Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Top 5 Reasons Why #Skills Matter Most

Let's face it - a job title alone won't get you the next job or promotion.  

With technology proliferating every area of life, the demand for people with a certain mix of tech skills makes it more challenging to hire the right talent.  Locating candidates with the specific suite of skills to meet the business needs, AND with a demonstrated ability to successfully deliver is what creates opportunity for those who have figured out the formula. Even more, having a solid understanding of technical, leadership, and management skills can put anyone on a path to expanded career options, now and in the future.

From a manager's perspective, a job title does not give any indication of a candidate's success rate, instead it's the competencies, or skills of the person with the title that provides the insight into how well he or she may perform. While some titles may certainly garner attention, it's more important to focus on the skills required for the job and the skills that will be obtained in the role. I'll tell you why.

Job descriptions communicate what applicants must possess in order to successfully perform. Some managers even provide "required" and "desired" qualifications in the posting, which are levels of competencies informing applicants for what they are seeking. 

TIP: Gauge where you stack up against a manager's expectations by using the job description to determine if you are a viable candidate. Outline the skills for roles you are interested in, and then list the skills from your resume to see how many align.

When asked "What do you do?", typically, job applicants respond by describing the tasks they executed in their most current role. The challenge with this approach is, tasks are directly tied to a process, workflow, or technology soon becoming outdated. The more impactful answer is one that communicates the overarching strategy for the role and the skills being utilized

A response that includes your role strategy (the what) and your primary skills (the how) will immediately unpack two important facts which can amplify your potential:

1) Your functional role in the organization
2) Your primary skills being utilized

This simple formula becomes your elevator pitch, and from this info, one can ascertain what skills are transferable. If you want to take it to the next level when networking, state what skills are you currently learning and how you are applying your newly learned skills. This approach would engage anyone in a conversation potentially leading to opportunity.

With a focus on #futureskills, we should be empowered to go beyond our titles to learn and apply our learning in a way which takes the focus off titles and places the attention where it should be: Skills. 

Here are My TOP 5 Reasons 
Why Skills Matter Most: 

5) Job titles will come and go.

4) Job descriptions focus on skills.

3) Performance is directly related to your skill level.

2) Consistently developing skills allow you to evolve with your company, field, or industry.

1) You take your skills wherever you go. 

When working in an environment where learning and knowledge sharing is fostered, employees can demonstrate newly learned skills, and companies create tangible and intangible benefits. The organization reaps the advantage of employee engagement, resulting in higher morale, and effectively building an internal talent pool.  Employees gain new skills and the ability to achieve career goals without leaving to find fulfillment.  

Vertical advancement may not always be an option, but in the meantime, you can create a horizontal growth strategy to expand your skills and network. As the saying goes, it is both what and who you know that will positively impact your future.


Learn smart and check out the Future Work Skills 2020 list to see what will be in demand.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

How I Challenged Myself To Think Different About My #Lifegoals

A friend told me recently that I am always rushing to arrive at my next destination. In essence, what he was saying was, I am so focused on accomplishing my #lifegoals that I don't take the time to enjoy the process along the way. He was right.

As long as I can remember, whatever goal I wanted to obtain, I did not focus on anything but the finished product. I didn't enjoy the process, and instead, approached it as the dues I had to pay to gain the results I wanted. The problem with this perspective is, if I believe my goals are a chore, then the beauty in the journey is overlooked. Even more, I am creating a trail of missed opportunities every day, diminishing the quality life I could have.  

The "learning is in the doing", or rather taking action, to enrich my life and the lives of others who I encounter on my journey. In other words, I will not be a spectator, life deserves my full participation.

So, with these thoughts in mind, I made a conscious decision to view differently what it meant for me to pursue a goal:

1) Determine what I want

2) Don't linger on the "glory of the goal", instead think deeply about the pain involved in the process to decide if it's worth it

3) Come to a definitive decision to go forward or change direction

4) Commit to the goal and everything that comes along with it

5) Use every experience as a learning opportunity, positive and negative, to enhance my skills

6) Never Give Up

I decided that going through the motions about anything is robbing life of what it can teach me, and what I can share with others.  

Since I made the mindset shift to focus more on the journey and not the goal, this process challenges me every day and gets me out of my comfort zone. 

So how can you challenge yourself to think different about your #lifegoals? Whatever you decide to pursue, embrace everything that comes along with it. Take the time to engage with people, explore the process, and use introspection to become self-aware.  If your life is your legacy, then what will it say about you in the end?

Also Find on Medium in My "Career Bluprint" Publication