The year was 2006. I was asked that very same question by my then-future-boss..
“Do you find it fun to tweak the spreadsheet.. and build your own financial model?”
“..or do you find it much more challenging to deal with people? For example, you will need to sell your ideas to people.. and you will also negotiate with business partners..”
You get the idea how it went.. I hope.. 🙂
Basically, I was probed to elaborate my interest and my motivation to join the company and to actually ‘pick’ two different available positions. As you can guess from the conversation above, the nature of the two jobs are widely different. One is more of an analytical-left-brain type of a job whereas the other one is a much more of a people-facing or customer-facing type of job which requires more interpersonal skill (in hindsight, even interpersonal skill requires strong analytical thinking – to think on your feet on how to actually respond or react during the interaction)
I went for the option which requires more ability to deal with ambiguity: the one which deals more with people.
Does it actually give me the ‘buzz’ to deal with people? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.
Little that my then-future-boss knew, it did not actually gave me more ‘buzz’ to deal with people compared to building/constructing my own financial or business model (at the time, though).
In hindsight, it was a good decision that shaped my professional-self.
There are gurus or experts out there who argue to play to your strength… I can’t agree more with this piece of advice: to play your strengths.
But do we actually know our real strength? Is it possible that we consider one particular competency (e.g. interpersonal skill) as our weakness simply because we lack the exposure in that particular area.
So, it did give me the ‘buzz’ and still does.. I mean, to deal with people.
Play to your strength (but be really aware of what your strength is; if not be ready to take the plunge like I did 🙂 )