Recently I have been talking a lot about fulfilment in your work. It is something I am passionate about (in case you hadn’t noticed – lol) because it can make such a big difference to all aspects of our lives as well as being a great boost to a glittering career if you get the mix right! You don’t always need to do something drastic to improve your fulfilment and opportunities, sometimes just a strategic refocus can be all you need for a boost in the right direction.
This week let’s focus on how can you best repurpose your existing skills, and add to them, to put more passion into existing activity and with a bit of tweaking, create a more interesting, and successful, future!
There are several reasons why we might want to repurpose our skills.
– Maybe you need to boost your visible value because you are concerned about the security of your job/career in the future due to growing older.
– Maybe you don’t feel particularly fulfilled by what you are currently doing and just want to adapt it to make it more interesting.
– Perhaps you want to use what you already do well, but in a different way, by becoming a freelance or consultant or even starting a business.
Whatever your reason for repurposing your skills and experience you need to decide what direction you want to go in and how best to show yourself off as being the ideal person for the activity!
Here are some tips which you can apply to help you select your best options!
- Mindset: Don’t be blocked by your mindset! Many people reject ideas that deeply interest them due to the misconception that they are pigeon-holed and can’t take on something new or different because of their academic background or recent work experience. What people forget is that experience, skills and interaction over many years is a very valuable commodity. These give you a great range of talents and vision that can be adapted to a multitude of activities – you just need to allow yourself to be objective and visualize how you can use these to set yourself apart from your colleagues. This is a great start for being able to market yourself as an experienced, capable and valuable asset!
- Transferability: Sometimes it is difficult to think that what we take for granted in ourselves is actually a highly prized skill. For example, look at these, all are enviable and highly transferable skill sets: Communication skills – both being able to talk confidently and also being able to listen, being a good team leader or manager, being a positive and productive team member, computer skills (and any software you know), administrative skills, time management, project management, problem solving, creativity, organization… There are many more that you can include on the list. Just think how many times someone has said you do that well, or I wish I could do that… etc. AND, don’t forget the things you did long years ago, these can be just as valuable today as they were then. So what are your skills? Obviously focus on the ones you enjoy, no point in trying to include something you don’t like doing however good you are at it. Make your list!
- Essence: Define your ‘essence’, what you like and do well. How can you do that? Start by thinking about the situations in which you really shine, you stand out, you feel energized and confident. Then think about how you would best market this if it was a product – it is, that product being you. You need to think about what you do better than other people. What do you do that adds more value, better solves a problem, or improves a service/environment? Be sure you only include things you really like doing then start thinking about how you can package this up to show off your best assets and your motivation for using them.
- Adaptability: Now you have defined your ‘essence’ think about how you can either focus on this in greater detail at work, or adapt it to a different service, sector or activity whether in your current company, a different company or setting up something new. The key here is adaptability. Are you someone who adapts easily? Are your comfortable with change? Are you creative and can you envision how your ‘essence’ could benefit others, how using your repurposed skills would be an advantage to your target market – whether that is a new area in your current activity or branching into a new one? Are you confident with new ideas? What areas scare you, what boost your enthusiasm and make you come alive? You need to be aware of your own personality and preferences in transitioning situations to be prepared and positive and forward thinking for the future.
- Options: Now look around at what you could do, write 2 pages of ideas that could suit your transferable skills, essence and degree of adaptability. Don’t do this in your office – go somewhere totally different where you can sit quietly with pen and paper (not any kind of pc/tablet, keep to pen and paper, it allows you to be more creative. Now start dreaming and start scribbling. After filling your 2 pages of ideas, refine it down to the 4 or 5 that ‘speak’ to you the most.
- Vision Statement: Write a very visual statement about what you want to do, that includes all your key wishes, interests and strengths. Really imagine yourself doing this work, see the people around you, see the results you have, see the enjoyment you are feeling. Put yourself totally into that character, that action. Write it for 1 year from now, 3 years from now and maybe even five years from now. What will you be doing, where will your path have led you… Make it come alive!
- Action: Now get practical. What, where, when, who, how, why… Decide your objectives and craft another statement, this time a marketing statement about why you are so good for your choice of direction. Start talking to your network, contact people who might be able to help. Approach the relevant person in your company (or another company) and start negotiating why you should have the opportunity to include/change/develop in the direction you want. From the time you have spent focusing on what you are good at and enjoy doing, together with the experience you have felt ‘living’ the vision statement you will find that you will be confident, energised and positive when talking about it and this passion, this interest, will come across when you speak!
Enjoy your dynamised future!