Interest, Ability & Aptitude

by Radhika Kumar

 “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  Steve Jobs

Our happiness depends on the kind of job we do and our liking towards it. No matter where we are in our career, it would directly impact our sense of being and our score on the happiness index. Therefore, it becomes imperative to be a product of our decisions and not our circumstances and make career choices wisely.

Career decisions should be primarily based on three important aspects.

  1. Interest
  2. Ability
  3. Aptitude

A clear understanding of these aspects helps students to gain an insight to their abilities and also acknowledge their limitations or restrictions. As every individual has its own set of strengths and limitations, it is important to ensure that students are not defined by their limitation, but instead encouraged to embrace and celebrate their strengths leading to a more positive, successful, appropriate, well informed and realistic career decisions.

Interests: Interest is the single most vital factor which helps to keep commitment and motivation towards the work intact. If you are interested in something, you will definitely work harder and it will also keep you engaged in a career over a long haul.

Research on the development of talent has long demonstrated that interests provide a direction to the development of one’s habits and activities.

Research using the Ball Aptitude Battery has shown that although aptitude and interest are only minimally related to one another, both are closely related to the sorts of skills that individuals develop and the activities and jobs that people choose. A person can have wonderful aptitude, appropriate for all sorts of talent fields, but without sufficient interest, individuals will not devote the time and effort required to build skills on their foundations. It is important to have adequate information about one’s aptitudes and interests prior to making major investments of time, effort, and resources toward the development of talent in any field.

Ability:Ability is something one is naturally good at. When we work within our ability, we often find our self in our comfort zone. When our ability to do a task is the driving force then we tend to lose track of time. Abilities set us apart and they help us outshine. There are different types of abilities – intellectual and physical. A high ability job fit is necessary for an improved job performance.

Aptitude: Research study has shown that a person’s aptitudes stabilize at around age fourteen, and remain so for the rest of his or her life.  An insight to our natural strength makes career planning more precise and effective. Identifying our natural strength is the key to making right career choices. An aptitude test can give broad indicative directions to a person about paths in which they could potentially succeed.

An amalgamation of interest, ability and aptitude make people who they are. We have living examples of people who do phenomenally well for themselves because they understood where their aptitude lies. Only interest in a particular job is not enough, one should have the required aptitude also.



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