Developing Skill Sets
Today didn’t start out as I hoped it would. Normally I like to get up quietly, slip out the bedroom door while Kathi is still sleeping — mainly because it’s 3am — but also because I’m a 360lb ninja. Unfortunately, I was unable to move in the way of Bushido and kicked the steel corner of my bedpost in the dark, turning the three smallest toes of my foot into Mushito (pun intended). Luckily I do have skills in Hensojutsu and pretended to be a moaning ghost as I limped from the room. The day didn’t get better. Before I knew it, my workload made it apparent to me that I was lacking needed skills. A few challenges in both writing material and code for the website posed problems that seemed beyond me. Luckily, that’s when I thought about you. Yes, you. The one I’m sharing this journey with. The one I think about each and every day. Shut up—it’s no creepy, it’s flattering. Get with the program here. I realized this was a perfect opportunity to mention something infused into my last book: Advanced Worldbuilding. It’s called developing skill sets. The ability to learn and grow, adjusting to the environment around you. instead of sink or swim, we are the ones who think of water more like a surfer and find a way to glide across the water instead. We, my friend, are always developing our skill sets. I solved my challenges for the day by doing some focused research — and BTW, there ARE YouTube videos on how to hold chopsticks — but over the next while, I will go into detail about skill sets. Why they are important, what skills are important, the difference between ‘hard’ skills and ’soft’ skills, technical skills, and more. This isn’t just about those of us who write. I’d like to cover enough to help anyone who may be looking for side work—to put a few bucks in the pocket or food on the table. I’ve been there and I have a pretty good idea how to help.
What ARE Skill Sets?A skill ‘set’ is a particular group of abilities to help you in any given task. I have creative and writing skills, which help me as an author, both to write books and also to secure side jobs as a ghost writer, content creator for companies and blogs, etc. There are specific skills required for various professions. Accounting, Counseling, Advertising, Banking, Construction, Receptionist, Sales, Nursing, just about any job out there—it comes with a set of skills you need to have to perform it properly. Do you have the skills needed to accomplish your goals? If not, then you need to know how (and where) to get them.
Sought After Skill SetsThe economy, no matter what anyone is saying, seems awfully slow to me. It’s still incredibly difficult to find work while I’m developing and marketing Wanted:Hero. Depending on what field you work in, there are specific skill sets that will give you an advantage in finding extra work. In fact, if you have the right skills, you may be able to beat out the competition for that job you’ve been shooting for. There are some natural skills we all have to some degree—but the following list may tip the scales in your favor.
Communication SkillsHow well do you communicate with others? There’s nothing more highly prized by an employer than someone who can communicate well. This includes listening, speaking, writing and interacting with others. A great example, though not overly common is translation. Here in the USA, if you have the ability to translate between Spanish and English, you’re already a prized employee. If not, you’re being under valued.
Researching and Analytical SkillsThis is one skill I have benefited from for years. I pride myself on having a passion for learning. If I don’t have a skills, I’ll acquire it. At the same time, I have a certain knack for finding information. This skill, coupled with a few others, provided me with a job paying five figures a month! It didn’t last forever—but I did get recommended to an even better job paying $8K a month, and I only worked a few hours in total each month. I was paid for results — and I knew how to get those results by the research I did.
Computers & TechnologyI don’t know of many jobs that pay as well as those involving computers or technology of some kind. In self-publishing I learned to use programs for formatting, which landed me side contracts with famous people. Crazy as that sounds—I have actually formated the works of New York Times Bestselling authors, even though I’m an unknown myself. How? By talking to them and showing them the formatting of their books currently, then display a sample of their work I have already repaired. The jobs were mine as long as their books need formatting. Think in terms of the internet. Great amounts of money are being made over the internet and in the digital realm. Consider this when you look for skills to acquire. There’s no end to the money and opportunities — you just have to find and secure them for yourself.
Interpersonal SkillsThis is close to the ability to communicate, but it’s specific in that it focuses on relating to and interacting with co-workers. This is a fantastic skill for management, and those with this skill will have incredible opportunities afforded them. Teaching, coaching, deliberations and team-building are some aspects of using such a skill. This is not a 'clan' skill, but rather an adaptation skill. Those fixated about pushing their views of society -- the butt-hurt folk who just can't deal with words in a grownup world, and those who take offense at anything and anyone who don't agree with their own views are not likely to excel in this area. Such jobs and positions require the ability to unite people, across lines of varying beliefs, and finding common, agreeable ground.
Leadership SkillsAll employers love people who can lead and take charge in complicated situations. This also includes management skills to organize people, teams and those with other skills sets. All business inevitably comes down to people and relationships. Your ability to work within that realm makes you a highly prized individual. Take some time and ponder what skill sets you already have, and consider how you can obtain new skills without having to throw yourself back into school. Just last Christmas I gave myself and my oldest son a present of a ‘Master Class’ subscription. I was able to learn from amazing writers, and storytellers, while my son completely absorbed the poker champion courses. I needed up writing another book, while my son took me on a trip to Reno, Nevada — and he won a bunch of money. We spent the night in a suite apartment above the casino, laughing to comedy comedy movies and ordering room service…just for fun. New skill sets can be fun. …I’m just sayin.
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