In my last blog, I disccused Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas of the Compensation and Capitalization strategies. In this blog, I will cover the last two points Malcom Gladwell mentioned in his seminar on ‘What Makes People Successful’.

Job Search Trial & Error

Malcom Gladwell said that being successful includes trial and error, risk taking, and willingness to keep learning and trying. Utilizing these strategies helps you see where your true genius lies.

Many people say to me ‘I just want someone to tell me what job I would be good at and should do.’ The truth is, there is neither an assessment nor a single person that can tell you what your true path is. Finding your true path requires you to try out different careers to see if they fit. Sometimes a career looks good on paper but when you have a chance to try it out it doesn’t fit you. Different careers fit us best at different times in our lives. Rarely does a person find one job that they are going to do in the exact same way for the rest of their lives and love that job year after year. Finding the right career for you at a secific time in your life involves taking some risks and trying new things to see if it is a true fit.


The last point that Malcolm Gladwell emphasized was the need for support in meeting your goals. You need someone or something (an organization) to stand behind you with support, resources, guidance, and collaboration to help you meet your goals. Talent cannot succeed by itself.

I always emphasize to my clients that they need to have a plan for their career – where do they want to go and how are they going to get there? However, it doesn’t matter how great your plan is if you do not have anyone to support you in making your plan a reality. The support might come from your manager who is helping you get the experiences and skills necessary for the next position. Or support might come from your company who pays for a professional development program to gain skills.

Support might come from your family who is willing to make the sacrifice to spend less money while you go back to school to get a degree in a field you are really interested in. Or the support might come from a career coach who provides an objective voice to help you see your plan more clearly. Where ever it comes from, you will need support to succeed in meeting your goals. It is difficult to achieve your goals on your own.


, Malcolm Gladwell Seminar on Success – Part 3

Amy Wolfgang

Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.

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, Malcolm Gladwell Seminar on Success – Part 3

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