Qualities are gifted. Skills are acquired. Question is which should one focus and build on?
The big question, is it better to realize your qualities and make them your skills or is it more viable to identify the work skills which the market demands, and then imbibe them?
The answer is debatable. I will say it should depend on what your goal in life is, which is whether you want to become a successful SOMEONE or a successful YOU. Whether you want to earn a living or earn yourself what you deserve and what you can enjoy doing throughout your life.
Looking at Demand VS Supply
The much-demanded skills of Communication, Interpersonal Relations, Management and Technical can all be acquired, but to excel at them, you need to be backed with some intrinsic qualities.
Pursuing qualities is usually enjoyable, because it’s what comes naturally to you. You excel at things which involve showcasing your inherent qualities, while skills since they are taught and learnt, seem like a task to master and subsequently to perform.
Qualities alone are also not all you can sustain yourself with, qualities need to be practiced and held on to otherwise you lose the hang of them. You need to stay in touch with your gifted qualities to contain them forever. So, my first piece of advice is that if you can turn your gifted self into your professional self, then go for it. But then the theoretical advice on the other end stands to be something like “Master your Skills to an extent where they end up becoming your Qualities.” Or even better is to “Make a perfect combination of your qualities and your skill set which makes you unbeatable when put to a test of versatility and standing out.”
Finding Your Skills of Passion
That’s the way to be today. You have got to be the kind who’s able to make work fun. You’ve got to bring some hobbies related to your qualities to your desk. Use them to give you the much-needed boost which shall hold the potential to make you outperform others. These hobbies could mean listening to music while working and taking part in sports events and similar cultural activities at work whenever given a chance.
Even if you fail at doing that, don’t ever give up on your qualities. They are what makes you, YOU. They sort of define you. And you should hold onto them for the same reason.
For instance, ever since I was a child, I’ve always been able to sing really well, it’s a quality I inherited from my parents. Now, I could’ve made it a skill having gotten professional training and having polished my quality but I chose not to because I wanted more than just singing from life.
I didn’t make a career as a singer but I never stopped singing either. I sing to vent out, I sing when I am stressed or upset, my quality keeps me going and it helps me through the rough patch while I pursue some work skills that make me employable.
The Balance of Skills and Qualities
So that’s my perfect balance, that’s who I choose to be, a professional who also sings. Qualities should complement your skills or the other way around. They should serve you well in moments when you break-free.
Your qualities should motivate you through and through. That is why they are referred to as ‘gifted’. In a nutshell, it is one of those debates where the conclusion invariably is “Striking a balance is the key”. It’s time you choose your balance, and don’t forget to share it with the world when you do.