Episode 071: Get Awesome Jobs By Focusing on Your Core Strengths Advises James Sheridan

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James Sheridan National Multiple Sclerosis Society

James Sheridan

James Sheridan realized that the more he focused on communicating the value of his core skills, abilities and strengths, the more work opportunities that came his way.

He currently fundraises for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from his home on Long Island. He says he was hired for his speciality: leadership gift fundraising. He focuses on creating relationships with people that have a connection to the cause of finding a cure for MS and have the ability to make a donation of $10,000 or more.

He believes the perfect job are those opportunities that value your core skills. James’ core skills include: connecting with people, storytelling and learning about people.  He collected and honed these skills working for eight years in the media industry and for the last 12 in the nonprofit sector.

Key UnStuckable Takeaway

Creating a sharper focus on your strengths, skills and abilities in your carer can send more opportunities your way!

Many of us believe the greater array of skills, jobs and experiences we have will qualify us for even more work opportunities. James has found the exact opposite to be true.

The more he focuses on his core skills and abilities, he has become more effective at communicating their value. It has also helped him find organizations with specific challenges or opportunities that only his skill set can address.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Start a work diary!

At the end of each work day, James makes en entry into his work day to reflect on his day and to intentionally improve himself every day. He suggests making the following notes:

  1. What did you do today that you could have done better? How?
  2. What do you do today that you are really proud of?
  3. What are two or three things you want to accomplish the next day?

James uses his work diary to unmask self destructive patterns, as well as positive ones. He says it also comes in handy for reducing complaining to your loved ones and colleagues about challenges you face in your job.

UnStuckable Quotes From James

“Often times you are hired for one thing you are good at and hired to do five things you aren’t that good at.”

“I’ve realized that what I would like to do is not necessarily what I’m good at.”

“The more I focus my career, the more opportunities I can get.”

“You can pull from your past all the time if you value it.”

“If everyone was doing exactly what they wanted, the world would be full of ballerinas and quarterbacks.”

“When times get tough, it really unmasks people’s character.”

“If you can find you niche in a place where you are valuable and happy. It’s not a bad place to end up.”

“Someone who is unstuckable has the capacity for self reflection.”

“When you are around people who don’t share your same goals, you feel alienated.  When you are around people with the same goals you feel energized.”

More Habits & Actions

  • James chooses his job opportunities based on his specialized skills and aligning his value with the needs of an organization.
  • He knows his strengths and how to articulate their value to employers.
  • His past skills have always been of use and value to progress his career toward new opportunities.
  • It’s important to be around people you like and to find mentors.
  • Whether James sleeps well or not provides him with emotional insight into a big decision he is thinking about.
  • James is very honest with himself about his abilities. He focuses on what he’s good at and doesn’t try to overcompensate for that he’s not good at.

Alternative Perspectives

  •  A relationship with a mentor is not one way, there should be an exchange of ideas and mutual respect.
  • It’s important to “feel” the emotional aspects of your career decisions and not to rely alone on your conscious mind.
  • Before you take a management job, it’s important to see what kind of support you will have and who will be the people around you that will influence your success.
  • Making big career changes take time and require a plan to finance that change.


James Sheridan on LinkedIn

James Sheridan on Twitter

InterPostive Media (James’ production company)

Questions & Feedback

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