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Rarely, if ever, does one step into a new career and have it fit like a glove. There are tweaks, minor adjustments and slight shifts that allow you to really flourish in whatever position you accept – provided you can make those small changes. Not only that, but few of us are going to be able to excel, at least initially, in every skill that comes with that position. A. Harrison Barnes, a well-respected career coach and founder of says this is where a bit of flexibility will serve you well.

The goal is to find those are as in your job responsibilities that you’re stronger in and then implement them into those areas that don’t come as easy for you. For instance, numbers might be your strong suit, but taking that Excel spreadsheet and making an impressive bar graph might be the one thing you dread more than anything. You still have to present that slideshow with those graphs each week, but you can also make that spreadsheet work magic, too. By presenting them both, you’re giving attendees the option of looking at both the data and the graph to get a better sense of what the graph represents.

The founder is quick to point out that it doesn’t mean you’re going to eliminate the graphs, but rather, you’re going to lean into that area you’re strongest in so that what you present is indicative of where those strengths lie. Improving your weaknesses won’t be so overwhelming. It could also mean that you reach out to another whose passion is more creative and who doesn’t mind adjusting the graph so that the colors, the appearance and even the font sizes are easier to comprehend. “There’s always something to be learned”, says Barnes. No employer is going to expect one employee to be a master at everything. By shaping your job just a bit, you’re opening up the door for teamwork and a combined effort.

Not only that, and perhaps most importantly, you’re going to flourish in your position while also remaining open to learning new skill sets. After all, no one wants to get so comfortable in those skills they know so well that they miss out on new and better ways of doing things. Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble. As fast as technology moves, not remaining open means you’re going to get left behind. It’s about finding balance in your career, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Challenge yourself, of course, but don’t become so focused on those areas you’re not as strong in, either. Ask for help in those areas that have no room for small adjustments and continue to move forward in those areas that do come easily. It’s all about the give and take and coming together as a team. Once you’ve mastered that, you can work well in any position that comes your way.

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