I get this question about spending 10k hours of focused effort on an area to be outstanding (from the book Outlier by Malcom Gladwell). 10 thousand hours is a very long time. It is about 6 years when you spend 30 hours every week. Only when you love doing something, which most likely is your talent, only then you may have the energy to spend that much focused time in an area (and be creative and resilient to overcome the barriers). It would be smart to start with what you love, what energizes and engages you internally.
Where Strengths Doesn’t Serve Much
The strengths in this context is very generic and can be applied to any career field. Two different persons can succeed is two completely different fields of career by having similar strengths. To find the field(e.g. IT, retail, law, medicine, etc.) you need to pay attention to your interests/passion. For example, in a library what kind of books do you get drawn into? It often requires trying different activities, talking to people in relevant fields etc. When choosing a role in a particular field the awareness of strengths can give a lot of leverage.
Take a look at this page to get an idea of what strengths may look like. A good start is to take this strength finder assessment. After you get your assessment reports you can work with a coach or with your manager to plan – utilize your talents in your day to day work, get trainings, and build skills around those so you can start capitalizing on your strengths.
Reference: Now, Discover Your Strengths. Want to learn more? Email me(firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free session!