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Could Your Secret Talent Lead to a Better Career?


Do you have a unique talent that you keep secret from your friends, family and co-workers? Maybe you can play a musical instrument with no formal training, have a cool physical ability, or an out-of-the-ordinary hobby that you enjoy. Whatever the case may be, there is a possibility that this secret talent could lead you to a brand new career path and the road to riches.

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It is fascinating that throughout history there have been individuals who’ve possessed incredible talents that they kept secret from others. Perhaps due to social stigmas or fear of failure, these folks maintained their hidden talents for many years under the guise of a seemingly mundane lifestyle until fate stepped in and forced them to reveal their gifts.

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I am an admirer of Steve Harvey and so I watch The Steve Harvey Show on television religiously. On a recently aired show (Steve’s Secret Talent, Sept 9th 2013), Harvey revealed that as a child he discovered he had a natural ability to play the piano and sing. This talent helped him to overcome a speech problem that had nearly kept him from being the well-known stage performer he is now. His inspirational story made me wonder just how many other people have secret talents that could potentially be the catalyst for career and life success.

When Ordinary People Become Extra-Ordinary

There have been a number of people who have stepped out of the shadows of a secret talent to become famous. Consider Paul Potts, a former mobile phone salesman from the UK who beautifully sang an aria from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot to the utter amazement of the world on the Britain’s Got Talent television show.  Or how about Steven Wiltshire, an architectural artist from London who has a photographic memory that allows him to illustrate complex images of entire cityscapes just by looking at buildings once. Each year, thousands of parents find out that their young children can play musical instruments, create stunning artwork, or perform other talents far beyond their years.

Hidden Talents – How They Influence Career Growth

The connection between a hidden talent and career growth is actually pretty clear. In fact, when identifying potential career direction, career coaches and guidance counselors often turn to talent assessments to get to the root of what career a person should focus on. Secret talents and passions can become the foundation for a rewarding career for anyone. It often depends on how relevant the talent is to an actual career type and how far a person is willing to go to develop this ability.

Employers are also recognizing how hidden talents can support career development and productivity in the workplace. The Harvard Business Review advised employers how to identify and harness hidden talents in employees, in a 2009 article. Looking for hidden talent in the existing employee pool can be a way that companies can enhance their innovation by grooming top performers. Understanding the way in which secretly talented people think and the reasons they are good at certain things are all a part of influencing career growth.

What to do with Your Hidden Talents

If you have been keeping a talent of your own secret for many years, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself why you have not shared it with others. A hidden talent may be a window into a new skillset that you have developed, either through natural ability or practice. Take the time to look at your talent as a positive thing and embrace it.

For some, a hidden talent is merely an outlet for burning off steam or expressing a creative side. For you, it’s an opportunity to discover a whole new facet of your personality that can translate to a better career path. Use your secret talent to give you confidence to explore other areas of your present career. Harness the creativity you feel when engaged in your secret talent and put that same energy into your work. Who knows how far you could go when you are free to share your abilities with others!

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a secret talent you’d like to share with others? Leave a comment and tell us about it on Twitter!

Tess C. Taylor
Read more from Tess C.

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