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Can we all be the best?

January 16, 2012

​Here at Freshminds Talent we are driven to find talent, select the best candidate for each role and find the leaders of the future, so talent is something we talk about a great deal and have been recently looking into. 

Is talent something you are born with or something you can develop through hard work and dedication?  This question was examined in the bestselling book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, in which the concept of the 10,000 hours practice rule was born.  I have recently finished reading Matthey Syed’s thought-provoking book, Bounce, in which Syed digs deeper into this topic of what it means to be the best and the true nature of talent.

Syed challenges the commonly held beliefs associated with talent and success - that we are born brilliant, that our social status matters and that we are reliant on our genetic make-up.  He presents case after case of sports stars, artists and prodigies who we believe are born talented at their discipline but once looked into more deeply, it’s apparent there are a number of factors which made them ‘superhuman’: purposeful practice, dedication, beliefs and mind set.

What does this mean for you as a candidate?  It means that you can always work on yourself.  Many candidates say they are no good at Excel, are not good with numbers, don’t like presentations – these thoughts are just restricting your development and holding you back. If you want that job but it requires you to have advanced Excel skills- go on a refresher course, practice in your spare time, keep practicing until you become ‘advanced’ at Excel.  Don’t let your perceived lack of talent hold you back. If you are failing online tests, don’t sit back and think ‘I’m just no good at online tests.  That’s it, I will never get through this process’. Find practice tests, keep doing them, know what your weak points are and strengthen these. 

At Freshminds we support our candidates through the interview process and help with tips and hints, but what makes the difference between candidates who get offers and those that don’t is not the fact that they have been born  “talented”, but the fact they have been dedicated to the process, worked hard and practiced, practiced, PRACTICED!!

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