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Vocation identification is something that I’m continually working on, and I’ve actually partnered with a couple of cognitive psychologists and data scientists to develop a test that helps people identify their unique craft.
The first email that automatically goes out to people that join my private email list addresses their biggest pain point: What’s something that you’re currently struggling with right now when it comes to finding your career path?
So many people say things to me like…”I don’t even know what my passions are. I don’t know what I care about. I don’t know. I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t have anything that I actually want to pursue my life.”
These are the common objections for a lot of people…and that is what has led me to this model.

The Confluence Model

The Confluence Model is the intersection between your passion, your unique genius, and what the world wants and needs. Before you judge words like passion and genius, because they can sound corny, let me explain…
First of all, when I say passion I’m not talking about the Huffington Post articles that say “just find your passion and you’ll be ok.” That’s an integral aspect of your career no doubt about it. It’s important to have passion and care about what you’re doing, but it’s just one piece.
The second piece is your unique genius. When I say genius to people they sometimes think, “Well, how am I a genius? Only Einstein is a genius, only Steve Jobs is a genius.” And yes, we’re not all the Steve Jobs type, but we each have a unique style.
For example, I’m not a data guy, I’m not an engineer. But if I was doing statistics all day long and I was modeling out different things like that, I would build a new skill.
But I would also immediately be incredibly unfulfilled. It’s one of those things that could only last a certain amount of time. We each have a sweet spot that we have to identify and have an area of our lives where we get into what’s called a flow state. We get into these modes where our prefrontal cortex just turns off and time flies by.

Why Is It So Transient?

It’s very important that you identify what that moment was. What was that task? What was that work I was doing? And then finally, what does the world actually need?
So for entrepreneurs, it could be that they are deeply engaged with their audience.
They have a pulse on them. They know exactly what they need. They know exactly what their deepest fears are, their biggest desires. And if you’re going to work for a company, you better hope that the founders are very clear on that.
You better hope that they understand the marketplace so well, and are so deeply connected to their customers that they know exactly what the next move is before the customer even knows.
And that’s how you know you found a sweet spot…
Photo credit: Careers KeyCC license