Recently we have had a lot of positions open as we grow our PAR Program company. I am always amazed at the people who come in fresh out of school with all these talents for what they have learned. But when I sit them down (2nd phase of the interview) and ask them to actually do something most of the candidates freeze up. For instance, if you apply for a sys admin job, I want you to write a script that backs up a folder onto a network share every 10 minutes on Linux. A very very very simple task that should take less than 5 minutes. But 90% of them so far can’t do it in the 30 minute allotted time. There was no book to teach them this in college (evidently). Even though they say they have linux experience.
It really made me think about talent vs skill.
I know a lot of talented people. Many of them were super smart at a young age and were told this. Parents bragged about how their 7 year old fixed their computer by defragging the hard drive or something along those lines.
We are all born with certain talents. Some are good at acting, some are funny and can make people laugh, some are good at sports – for me it was seeing unique angles to solve problems. I am not going to go into specifics but if you read my book there is a ton of examples… even some that were semi-criminal. I saw angles to make money and most were in a very grey area.
Having a talent is one thing. Everyone has a talent. Talent is not reserved for some special people. Once these people who are talented hit the real world they get stuck in a 9-5 rat race day job and become complacent.
Skill is taking your talent and practicing it living it, and dreaming about it. Everyday I look at what I need to fix and I find ways to fix it.
I am not a programer but I have written programs that millions of people have used. I can also program in any language. My programing is ugly and insecure but it gets the job done.
I learned how to understand languages and hack/manipulate them.
I also have crazy marketing skills. When I consult for a company I drastically improve their revenues. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. AND the best part is that all of these companies have a marketing department with many employees with degrees in marketing. But they just don’t have the skills.
There is a reason that I and a lot of affiliate marketers can continue to be successful. It’s because we have years of experience busting our asses using our skills. The one hit wonders just copied somebody’s landing page and when it didn’t work anymore they just do not know what to do.
Take your talent and apply it to something over and over then just then you will develop skills.
15 thoughts on “Talent and Skill”
I agree with you Jeremy. Most of these kids come out of school and in debt dont know anything about the real life.
If I was going to hire someone I will go base off experience not a piece of paper.
That’s a real ‘hit the nail on the head’ kind of post. I’ve studied many ways of marketing through an educational setting but very little of what I’ve studied has been effective in the ‘real world’ scenario. Really enjoy reading your blog too.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people in seemingly illustrious job positions that don’t seem to know what they’re doing. I often wondered how in the hell did they get the job. Conclusion: They must know somebody … lol. Credentials and or talents don’t matter as much as skills. And skills don’t matter much if you bail at the slightest sign of difficulty or are a quitter.
I feel you with this article! Skill is real talent put into practice…
Anyway, I like a saying I’d like to share with you guys…
â€œTalent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.â€
~ Arthur Schopenhauer
What do you think?
Ya perhaps. The thing I don’t like about that quote is that it implies that there is a level of people that have abilities that you don’t. Everyone is a Talent or Genius. Just depends what they do with it. This is a pretty wild example but there is a 1 armed guy who is very successfully competing in mixed martial arts. I don’t think most people would think he was born with talent or a genius. But his talent really lies in being relentless to achieve his goal or so.
I think Thomas Edison said that Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% talent… he must know something after trying 10,000 times until he made the light bulb work… LOL
Fantastic!! We can’t deny Businesses nowadays no longer look the way it was before. Though, the great
thing there were more and more people Innovate themselves and the new wave of billionaire emerges.
Hiring based on experience is nothing revolutionary. Everyone just needs to get some, somewhere, first.
Great post Jeremy! I completely agree, talent can only get you so far in life.
Jeremy, What you are pointing out has been evident to educationists for a long time. One, our educational institutions are not able to deliver in a way which is ideal for industry. Two, just because someone has been trained in theory does not mean they would sound when they practice/implement the same knowledge.
Well its their first time so they will be nervous.
Great post. I now realize that talent alone does not get it. Putting that talent into effect with the skill is what I have to start doing. This is the hard part. When you said, “Take your talent and apply it to something over. . .”, it reminded me of what I have been trying to do over and over again. I guess my question is, “What about failure?” When something fails, should I go on to something new, or try to figure out what caused what I was doing to fail? This is where I run into problems.
Good read Jeremy. I so agree that most of us get stuck in the 9-5 rat
race and forget or donâ€™t even maybe realize the talent we possess. Yes each
one of us has some talent. Itâ€™s a matter of recognizing it and turning it
into a skill. Very well written.
While I tend to agree with the post, I also think part of the problem with having them do a “simple” backup script is that there are too many ways to do it. I’d wonder if you have some backup utility you wanted to use first, then probably resort to rsync. After all, it really depends on the flavor of Linux. Also, did you want incrementals or did you want a full backup. Might need to work on the wording of the question if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for.
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