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. Titles can sound important (some of them actually are), however, a title does not give credence to actual results (or lack of), it's the competencies of the person with the title that makes the difference. While some titles may certainly garner attention, it's more important to focus on the skills required for the job and the skills you will obtain in the role

I'll tell you why.

With technology proliferating every industry, the demand for people with the right mix of tech skills makes it more challenging to hire talent.  Finding the person with the 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.

When asked "What do you do?", typically, employees respond by describing the tasks they execute in their current role. The challenge with this approach is, tasks are directly tied to a process, workflow, or technology that can soon become outdated.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 role with the company
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, then state what skills are you currently learning, and how you are applying your newly learned skills. This approach would engage anyone in a conversation that could lead to opportunity.

As employees, we should be empowered to go beyond our titles to learn and apply our learning in a way that benefits the organization and our careers. This action alone will take the focus off titles and place 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. 

I hope you to work in an environment that fosters learning, knowledge sharing, and encourages employees to demonstrate newly learned skills. If vertical advancement is not an option right now where you are, then in the meantime, determine how you can grow horizontally. 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 of skills 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