Women in their Prime have, whether by design or default, developed many skills. When it is time to look at career advancement, secure a new job, make a career change, open your own business, start consulting or even work in an entirely new industry– you have many more options than younger counterpoints. Why? Because you can put those years to work and Skill Stack.
Skill Stacking is how learning new skills, when combined with your existing skill set, can create a unique value proposition that can easily take your career into a meaningful new direction.
Step 1: Inventory Your Skills
Make a list of each job you’ve held and next to each job jot down the top 2-3 skills you mastered, and most importantly, really enjoyed. In this exercise do not pay attention to the job title or what the job duties identified you were ‘supposed’ to perform. We all do so much more than our title and original list of job duties. Simply list the skills you did employ, and then narrow them down to the top three you enjoyed the most. Where did you find ‘flow,’ what came easy to you, when did time fly? That’s the skills we want to focus on here!
For instance, if your first job was in finance and the job title and duties focused on the analytical and numbers side of things, but you recall that you were good at, and enjoyed, communicating with the clients, then go ahead and add communication skills to your stack of skills. You then moved on and became manager at a financial institution and were tasked with approving the advertising campaigns and had to learn how to utilize marketing skills.
Without realizing it, you just ‘stacked’ a new skill and while doing so, realized you really enjoyed this part of your job.
Step 2: Stack Your Skills
So now, you’re ready to explore a career change or shift and by having inventory of the skills you have learned throughout your career and narrowing them down to ones you really enjoy utilizing (analyzing numbers, communicating and marketing) – you stack them and then conclude that you are uniquely qualified for a role as Sales Executive. Voila! Each of those skills, when combined with each other, will position you for an entirely new career opportunity that had nothing to do with your previous job titles.
Step 3: Sell the Stack
Your combined skill set is much greater than the sum or the parts. Now that you have a new focus, update your resume and LinkedIn profile so that it plays up what you have accomplished using those skills. By calling attention to your unique combination of skills, the reader will quickly understand why you are ideal for the new career objective. Reference these transferable stacks of skills when networking and have interview answers ready that demonstrate how your unique blend of skills is valuable to the organization.
The overall idea of a talent stack is that you can combine ordinary skills until you have enough of the right kind to be extraordinary. You don’t have to be the best in the world at any one thing. All you need to succeed is to be good at several skills that fit well together. It’s now time to inventory, stack and sell those skills to success!
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” — Chinese Proverb