Opinion | Finding your 'sweet spot' | Michelle Crawford

Guess what? I am not a mechanic, an academic or an engineer.

We are human specialists. 

We work with a complete range of humans who are technically fantastic with what they do, they may be any of the above, they may be teachers, social workers, accountants or lawyers. 

Inevitably one of two things happen. Due to their technical expertise, they get promoted through their organisation until they are managing humans.

Or, they get so passionate about what they are doing that they branch out and run their own businesses.

If they end up managing humans, the technicians rapidly work out that the technical matters they are used to and humans are different in almost every way. Instead of being in their comfort zone where matters are known, predictable and controllable, they are starting to deal with humans who are inherently none of the above.

For the technicians who start their own business, they may experience rapid growth if their networks are good and business acumen is intact.  What happens then?

They end up spending most of their time very quickly working in an ambiguous situation having to deal with human matters that, until now, have not concerned them.

So … what happens?

Some people recognise it immediately and upgrade their skills. Some  just get confused and end up disliking their role and don’t know why.  Some people find out they love it more than ‘being on the tools’ (rare, but definitely possible). Others realise they are out of their depth and seek expert support.

And they are all such important lessons. Working with humans is a specialist expertise. 

Life is so much more successful if you can make sure you are positioning yourself in your ‘sweet spot’: the overlap between competence, passion and what you can be paid for.

It is worth asking yourself today, what is your ‘sweet spot’, are you doing it every day?

Michelle Crawford is the founder of Newcastle-based human resources firm Being More Human