From Accomplishments to Talents

Accomplishments to TalentsBuilding your own Library of Accomplishments

When you’re doing any career planning, having a true Library of Accomplishments is a necessity. It takes a lot of effort to build your library, and then you find you have to keep updating it!

Once you have the Library, though, you can use it in so many ways.

Today, I want to write about one more way to use your Library. And that’s to take the next step with it to identify your Talents.

What’s the difference between Accomplishments and Talents?

Accomplishments are by their very nature historical. That is, they describe skills and abilities you demonstrated in the past. Talents, on the other hand, are enduring traits or characteristics that are part of who you are today. You’re likely to carry these forward into the future, no matter what skills you may be missing.

When people talk about “Going with your strengths,” they are talking about taking advantage of your Talents. Talents are usually listed as adjectives, for example: assertive, curious, inventive, materialistic, punctual, etc.

Talents are what make you unique.

If you are still deciding which direction to head in as far as your career is concerned, knowing what your talents are will be a big help in making that decision. If you are working on understanding the Unique Value Proposition of your consulting practice, you’ll be including your talents in that exercise, too.

How to use your Accomplishments to identify your Talents.

Obviously, the longer the list of Accomplishments, the more valid will be the results. Wait to do this exercise until you have at least 50 Accomplishments — don’t waste your time on it with only a handful.

1. Grab your list of Accomplishments. Beside each Accomplishment (verb)  write down the ONE Talent (adjective)  that was required for that success. (See the image above for an idea of how to lay it out.) For example:

  • Accomplishment: Revised audit procedures
  • Talent: Efficient

Another example:

  • Accomplishment:  Introduced new sales approach
  • Talent:  Persuasive

2. Now, go back and tally all the different talents you’ve noted. 

3. Rank all your talents, from most frequent to least. You may be surprised at what comes up most often! The Talents you have identified are what will help direct you and your business to the right market. These are what you can count on and build with!

Use your Talents to guide you.

As you review the options, research the character traits of other successful people in your industry or your position. Do your talents correspond to theirs?

Skills can always be learned, or outsourced. You are born with your Talents; they are the aptitudes that have always made work for you easy and productive.

Be sure your Talents are aligned for success in your business!


Virginia Nicols
The Marketing Machine®

P.S. This article assumes you are familiar with the concept of Accomplishments as they apply to building your resume as well as to building your business. We think an Accomplishments Library is foundational to career planning and business marketing. Here’s a link to the full discussion and to our course on the topic: Building Your Accomplishments Library.



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