Penelope Trunk’s column today describes me to a “T”.
Her overarching argument about careers has always been that we often have talents and skills (though they may need cultivating) that we don’t recognize or use appropriately. You may be a great writer, but not tech savvy, so you’d argue you’re not meant for blogging. This, in my guess, would frustrate Trunk.
First, always one for putting up rather than shutting up, the readaholic websurfer would argue you can master the tech, maximize the writing.
That’s what we’re after here, too. We all have many skills, but we’ve often become trapped in job descriptions and titles such that “that’s not in my pay grade” becomes more than a snappy comeback in a politically-infused environment where most of us believe we’re underpaid, but rather it becomes a sad attitude we perpetually manifest.
Sure, some people have strengths in areas the rest of us don’t, but recognizing how to tap your own strengths in ANY area is something most of us miss because we’re looking in the wrong ways. The truthful idiom “to do something the same way over and over expecting different results is the definition of stupidity” is the way many of us approach our skills, our resume and our work life. I’ve met many who are trained as, say, a public relations assistant. As a result, they only apply to jobs that have “public relations assistant” in their title.
Yet, in their day to day work, they do project management, make design decisions, process work orders and lead. They’re ready to move beyond assistant. Their skills are more than PR.
Long ago we talked about creative resumes as framing “housewife” instead as “domestic engineer” and that’s not just creative writing.
Envisioning each skill you have needs to happen separate from the space in which you use it.
This weekend, a story about two mixed martial arts fighters subduing a bank robber is a perfect example. Each of these men may say they’ve got a great rear naked choke hold in the ring.
Neither of them may have predicted that such a hold works not only to elevate yourself to the championship round, but also works to retain a bank robber while the cops come to arrest him.
WHAT you do, not WHERE you do it or WHO you do it for, is what you should be selling about yourself.
We can help you to identify skills versus job descriptions and show you how you can creatively position yourself as always viable, always able to work or find satisfying work, as Penelope Trunk advocates.
We can’ t show you a rear naked choke hold…yet.