When I was studying method acting in the Bay Area, I learned that I had a type. I could play a high school student (older people are commonly casted to play younger characters) up to a young father. I could play a medical resident or a young professional. These are all roles that I expected I could play. However, in class, I was constantly being given roles that did not fit into my type. Roles that would really push me and make me uncomfortable. For example, I had short scenes where I played Bob Barrenger from State and Main and an old man from a movie that I can’t remember right now. Despite the facts that I would probably not get casted for these roles on an actual project and that I don’t have much in common with these characters, stretching myself in uncomfortable ways helped me grow as an actor. The same could be said in the business world.
Be honest with yourself when assessing your own weaknesses. Don’t be too harsh, it’s okay to be gentle yet honest. Are you great with numbers but afraid of presenting your findings? Are you very organized but afraid of details? Are you a great salesperson but struggle while working with others? Are you great at operations and execution, but struggle with strategizing?
It’s important to figure out where your weaknesses lie so you can work on them. No one is perfect, but putting in the time to push yourself in uncomfortable situations will help you grow not only as an employee, but as a person. Don’t be too concerned about your current level of competence in your weak areas, just focus on putting in the time to improve. Eventually, you WILL get better.
At the same time, play to your strengths. Your strengths are what got you here in the first place. Your strengths are what set you apart from others. If you are good with numbers, leverage that ability throughout your career. If you are a natural salesperson, continue to expand in that direction while shoring up your weaknesses. You don’t want to forget your bread and butter.
Actors like Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell usually stick with comedic roles since they are extremely funny. Their expressions, reactions, and timing are great for comedy. They know how to turn the very serious into not serious and not serious into very serious to make us laugh. On the other hand, Denzel Washington and Jack Nicholson generally play more serious, dramatic roles. They make a script feel alive and strikingly real.
Professional Development and Personal Finance Blog