Talent Vs. Skill & Experience

While I was bashing monster.com at job secrets revealed someone emailed me and asked me to show how having a talent in a certain area was better than a degree, skill or qualification. I found a great way to do this and you can play along too with this neat little test…

I’m about to teach you a SKILL, give you some experience and then demonstrate how someone with a little talent can get far better results than someone with skills and experience… here goes:

Look at the puzzle below:



If you haven’t worked it out, it reads: ‘ Man Over Board’. Let me teach you a skill to make it easy to work these things out…

Look at the position of the first word and its positional relationship to the second word.

So I’ve taught you a SKILL… now you need some experience to become good at this stuff. So I’m going to give you another one to solve…



That’s really easy using the training I gave you at the start… Mind is over the word Matter and it works out as: ‘Mind over Matter’. But what happens when something falls a little outside of your training?…



This one is a little different… using your training you’d be right in saying that the phrase is: ‘Stand over I’, but commonsense would tell you that’s not quite right and the real answer is: ‘I understand’.

Now you begin to see how a personal quality, like commonsense – or talent, can get a totally different – and better – result than someone who was blindly following the rules or training. Now here’s the thing: you simply can’t train for all the variables in any given job and talent is what separates the outstanding people from the average. Talent allows them to come up with the right solutions when things happen that are a bit out of the ordinary.

One last example to really drive this point home.

So your job is solving word puzzles? I’ve given you some training, you have some skills and experience and managed to solve a problem that you weren’t trained for. But what happens when you see something that doesn’t fit the criteria of your training or skill? Like this:


The training we gave you doesn’t help you solve it… and you haven’t had experience with this one either. People with a TALENT for word puzzles will easily be able to solve this puzzle: ‘Backward Glance’.

I could give you harder word puzzles but my point is this:

‘Training and experience will only take you so far. You can’t teach talent… Dyson, Gates, Jobs, Dell didn’t necessarily have formal training in their chosen industries but their talent enabled them to make things happen, the sort of things that change industries.

So don’t think because you don’t have a degree or years of experience, you can’t make incredible things happen or you can’t win that dream job. Just yesterday I met a marketing lady for a large public company who ridiculed blogging as a marketing concept and pointed out that she had 10 years experience and had never heard of blogging… I pointed out that maybe she had just one year experience in marketing and had done it 10 times. My point was her degree and experience doesn’t necessarily mean she has a talent for marketing.

More and more employers are starting to look for talent and more people are quitting their jobs to find jobs that USE their talents rather than jobs that use their skills, experiences or degrees they got stuck with when they first started out in their careers.

Talent explains why some people are stars at their job while others stumble… many HR people believe in more training to get better results when sometimes the best thing to do is get more talent.

I could go on and on but if you’re interested in finding out how we use talent to help people get better jobs and win jobs against people more qualified and more experienced visit job secrets revealed and visit the blog and expert help section… I go on and on there and you can see the difference highlighting talent can make for our members.

Published in: on November 23, 2005 at 1:27 am Comments (6)

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