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Are “Killer Skills” Affecting Your Life?

Do you have any killer skills?  "What are killer skills?" you may ask. Killer skills can be some of your best abilities; they could be skills that others-including your boss-ask you to use frequently. Killer skills are those abilities that you perform very well, but that you hate using. Whenever you have to use them, you can feel the energy draining out of you. They therefore "kill" your energy and enthusiasm for work (and life) as well as increase your stress level.

Beth, for example, was a labor relations attorney who excelled in her job. She received lots of positive feedback from her clients and other attorneys. Every day, however, she dreaded going to work because it meant putting herself into situations that involved rancorous, high-stakes bargaining. Persuading and negotiating were killer skills for her. In the same way, house painters who dislike painting, teachers who don't enjoy teaching, and salespeople who would rather do almost anything other than sell are all examples of people in jobs that require spending a majority of their time using killer skills.

If you are using your killer skills a good percentage of your work time, you most likely have already experienced negative effects in your physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual health. Right now, you may only be seeing minor stress-related symptoms such as headaches, stomach distress, or irritability, but if you don't do something to reduce the amount of time you spend using your killer skills, it is very probable that your symptoms will get worse.

One study found that the number one time that people have heart attacks in our country is Monday morning at 9am.  Another study found that the greatest predictor of longevity is work satisfaction.  Could it be that killer skills are actually responsible for a great number of the health issues people experience when they are in work that they dislike? 

Thankfully, the flip side is also true: using skills you enjoy adds energy, positivity and a sense of meaning to your life. Your "motivated skills" are ones that God has "wired" into you to enjoy using. Often, people lose track of time when they are using their motivated skills; they feel like they are in the "zone" or "flow," fully engaged in what they are doing.

Can you find work that uses your motivated skills 100% of the time? Probably not, as even work that fits you well may involve using a few killer skills. Your goal, however, should be to have to use killer skills for no more than 10-20% of your job, leaving 80-90% of your work time for using motivated skills that energize you and bring you satisfaction!

Not sure what your motivated skills are? This is common if you have been using a lot of killer skills, or have never been in work that you really enjoyed. The good news, however, is that you can discover your motivated skills! Career testing and counseling can provide what you need to discover your God-given design and find work that is meaningful and purposeful. If you think you could benefit from career testing and coaching, please fill out our career services consultation form.

 

© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com. All rights reserved. Excerpts from Live Your Calling (2005) by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck. Used by permission of Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint.

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