discomfort is because you are not in the right situation.  

Be honest when you come up short. If the cause is a lack of work and commitment on your part, then develop a plan of action to get the skills and knowledge you need to be a success. But also, be honest if you determine that the place you are in is not right for you. Too often we choose to live in discomfort because things are familiar rather than face our fears about confronting the unknown.

As your career progresses, you may find yourself facing a few detours and side trips on your journey. Be careful not to be discouraged and careful not to fall into a rut going nowhere. Be willing to get help when you need it!

1. Seek a coach  

2. Seek a mentor

3. Go back to school

4. Find a training course to diversify your skills

Sometimes the best option is to step back long enough to let the dust settle. Then give yourself the time, encouragement, guidance, knowledge and courage to make that next important step.  

You may find that with patience and perseverance, you will not only complete the next leg of your trip successfully, but that you will be better equipped to go the extra mile and help someone else be a success as well.


John Epps is the Managing Principal at Creative Excellence Business Technical Writing and Research Services LLC, a coaching, capacity building and consulting company. John thrives as a storyteller, educator, project manager and innovator.

Follow @CreativeExceLLC (Instagram) for inspiration and motivation to go the extra mile. Originally published: -- Original publish date: September 2021

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