Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work by Halimah Bellows addresses the needs of a new generation of career seekers in a rapidly changing economy and job marketplace. Designed as self-paced career development workshop in book format, it provides self-assessment tools to enable individuals to explore their personal passions, values, strengths and skills along with sound strategies and resources for decision making, goal setting and networking to begin a fulfilling new career.
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At an early age Halimah Bellows became aware of her natural ability to listen to people non-judgmentally as well as her desire to be of service to others. In her life as an educator, a career counselor and a coach, she has been able to marry her fascination with people’s stories with her deep interest in the world of work.
A Pacific Northwest and California-based career/coach for more than 20 years, Halimah Bellows holds an MA in English Language Teaching from the University of Exeter, an MS in Counseling Psychology from San Francisco State University and received training at The Coaches Training Institute and Retirement Options to become a Certified Retirement and Professional Coach. Author of Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work and creator of CAREER QUEST CARDS, she is a seasoned workshop presenter, group facilitator and talk show guest.
In addition to assisting people through career transitions and supporting retirees to “retire with fire”, she also focusses on helping couples and business partnerships build powerful intentional relationships as well as empowering artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals to develop their business and achieve their dreams.
Recognizing Your Strengths:
In order to find out what will make you happy at work or in your time away from work, you need to discover your talents and your strengths. People sometimes confuse strengths with skills. The basic difference is that skills are learned. You learn how to drive. Driving is a skill while your strengths or talents are innate, natural abilities. You may find you have natural talents in many different areas. When you see a little kid creating an amazing drawing or painting you say, “That kid is a natural.” It’s automatic. The child knows how to do it.
Take my son, for example. He has natural talent for using the computer. It’s a gift of his. He taught himself desktop publishing because he was interested in it. He wanted to learn it. But he didn’t go to school for it. He got on and he played and he played and he played and now he can do all kinds of stuff with desktop publishing. He didn’t actually have formal training. Skills can help you perfect a talent and make it better. Developing skills can help you find your personal style. If you’re an artist, you may have a natural gift or strength for drawing or painting but you still need to learn technique.
Champion Your Career
That is really the difference between skills and strengths. You can use skills to enhance your talents and strengths. When you are at work, you want to combine all your talents, all your strengths, and all your skills. Generally, when we first talk about talents, you find your talents and strengths in things that you love to do. So what you need to do is to look at the tasks you do. Identify the tasks that you absolutely love.
Someone said—and I love this quote–-“A talent or strength is a present or gift that we have been given by Nature.” It’s a natural ability. We do not have to think about it. It’s there in us already. Just think about this: Some people are naturally talented at sports. You’ve got recruiters going to all these high schools. What they’re looking for is someone who has natural talent. Talent is like an innate ability. It is just part of who you are. Sometimes you may not even realize that you have it. Sometimes talents can be hidden. So if you want to look for talents, you first have to look at what you enjoy. What do you enjoy doing? What do you enjoy thinking about? What do you enjoy learning about? And what do you enjoy as a process?
Talents and strengths are related; they work together. An example of a talent could be the ability to organize people, to motivate people. There are people who are linguists. They don’t have to work too hard at learning a new language. They just pick up a language naturally. You can learn a language, yes, and it is a skill, but some people have what we call natural ability. Some people pick it up one, two, three and others just struggle. It’s a natural ability to be a linguist, to learn languages. For some people it just comes and it flows. So that is basically how you can recognize a talent.
I’m going to give you five questions to think about