When we are born into this world each one of us has certain talents. As we live out our lives we can begin to identify the talents we have been given. For some individuals the talent they possess is obvious and it doesn't take much searching to find it. This is particularly true in the case of outstanding athletes. For others it takes a certain amount of searching to locate our talent. Sometimes we have certain talents that we do not recognize. They almost have to be pointed out to us. In my case, I have a unique ability to communicate clearly with people. It was not until later in life, when a dear friend of mine pointed this out to me, did I realize that this is a talent. I thought all along that everyone possessed it and that it was nothing special.
I have been associated with young people for at least 25 years. For most of this time my association has been one of teacher, associate, or employer. I have recognized unbelievable talent in a great number of these individuals. Since I have always been associated with the data processing profession, all during this time, I have been fortunate to spot extra ordinary individuals who possessed their talent in the field of computers.
The most obvious talent to spot is that of programming. It is a process that brings out naturally the talent in certain individuals. Another quite obvious area to spot talented individuals is in systems analysis. Both of the areas bring out the creative talent to produce computer software products that are simply astounding. No area has this become more evident than in the microcomputer software that has exploded in the last 10 years.
If you are an individual that possesses programming and systems analysis talent then you have an obvious skill that can be used as a computer consultant. There are other talents that can qualify you as well. These talents may be a little more subtle to identify and recognize.
I have worked with other computer consultants who have very different talents than mine. One consultant I know has a very unique ability to see the big picture. He works on the design of an application, breaks it into independent modules, then brings in others to subccontract the programming and puts the whole system together.
This takes a very special talent. It involves seeing the big picture, obtaining the contract, identifying individuals who can program the modules, defining the module design clearly for the contracting consultant, and then integrating the whole thing into a viable product. He does not do any programming himself. He acts in the capacity of a general contractor on the project. This takes a special knowledge and a special talent that not many people possess.
Another kind of talent that a computer consultant can possess is the "ability to listen to a problem and then perceive and develope a solution". When you specialize in custom computer software for a client, this is a very important ability. Combined with a knowledge of how a particular type of business functions, this ability can give you a unique niche as a computer consultant.
In the last few years, if you keep up with the most popular software packages that have come out, you can specialize as a consultant in software training. I have been doing Lotus 1-2-3 training for clients for the last four years. It has been a steady flow of business for me. Individuals, like Adam Green, have been doing dBASE training all across the country for the last seven years. He advertises regularly in INFOWORLD, the weekly newspaper for microcomputer users, as well as the DATA BASED ADVISOR, a magazine directed to microcomputer data base users.
The microcomputer industry is developing so fast that there are constant opportunities to specialize in new areas just past the cutting edge. I have a friend who has become an expert in setting up and making operational, Local Area Networks. Even though he has specialized in just one kind of network, he is finding all of the work he can handle.
Some individuals have the ability to see beyond "what is". These individuals have a distinct advantage over those who do not possess this ability. It gives them the capability of seeing their potential and not having to accept the status quo as a permanent situation. When you can see yourself as you could be then you can take the steps that are necessary to become that person. The unfortunate thing, however, is that if you cannot perceive of yourself being any different in the future, chances are you will never be any different.
It is easy to believe that our destiny is dependent upon outside forces. Therefore, we may have a defeatist attitude toward our potential. What we must do is to believe that we are responsible for our own improvements. We must believe that we control our own destiny. There is a vast inner world that consists of our thoughts and our beliefs. Concentrate on changing this inner world first. Look beyond seeing yourself as you are; look at yourself as you could be.
It is possible for a person to have a latent talent. However, this person may be unwilling to admit it even to himself. You see to admit your talent may make you feel obligated to do something about it. There is a way to effect a change for the better in your life. It is a belief in your own accomplishment. If you have faith and believe in your potential, your success will be assured. Without it your goals may be beyond your reach.
To become a computer consultant you must believe in yourself. You must believe in your talent. You must picture yourself as a successful computer consultant. Look at and visualize what you could be. Draw a picture in your mind of how you will exercise your talent as a computer consultant. See yourself in control of your abilities.
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