This Isn’t About Salary: Why Working to Your Interests and Talents Counts

This Isn’t About Salary: Why Working to Your Interests and Talents Counts – Jakarta,  April 19, 2024. Irene Guntur, an educational psychology expert at Integrity Development Flexibility (IDF), revealed data stating that as many as 87% of students in Indonesia are in the wrong majors. Additionally, Nadiem Makarim, the Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Higher Education, has stated that only 20% of fresh graduates work in fields related to their majors. In other words, the remaining 80% work in fields unrelated to their college majors.

This correlates positively with the productivity and enthusiasm of individuals when they enter the professional world. According to a survey by Gallup, 63% of employees who work according to their talents are more likely to feel energetic at work. Therefore, it can be concluded that identifying interests and talents is a crucial factor for candidates before seeking employment.

This sentiment is echoed by Sabhrina Salsabella, a Social Media Officer at the startups company. When she graduated from university, she immediately recognized her interests and talents which were closely related to the creative industry. Consequently, when searching for a job, she leaned towards roles in content creation.
“I felt that my interests and talents were more inclined towards the creative industry, so I could support content creation in my job and adapt more easily. The skills I have are very supportive of my performance and career advancement,” said Sabhrina.

In contrast, not everyone has the same ability to recognize their interests and talents. Several human resource management practitioners have outlined various internal and external factors that can determine a person’s interests and talents. Moreover, within each individual lies potential talent that is sometimes unrecognized, yet could significantly enhance their lives.

For example, Luthfi Deriananda, a Communication and Public Relations at Edtech Cakap, had a unique journey. Despite studying in the fields of information technology and computer science due to his interest in gadgets, he discovered a hidden talent for communication. He associated IT graduates solely with various computer devices initially, but he ultimately succeeded in uncovering his professional talent in communication. 

“Despite being an IT graduate, I managed to maximize my hidden talent in communication and have been working in this field for 12 years. Talent can emerge optimally if we continue to learn and develop our skills in one field, not just relying on what major you took in college,” stated Luthfi.

In fact, Harvard Business Review once presented research findings in 2011, stating that employees who utilize their talents in their jobs tend to have higher productivity and achieve better results. Another renowned institution, Stanford University, supported this finding by revealing that individuals who work according to their passions generally have higher job satisfaction, which correlates with overall life satisfaction.

Kurnia Indy Pratama, a human resource management practitioner, emphasizes the importance for every individual to explore their potential interests and talents. Throughout his career in this field, he often finds a common thread regarding the suitability of interests and talents for a job, which provides good emotional awareness and clear direction for individuals in their work. “If there is interest and supported by talent in what one does, employees can be more motivated to always do their best,” says Indy.

Therefore, we should  take the time to better understand our own interests and talents. If we only emphasize one aspect, for example, only focusing on interests, there is a risk of change over time, and the potential within us may not be fully utilized. Thus, the combination of both interests and talents can serve as a guide in our careers and a key to success and happiness in the work environment. So, let’s begin exploring and discovering your interest and talent here