Hidden Talents That Can Help Your Career (With Examples)

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated December 17th, 2023

Did you know that you might have hidden talents that could help you find your dream career?

You might be surprised to discover that the things you’re naturally good at could make for a great trade career. Maybe you’re a great listener, a creative problem-solver, or a natural leader without even realizing it. Natural leaders are primed for owning a business, like on of these “unsexy businesses” that can provide a great living.

For me, my passion was photography from as far back as I can remember. As a kid I was the one on the school trip with the camera, the one friends would ask for prints from because they loved the images. I tried painting, ceramics, but my talent was always with photography. Pet photography is my true talent and what I love the most!

Or maybe you’re like the woman who discovered her talent for making balloon animals at a friend’s party and went on to become a successful children’s entertainer! In this article, we’ll explore how uncovering your hidden talents can help you find a career you love – and maybe even lead you to unexpected and hilarious places.

What Is A Talent?

The Cambridge Dictionary shows the official definition of talent as:

(someone who has) a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught

When you are good at something without ever having received education or training in it, that is what talented means. Some people may even call you “gifted”.

For example, if you started playing the trumpet in elementary school and were blasting out Louis Armstrong songs with no real training, you may have a “hidden talent”.

Or maybe out on that soccer field you can kick a ball like Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, 13-year old Da’vian Kimbrough was recently named the youngest athlete to sign a contract with an American pro sports team. This would be another example of what some would call a gift or a hidden talent.

What Is A Hidden Talent?

Based on the definition above, a hidden talent would be a natural ability to be good at something that you are not aware of yet.

Maybe you are a great pianist – but you have never played a piano before.

Maybe you are a bidding Van Gogh, but have never held a paint brush.

This is why it is important to get out there and experience life! You may never know what hidden talent you have that is waiting to come out.

Are People Born With A Hidden Talent?

We are wowed almost everyday by athletes, musicians, and artists. Their skills are stuff many of us dream of having.

But as we know, most of us do not.

Only a select few achieve the levels of success in their chosen career.

Is this success something they are born with – or is it done through hard work?

In a book, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, they focus on this very question. Florida State University psychologist Anders Ericsson and science writer Robert Pool have researched this phenomenon and come up with some interesting thoughts.

They wanted to challenge the idea that talent is innate.

Their findings resulted in them making a clear argument that extraordinary performance is in fact from “thousands and thousands of hours of hard, focused work.”

But they are not the only ones who have come to this conclusion. Below are a few additional studies that have resulted in similar conclusions.

  • A Japanese psychologist took 24 children and tried to teach them “perfect pitch”. At the conclusion of the schooling, each child did in fact reach a proficient level of perfect pitch.
  • Through 230 hours of practice, a college student was able to increase his recall on digit spans. He successfully increased his ability from 7 to almost 80 digits.

But, there are also those that believe some of these studies leave out evidence that can back the nature part of inherited talented.

So, while we would like to believe that “hidden talents” are something we are born with – we do not know for sure if they are – or are not.

Finding Hidden Talents

The best way to find your hidden talents is to have a lot of life experiences.

There is no magic method for finding those hidden gifts you might have, just get out there and live life to the fullest.

Some first steps you can try include:

  • Joining clubs
  • Taking part in a sport
  • Get a mentor to help you
  • Try different side hustles
  • Read books
  • Watch talent shows and be inspired

Putting your mind in new environments can help it open up and lead you to new passions.

You will probably realize you are not good at a lot of things! But when you find even one talent – it will make all the work you did worth it.

You may even find you have more than one hidden talent. BONUS!

Hidden Talent Examples

Below are some of the more common talents that people find they have.

While many of these can be learned as well, often people will feel they have a “knack” or “gift” for these things that will make them want to work harder at them.

  1. Athletics – from running fast to a natural talent for shooting hoops.
  2. Juggling – some people seem to just pick this up, and take it from me not everyone can learn how to do this.
  3. Photographic memory – being able to see something at a glance and remember every detail is definitely a gift that is harder to learn.
  4. Voice recognition – a good ear for speech patterns and tones.
  5. Drawing – definitely can be learned, but some people are just naturally good at drawing without any kind of practice.
  6. Singing – a harder talent to learn, most singers do have a natural tone and voice that makes them a natural for singing.
  7. Dancing – similar to singing, some are just naturally gifted and can learn those moves easier than others.
  8. Balance – every try to balance on one foot or try to balance something on your head, not easy right? But some seem to be able to do it effortlessly.
  9. Cooking – personally, I have no idea what spices go with what, but yet some seem to have that instinct to combine flavors to make something amazing.
  10. Acting – some people are just born with the ability to seemingly transform themselves into other characters.
  11. Fashion – I could not create a cohesive outfit if my life depended on it, even with the latest fashion magazine. But some, they just have that eye for fashion that makes it easy.
  12. Animal instincts – are you the dog or cat whisperer that can just get them to listen and improve their behaviors?
  13. Funny – if you bring laughter wherever you go, then your gift is the ability to be funny and that is not an easy one to learn!
  14. Communication – being able to clearly engage with others is a harder skill or talent to learn, and some are just able to do it with little effort.
  15. Sales – I have read more sales books than I care to admit and no matter what, I suck at sales. Meanwhile my cousins, they are great at it. They have a gift that I did not inherit.
  16. Endurance – this can be mentally or physically, some just have more ability to push through those hard times than others. This is one talent that can be very beneficial in the skilled trades!
  17. Independence – going out on your own and forging your path is not easy, and some people can do it, while others get left behind.
  18. Languages – have you ever tried to learn a new language or two and get frustrated and give up. Yeah, me too. Meanwhile some can speak several languages flawlessly.
  19. Photography – hey, I got this one! I have been taking pictures since I was a kid, way before I even understood what apereture was. I always had a good eye for light and shadows – even as a little one.
  20. Leadership – some are just born leaders and managers. For me, as long as I can remember having a boss frustrated me. As a manager or boss, I excelled. I always felt I was born to lead and manage, and that is what I have done.

Weird Hidden Talents

So, we listed some talents above that can be helpful in the real world.

But what about all those silly talents that no one talks about. Well, I am going to share some of those too.

Here are a few I dug up on Reddit, they are definitely some head scratchers!

I’m not sure if these talents are weird or not but I can touch my nose with my tongue and I can wiggle both my right and left ear together or separately. Also I can memorize credit card numbers at a single glance.

I can speak words backwards (computer – retupmoc), without hesitation to think about how to spell them. My mom found out when I was a kid and would show her friends, what I can do. I kinda felt like a freak, so I started lying that I can’t do it anymore. But I can.

Catching big sportsballs with one hand, cant be like a tennis ball or football, things like basketballs and soccer balls

And this one may be the best one of all that many of you might relate to!

My hidden talent is so hidden that I can’t even see it.

How Hidden Talents Can Affect Your Career

Many skilled trades are a perfect avenue for some talents you might have.

  • Maybe you are a master with a saw and can create amazing wooden masterpieces. This would be a great option for carpentry careers.
  • Do you have a natural gift for mixing herbs, spices, and foods? A career as a chef is waiting for you!
  • If you are a master at communication, a life coach or death doula may be paths to consider.

I know, sounds silly, but the truth is there are many talents that can really add value to a variety of careers.

Vocational careers need people with exceptional talents in building, endurance, and communication to name a few. Not everyone can be a blue collar worker, the talents needed are not those that everyone has.

Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.