The Trusted Coach

What is Your Little Red Dot?

The overwhelming majority of people when thinking about the launching or developing of their career almost invariably will think about the destination first, the end goal. The only problem with this approach is that it’s pretty tough to get to a destination if you do not know where you’re starting from. The perfect analogy to illustrate this “cart before the horse” issue is to imagine a trip to the mall. You want to go to J.Crew, but have no idea how to get there. Simple problem to solve, your obvious first stop as you enter the mall is to head to the directory. You search the map and find J.Crew, your destination. What’s the very next step you need to take in order to start your journey to the store? EXACTLY! You need to know where you are now – you need to locate that little red dot that says you are here!! Once you know where you’re starting from, the turns you need to make and the path you need to take to get to J.Crew is easy.

The same holds true with developing a fulfilling career. If you have a clear understanding of your starting point, the turns you need to make are easy and enjoyable – the entire journey will not be a means to end but a process that you’ll relish.

I believe each individual’s little red dot is comprised of five key components: Personality, Values, Interests, Skills, and Natural Abilities. Once you are clear on all five, your destination will become crystal clear. Now, career development can be a complex process since these five components do not always line up perfectly in identifying an ideal career or next steps. You may find you are passionate about your work, but you may not be good at it or that a certain organization encapsulates your core values, but the work doesn’t fit your personality. You get the picture and it’s why this step in the development process is critical for long-term sustainable success.


The Five Components


One of the most important components of career success is to find a job where you can genuinely and truly be yourself and leverage your personality to thrive in an occupation that needs and appreciates what you uniquely bring to the table.  The right job makes you pop out of bed in the morning, it enriches your life, and reflects who you are as person.  It enhances your life because it nourishes the most important aspects of your personality. It’s essential to be in a  career that fits your personality and where you get rewarded for who you.  We utilize the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to determine your personality and begin to explore career options that may be suitable based on your personality.


Values are what make you happy, the things that are most important to you in your life and career. Values are at the core of what motivates you, how you see the world, and how you choose to live your life including who you prefer to associate with and and what type of organization is most attractive to you. A fulfilling career should reflect your core values or not conflict with them. We all live by a certain set of values but in many cases since they are integral to who we are, we may not be able to identify them. We’ll spend time identifying values and how to integrate them as part of developing or improving your career.


Interest can simply be defined as what drives and motivates you. It is work that naturally attracts you since if you are not pursuing things that interest you or that you’re passionate about, it will be difficult to enjoy sustainable career satisfaction. Interests are a source of engagement that can determine what may be an ideal career fit based of what you have considered satisfying in your life. What people do and how they do it is a reflection of their interests. Based on discussions, we may incorporate potential interests with a deep-dive on natural abilities or choose to directly assess six key interest areas based on the Strong Interest Inventory.


Skills are function-driven capacities acquired over time, practice and experience. Many people have difficulty defining their skills and seeing how these skills might match up with potential careers or how their skills could easily transfer to a completely new career.  We focus on identifying skills and creating a vocabulary for describing strengths and understanding areas of challenge.

Natural Abilities

Every individual is born with natural abilities which are combined to form a unique pattern in that individual. The purpose of a good abilities assessment tool is to measure an individual's unique abilities objectively and then to analyze how the combination of abilities in that individual can be marshaled and utilized to produce a happy and productive whole person.

Whether they are called abilities, talents, innate qualities or aptitudes, they are instilled in each of us at birth. They are those essential elements which combine in each of us to define what we do easily and well. All of us are a combination of talents, some more compelling than others, no one of them so predominant as to drive everything we do. What separates and distinguishes us from other individuals is the way in which our unique abilities are patterned or configured in each of us. Research shows that abilities come together for everyone in a definable pattern. We are able to determine this pattern once the individual reaches the age of fourteen.

Abilities are distinct from skills. Skills are function-driven capacities acquired over time, practice and experience. Abilities are innate. Manual-dexterity, for example, is an ability; playing the violin in the New York Philharmonic is a resulting skill. We are happiest and most satisfied when we make maximum use of our abilities. An individual may develop the skills to practice law, for example, but if she doesn't have the inborn talents which make the practice of law easy and satisfying, she will find her work unrewarding (and, even, as in the case of many lawyers, frustrating). When we apply our abilities to our study or work, we do our tasks better.

The trick is to recognize and understand the abilities which reside in you and the way in which those abilities relate to each other. Confronted by new sets of problems or changes in circumstance, how quickly do you generate new ideas for solving them? How easily and quickly do you discern relationships between seemingly unrelated objects? How easily can you rearrange data in logical order? How easily can you restructure objects supplied in two dimensions into their three dimensions? These are some of the questions that will be answered when you understand and utilize your innate abilities.

We will use the Highlands Ability Battery which is an objective way to effectively measure your natural abilities.


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