I talk to a lot of people (especially those early in their careers) who are figuring out how to find a direction to pursue (a good pursuit) and accumulate resources such as experience, relationships, skills, knowledge, etc in (capitalism).

A simple tool I developed based on divergence (to go apart) and convergence (to come together) is to start with what someone is interested in already, and then go through a process of quantifying the interests, and then combining them into practical opportunities.

  1. Make a list of everything you’ve ever been remotely interested in (at least 5-15 things)
  2. Rate 1-10 next to each item how interested you are in those things
  3. Write the number of years you’ve been interested in those things
  4. Multiply the ‘interest strength’ and the ‘duration of interest’ together to get the ‘interest score’
  5. Then make a list of jobs that combine those interests in any way
  6. Give each of the jobs a score by adding up the ‘interest scores’ from each interest it includes

Essentially it’s writing interests, what level of interest you have for them, then finding jobs that combine them, and sorting those jobs based on how many of the strongest interests it combines.

So if I know someone’s interested in:

  1. Sports
  2. Technology
  3. Military/veterans

An example combination could be an IT company for stadium and sports arenas that hires vets. That would probably sort to the top of the list because it’s combining not only what seem to be high strength interests, but ideally a large number of them at once. This is a fairly tactical way you can really sort out and identify areas you should pursue since competitive advantage is becoming more and more important as the economy flattens as everyone becomes more equally visible and competitive, instead of being able to just focus on one geographical area etc.

I made a sample spreadsheet tool you can view here and click here to copy to fill out on your own.