Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cheers: Just Follow Your Nose, It Always Knows

 Guy Kawasaki's   Holy Kaw!  segment on Alltop.com led me to an interesting article in WSJ titled, No Glass Ceiling for the Best Job in the World by David Kesmodel.  In this article he reflects how even though men account for nearly 73% of the beer-drinking market, women apparently are better tasters when it comes to testing new product.

Though I could reflect on how stereotypes have prevented employers from identifying top talent, what struck me most in this article is how often it is that people can go through their entire lives without ever noticing or identifying what their talents or gifts are.

The article mentions how Miller Brewing recruited women in-house from marketers and secretaries to see if any of them had any talent as professional tasters.  I imagine that in that quest, they identified some true talent--talent that would be more valuable applied in tasting than whatever else they were doing for the company.

It makes me wonder What if these individuals worked in some other manufacturing outfit, say auto parts?  What if they limited their search to individuals that had already established themselves as tasters (must have experience!)?

Apparently, there was an element of randomness or happenstance that allowed these opportunities to occur.  But in regards to identifying what your talent is, there is another gem in the article, where a Polish beer taster reflects how she is not quite sure why she is an adept beer-taster. Her best guess is that she loved to smell perfumes as a child.

Here are two things that can be learned from this woman in regards to career:
  1.  One way to identify your career calling is to identify something that brings (or brought) you pleasure.  The woman who enjoyed playing and experimenting with aromas now gets paid to identify minute tastes and aromas in beer. What did you love to do/spend hours doing when you were a child?  Might this thing have any context in what you do now for a living?
  2. Try not to disregard anything that is (or was) unique about you.  Enjoying perfumes might seem so trivial in most any context, but look what it led to for this woman?