The key to loving your job is to ask yourself one simple question: “What is my biggest strength?”
Think about it: so many people are in jobs they hate because they haven’t found that one true passion. They are good at a few things so that’s what they do here and there, but they aren’t sure what that one big thing they want to do forever could be.
Here is my message: stop doing shit you hate. Nail down your strengths so you can discover your passion.
I have four steps to help you guys figure it out that will hopefully help all the comments and emails I see around “how do I find my strengths?” or “how I do I know what my best job skills are?” There are so many articles that dance around, but I want to give you all four concrete pieces of advice.
#1: What Are My Skills?
Take the five to ten people that know you the best. Split them into two categories: people you connect with on a deep level of love, and people who you are close with, but maybe you’re a little different in lifestyle and personality.
Then, ask one person from each category to honestly tell you what they think you’re best at, and what they think you’re worst at. “What are my skills and abilities, and what are my weaknesses?”
I truly believe that collecting market research and creating an atmosphere that allows someone to be honest with you are the two big things here. When someone really loves you, they might not want to be totally honest, because they don’t want to hurt you. But the quickest way to find your strengths is by eliminating weaknesses.
#2: What Are My Strengths?
You can’t take a romantic view on the skills that have made you successful so far in life. For example, you might have been a straight A student even though you have no passion for academics. Or you’re naturally amazing at basketball, but that isn’t what you truly want to pursue. But one way those strengths can come in handy tremendously is by using them as a blueprint to discovering talents you may not have understood before. Maybe you’ve been blinded by the overarching strength itself because you aren’t passionate about it, but list all the things that that skill requires you to do. Don’t take them for granted. There are many things that go into being good at something. Your potential doesn’t end with that one skill.
#3: Read Everything
Now, I know this is a very grey world. To find your personal strengths is, well, very personal. But I want to make sure I leave you with real actionable advice.
So here is a super specific one for you: go on a vacation.
But it’s not a total vacation. During that time, you’re going to go back through every email, letter or note someone wrote you, talking about your accolades or failures. Read all of them. And as you read, ask yourself “Which of my skills am I consistently praised for?” And on the flipside: what do people continuously say you are bad at?
This task could take many many hours. You might be thinking it will take too many hours.
But think: you are the one who clicked on this article. It can’t be that much time because it seems like you really want to figure this out, right? In the end, it’s a small amount of time to sacrifice compared to the happiness it will give you for the rest of your life.
#4: Ask Strangers
On social media, make a video or post asking everyone who follows you the very question we have been repeating over and over: “What are my personal strengths?” This can be phrased in a number of ways when it comes to people who follow you for your content and comments. I like to ask what I am doing that they like. What have they found helpful? What has my best work been? What is my potential?
This is now the widest net you can cast to get the information. Because these are people who have been viewing you from a very specific place, your social media personality, you are able to curate that part of your life as well into the decision of which strength to pursue.
After these four steps, you should have the depth of personal information you need to move forward to your new destination. Bring all these thoughts together to find the skill and strength that will benefit you. From there, the options are endless: a new career move? Start a new company? Find a business partner that complements your strengths and work for him? Start a company with him?
I’m pumped for you just thinking about the awesome stuff you can do.
(This article was originally published at GaryVaynerchuk.com)
About the Author: Gary Vaynerchuk has built businesses all his life: In his 20’s, he grew his family liquor store from a $3 million business to $45 million business in 5 years and launched WineLibrary.com, one of America’s first wine e-commerce sites. In 2009, he co-founded VaynerMedia, a social-first digital agency which helps brands market in the year we live in.