Climbing The Ladder

You Don’t Have To Be Naturally Gifted To Have A Successful Career

By | Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Here at TFD, we don’t believe that success looks one way. It’s very subjective and looks different from person to person. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be the ridiculously high-achiever or possess some innate talent to be successful. You can thrive in your own ways, as you’ll see in this post by Carly Shearman. As she explains, while she might not be naturally gifted, she’s still managed to make a career for herself that she’s making a killing at. 

Today, I want to talk to something that is close to my heart: being supremely untalented. Why is it close to my heart? Because I am one supremely untalented individual. I know that sounds like a particularly funny thing to say, especially since I run a blog about being a go-getter and have experienced a fairly comfortable amount of success in my short career. But I can say that I am untalented and successful without being contradictory. Why? Because career success isn’t just for the highly skilled ones. Confused? Hear me out! In school, I regularly scored a B+ on assignments, not an A. I always came second or third in primary school sport carnival events. I was the last to be picked on sporting teams (because hand-eye coordination is hard) and my friends were always far better at me — this was evident in their extra-curricular and academic resumes. In university, I was dwarfed by the ideas and work of my peers. Somedays, I would listen to their presentations or read their work and think to myself that I would never be successful because my brain just wasn’t wired like theirs.

I have always been just behind, not bad enough to fail but not good enough to succeed. And while I could have just thrown myself a pity party and resigned myself to a life of average, I didn’t. I did possibly the smartest thing I have ever done and flipped how I was looking at the situation. I began to look at my lack of skill differently. What if my skill was that I had no skill? It sounds crazy, I know. But this is literally how I landed on what I wanted my career to be. My passion and talent lie in the strategy, structure, systems, and management of a business. My purpose is supporting the highly-talented people thrive and in turn, we all get to enjoy our versions of success! Talk about a win-win situation

By determining my strengths (and my weaknesses) I was able to reset my career goals, push forward my career trajectory, find my groove and feel pretty f***ing fulfilled in the process. Often people ask me how I went from managing a single café in West End to managing a marketing agency within 12 months, but to me, they are one in the same. When I was working at the café, I wasn’t working there because I was a talented barista or chef. Hell no! Everyone there was supremely more talented than me at their craft. This is the case for the marketing agency I am at now. I am surrounded by supremely talented copywriters, SEO-geeks, advertising enthusiasts, graphic designers, and social media nuts. I can, hand on my heart, say that I will never be as good as them in the things they do.

Sure, I could have been bummed out (and sometimes I am) that I am not the most talented person in the room or I can work with what I have and hustle forward regardless. By adopting this mindset and identifying a pretty big weakness, I was able to pivot my career early on and experience success at a young age. And to be honest, I am pretty glad I realized that I was untalented when I did versus slugging out a career only to stagnate for 30 years.

So there you have it folks — proof that career success isn’t just for the highly skilled ones. I hope this has helped anyone feeling a little lost or inadequate. Sometimes your weaknesses are trying to tell you something. If you just listen to them rather than ignore them, you might learn something pretty cool.

Carly is a 20-something gal living in Brisbane, Australia.  She started The Chronicles of Carly in late 2017 with the intention of sharing her experiences as a go-getting gal with the other go-getters out there. You can find Carly at or go to her Instagram & Facebook.

Image via Unsplash

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