TLR member Paula Melbourne has a unique talent – helping others find (and follow) their true passion in life. As part of our monthly series of Thank God It’s Friday events, Paula gave an inspirational talk in The Living Room about this topic, with the TLR family gaining valuable insights into how they might identify their superpowers (and use them effectively in a career change).

What is a Career Change Superpower?

In the worlds and multiverses of DC and Marvel, a superpower is defined as a unique and superhuman ability. Superman can fly, Wolverine has regenerative abilities, and Scarlet Witch is telekinetic.

When we talk about superpowers in a corporate context, we reference either talents or skills, with a preference for talent, which comes  naturally. Some examples include: 

  • Strategic Thinking 
  • Languages 
  • Communication 
  • Technical Know How 
  • Teamwork 
  • Administration 
  • Negotiation 
  • Problem Solving
  • Intuition 
  • Compassion 
  • Analysis 
  • Sales 
  • Influencing 

As with superheroes, you can have more than one superpower. Everybody has at least one, but many have two, or even three. 

Your talent, plus your passion, placed into actions, equals your superpower. Sounds easy, right? Actually, it’s harder to identify than you might imagine, which is why so many people need help in this area. 

Personally, my superpower lies in networking and in connecting people to each other. I know instinctively who needs to be introduced – who can help each other in some way. 

This is one of the reasons I decided to become a career coach. I support and guide people to make transformative career changes, helping them see their path ahead. It is extremely rewarding work.

Paula captivating the TLR Family during her recent talk on career changes and professional superpowers.

Why do people work in jobs they don’t enjoy?

Quite often, when we are young, we know instinctively what we’re good at and what kind of job we’d like. In the self-discovery part of career coaching, I ask clients what they wanted to be when they were a child, and when they were a teenager. The answer is often extremely illuminating and provides clues as to their true passion, purpose and calling, before the world shaped them into something else.

Often, external factors play a role in the career path we choose – meaning we don’t always follow the route that is the most natural fit. Perhaps your classmates jeered at you, saying there’s no way you can be a car mechanic, because you’re a girl and ‘all mechanics have to be boys’. Maybe your parents told you they didn’t have enough money to send you to med school. Or maybe a teacher told you that you weren’t smart enough to be a lawyer, or a family member advised you not to become a writer or an artist because ‘you won’t make any money’ or it’s not ‘practical’ 

There are many reasons people end up in jobs they dislike, or are not naturally suited to. But, as they are able to do the work, and it pays an adequate amount, it can be a while before they consider a change. A career change, at any time, requires readiness and confidence to undertake inner reflecting work to identify a profession that will make them happier and more fulfilled. 

A shot of the crowd that gathered to listen to Paula’s Friday evening talk.

The answer lies within

While a career coach can help you more easily identify your superpower, your subconscious already knows what it is. The problem lies in identifying it. 

Here’s a handy list of questions I ask my clients when they want to identify their unique skills and talents to potentially kickstart a career change.

  • What skills or talents come naturally to you?
  • What are you passionate about? 
  • When you were six years old, what did you want to be? 
  • What are your values? 
  • What do you do better than others? 
  • When you were sixteen, what did you want to be? And why?
  • What was your favourite subject at school?
  • What activities distract you? 
  • Which activities do you lose yourself in? 
  • What do you stand for?  
  • What world leaders/international role models do you admire? 
  • Do you have any skills or talents that you aren’t using in your current job?
  • What aspect of your current job do you most enjoy? 
  • What do you consider the best job in the world? 
Your talent plus your passion plus your actions equals your career path superpower

Important next steps – applying your superpower to your career change

Once you’ve identified your superpower, don’t stop!

The next step is to start leveraging it and using it to your best advantage. Make it your Unique Selling Point (USP). Use it to more effectively market yourself, making sure it is prominent on your CV and on your LinkedIn profile. This goes for everyone – whether they are looking for a job following a termination or a career break, or wanting to continue in their current role, make an internal move, or effect a successful career change. 

Above all else, always remember that everyone has a superpower, at least one.  You only have to find out what it is. Yes, that might take some work, but it’s well worth the effort. Find your superpower, the courage to use it, and the world will fall at your feet. I guarantee it. 

My personal healing journey

About Paula

Paula, known professionally as The Maple Leaf Coach, is a certified Career Coach and Talent Business Partner, passionate about values-driven culture and equality of opportunity. She has 20 years’ experience in private sector talent acquisition and management, building and leading successful, diverse teams in Canada, the UK, Europe, Russia and Asia Pacific. Paula lives in Malaga, Spain and works remotely from The Living Room (TLR).

As a special offer, TLR Members can now enjoy 10% off all services offered by The Maple Leaf Coach. For more information about these services, go to www.themapleleafcoach.com or email paula@themapleleafcoach.com

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