For the first twenty years of my career, I never quite fit into the perfect box in my corporate life. As a result, my success almost always came down to fit, not talent. And the question was: To what degree did I fit the corporate culture and to what extent did the corporate culture fit me? I almost always performed at a high-level relative to metrics, but didn’t always fit it and couldn’t quite put my finger on why?
Curiosity can be defined as: the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness. My natural inclination is to question why we do things, and then my analytical/ creative mind wants to solve for new ways to do it. As a result, I always did so much better with lots of autonomy: tell me what you want to accomplish, let me go come up with lots of potential solutions, lets decide on the best path and then get out of my way!
Life is so much about knowing yourself and finding the right purpose and plan to maximize your satisfaction not only personally, but professionally. The problem is you don’t get to make all the rules. But, here is a rule you can make. Work for people who will cultivate your skills and provide an individualized approach to help you grow and to get you into the specific areas that will maximize your success.
Try this cool quiz from the Harvard Business Review that measures curiosity. If you are a curious person, you probably already clicked it!
Image credit: Fred Tomaselli, 2003, 60″ x 84″, photo-collage, gouache, acrylic and resin on wood panel, © 2003, courtesy of James Cohan Gallery and the artist