Recently, Disney laid off 28,000 workers, Hertz laid off 16,000, and the airlines plan to lay off 35,000 despite getting a $25 million bailout. In all, over 60 million Americans have been laid off since mid-March. With millions losing their jobs on a monthly basis, the threat of losing your job is more and more real. With the gap widening between the top 1% and everyone else via layoffs, furloughs, lavish executive bonuses, and stock options, you need to take control of your career now—starting with knowing your skills.
COVID-19, 9/11, recessions and the like have forced us to reassess our priorities, finances, businesses, and ultimately, our lives. Before, this was an option. Today, it’s a necessity. It’s something you’ll probably have to do multiple times over your lifetime. But whether you’ll need to reinvent yourself isn’t the question. The question is, “Who’s going to do it?” You would rather reinvent yourself on your terms than to have someone else force you to do it. Yet, most people don’t.
You must be proactive and prepared to make your transition before you’re forced to. Take time to make a list of your skills. If you have a resume, break down everything you do and the entire process to get things done. You’ll learn about skills you didn’t know you had. But you’re more than your job. Here are four other sets of skills you should look at:
- Faith. For many, faith is the most important part of our lives. If it is, it probably guides everything you do so it shouldn’t be ignored. You probably wear many hats if you’re active in your congregation. If you’ve taught Sunday school, ushered, served on a committee, or anything similar, think about what’s required to handle these tasks.
- Family. If you’re a parent or a caretaker think about all the hats you wear. You provide discipline, patience, comfort, sacrifice, the ability to make money, etc. Again, look at what you do and how you do it.
- Hobbies. You work to make money but you’d probably rather be doing other things. Do you coach? Write? Cook? Work out every day? Run a book club? Think about the things you enjoy, how you do them, and why you love them.
- Achievements. This is an area where most people grossly underestimate themselves. Are you a college graduate? Were you class president? Have ever you won a spelling bee? A race? An award? Have you lost a considerable amount of weight? Think about what you’ve achieved in your life and how you achieved them.
We tend to underestimate our skills. Therefore, you should have others help you. Create your list and have others who know you well create a list of your skills in the areas that apply. As you create your list go through these areas and make a list of the functions and the skills needed to do these functions. Many skills are transferable and they will open doors for you. Then, combine your list and the other persons’ lists.
As you put your combined list together you’ll find similarities. This will create your sweet spot. This is your starting point and it’s the key to your transition process. Remember, you’re more than your job. Then, you’ll want to build relationships in the areas you want to get into. Since you’ll probably have to do this multiple times you’ll need to commit to this process.
You’ll be able to successfully switch jobs or switch careers on your terms. Either way, knowing all of your skills and using all of your experiences will give you confidence to make your transition when you’re ready and take control of your career.