Give the Gift of What’s Inside Yourself

by on November 17, 2011

Give the Gift of What’s Inside Yourself

About a week from now we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that focuses all on giving thanks for the many blessings in our life.  However, Thanksgiving is also a time of sharing.  I was thinking about this aspect of the holiday and realized how many of us have gifts that we’re able to share with each other.  These gifts are not of a physical nature.  Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day to day living we may not even recognize them as gifts.  However, the skills and strengths we have that we share with others to help them along on their way are as wonderful a gift that we have to share.

Let me give you an example.  Before I was a coach, I worked for many years in my corporate role in positions as a computer programmer, systems analyst and project manager.  Each of those positions has a definite analytical focus to them.  However, I’ve always been blessed with the gift to be able to connect with others and be able to listen to them and guide them as they look to move their life forward.  As such, when I left my first career and moved onto my current activities, using those gifts in terms of working with others, allowed me to continue that portion of my corporate life that I most enjoyed doing.  In working with my clients, I find it enjoyable sharing the many things I have learned over the last year in terms of putting together an effective job search campaign and how to execute it.

My clients themselves don’t always see the gifts they have to offer.  While a job search or career change process can be very stressful, and there is a great desire for a perspective employer to like you, there is another way of looking at things.  You come with a skill set.  Some of that skill set may have been learned by your experiences over the years.  Other parts may have been learned through formal education.  And, still other parts are a natural part of your personality and nature.  It is not everyone who has a strength for example in being organized, or is good at analyzing data or can facilitate groups with participants with different goals or agendas.  Some people have talents in one area, while others have talents in another.  However, when you are pursuing a position of employment, and you are putting together your resumé to promote those talents, remember as much as a prospective employer has something you want (ie. a job), you offer something they very much need.  If your talents in a particular area are strong, you are providing them the gift of addressing an area that may be a worry or concern for them if you were not there to address it.

I often see others minimizing their gifts, even when they’re brought to their attention.  There is a moment of embarrassment where I will hear things like, “I’m just good at that,” or “That’s just something I enjoy to do.”  There is nothing of which to be embarrassed or need to be reluctant in acknowledging those areas in which you can contribute or which you are adept.  The embarrassment should not come in recognizing something at which you are good and acknowledging it, but instead in knowing you have talents in an area and being unwilling to share them with others who may need your services.

Therefore, as you look forward next week in celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, and acknowledge that for which you are thankful, also look to acknowledge those internal gifts of which you have been blessed.  If you haven’t been sharing them as much as you believe you should, look to make a promise to yourself to do so.  If things are not 100% the way you would like, (such as you have been looking for a job, or are unhappy in the career you are presently in), take stock of the skills you offer and look to make them the springboard to moving you into a field which you love.  If you feel that there are no opportunities in your field, again take a step back and evaluate your skills and your gifts.  There are likely other fields which you may have never thought of in which they can be used or shared.

Above all, do not hide what you have to offer.  I realize we’re often taught to be modest about those things we do well.  However, there is a large difference between boasting about what you do well, and promoting it as something you are offering in benefit to help others.   If the talents you have are able to help another to move forward and achieve what they need, you have really offered one of the best gifts you can ever provide to another.

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