The Story of My Work

What Problems Can I Solve?

— a new way of looking at job fit —


It is an often-mentioned, but rarely felt truth that in a job interview, you are assessing the employer just as they are assessing you.

Equipped with the confidence of your own self-awareness, you can look at potential opportunities through a new lens... one that will serve all involved with the best fit possible.

What Problems Can I Solve?


Usually in an interview, or if you were assessing a work opportunity, there is a real sense that as the (potential) employee, you are the one on trial. Can you do this job? How will you fit in here? Will you provide value to us?


What if, equipped with the confidence of your own self-awareness, you flipped your position of vulnerability to a position of strength and authority?


I believe that by looking at potential job fit through a lens of problem-solving (what problems does the organization need solving, and what problems can I solve), you can assess career opportunities as much as they are assessing you; ultimately, reaching a resolution that will serve everyone with the best fit possible.



Hammer, meet nail.

Often, our lack of true self-awareness means we simply do not know what tools we have. Say, for example, you are born & trained to be a hammer.

You go about your work & life, trying your best to act as a level, trying to open paint cans, or in a less frustrating scenario, maybe standing in as an overqualified paperweight.

Sounds absurd, right? It's clear that while a hammer can do some of these tasks, its best use is to drive some nails.


On the road to a good job fit, The first, key job is to discover your innate hammer-ness.

Your motivated abilities (the collection of that which drives you, gets you out of bed every morning, that which you enjoy & at which you excel) are:



  • The details & applications change, but the core motivations don’t. Looking at stories of your achievements that you enjoyed over a lifetime, even in childhood, will reveal patterns that last over the entirety of your life. A hammer does not morph into a screwdriver, no matter how long its lifespan.


  • Not as in "necessary", but as in "of your very essence".

  • The very core of how you are designed includes these motivations; they are key to who you are, how you are made, how you operate. A hammer is at its best hammering, because it was designed to hammer!


  • We can certainly work in jobs that do not address our core motivations. But, like wanting to scratch an itch, you will be drawn continually to activities & endeavours (inside or outside of a work context) that will satisfy your motivations.


  • Ever wonder why that capture-the-flag tournament you organized in the neighbourhood was a highlight of your childhood? Or what kept you in your dorm designing architectural models, while your college peers were out playing beer-pong?

  • Understanding our motivations gives a lens by which to understand the pleasures and wins of our history, or why a placement or position might have been a real struggle.


  • Using this lens, we have a highly accurate prediction of how these same patterns of motivation will impact us in the future. This is powerful information for decision-making, steering us towards what will ultimately bring sustained satisfaction (without a trial-and-error approach)


Once you know that you are a hammer, the second job is to find some nails.

Approaching job fit with this new language of problem-solving gives a welcome, practical approach to career-seeking. Instead of looking at external factors, then crossing your fingers that everything works out well, you can instead focus on these questions:

  • What kinds of problems do I solve? (hammer)
  • What organizations (or areas of my current organization) have those problems? (nails)

Isn’t that, truly, what every employer — CEO to low-level manager — wants? They want their problems solved.

As a problem-solver — someone who is able to articulate the enduring, essential core of how you will work best & thrive in your job, as well as use that knowledge to serve the organization — you are an invaluable asset.

It is an often-mentioned, but rarely felt truth that in a job interview, you are assessing the employer just as they are assessing you. But, what if it were really true? You, as a hammer, looking for nails just as the one with the nails is looking for a hammer?

With self-knowledge about your motivated abilities, you will be renewed in confidence & emboldened by your unique skills, interests, & ability to contribute. Being clear & confident about what problems you can solve is extremely attractive in a potential employee; not to mention, it gives you a clear focus of which avenues are worth pursuing.


Register now for a group workshop or one-on-one coaching and discover your motivated abilities:


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