Here's how you can shift your perspective and boost your chances of getting and keeping a job during tough times.
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an old saying about being a jack of all trades, master of none, which was often
intended as an insult. But in today’s modern work world, it might turn out to
be the exact opposite.
boils down to whether people should focus on one thing and try to excel at it
or if they should attempt many things and do them as well as they can.
will depend on what you do, but a lot people are talking about something called
skill stacking right now.
not a new concept – it was first explored in the 2013 book How to Fail at
Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams.
author failed in many different careers from restaurants to corporate and
investments before he created the hugely popular Dilbert comic strip.
he admits his career mishaps don’t offer solutions for everyone, he discovered
some fairly universal truths along the way. One of these is that a combination
of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable – something he called
talent (rather than skills) stacking.
it comes to skills, quantity often beats quality,” Scott wrote.
if you want to be a novelist, for example, “Yes,
it’s crucial that you become a good writer,” says The New York Times. “But
it’s entirely unnecessary for you to become a great writer. . . in addition to
being a strong writer, most successful novelists also need to be competent
marketers, publicists, negotiators, public speakers, SEO [search engine
optimisation] experts and more.”
this confusing time when many of us are feeling a little insecure and unsure of
where we are going, skill stacking sounds like a safe bet.
instead of focusing our efforts on becoming great at one specific skill, maybe
we should be trying to get to grips with a few related skills. The combination
of all these can make us a sought-after employee – and that’s what we want to
be in these uncertain times.
don’t throw caution to the wind.
lockdown showed you you’re not on the right path, it is crucial to investigate
your options thoroughly before making a move,” warns dean of academic
development and support at The Independent Institute of Education, Dr Gillian
sure you have a strategy in place and don’t make rash decisions, no matter how
certain you are that your current path is not for you.
remember, you don’t necessarily have to throw the skills and experience you
have already acquired to the wayside to pursue an entirely new direction,
because you can build on what you’ve already achieved by skill stacking.”
Mooney says skill stacking is based on the idea of developing several skills
that are often unrelated but when they are combined, they complement each other.
And this is important in the world of work where
employers need critical thinkers and problem-solvers who can apply themselves
instead of quitting and starting the application process for seemingly more
interesting positions, work on and build upon your existing skill set to ensure
you position yourself strongly and competitively to set yourself up for the job
the time to investigate your options, and then ensure you acquire new skills so
you are ready to change jobs when things start settling down,” she says.
really isn’t necessary to stay in a rut for years just to play it safe
employment-wise. There are steps you can start taking right away to ensure you
are better positioned and armed with a unique combination of skills that will
set you apart from the competition,” she adds.
skills you choose will depend on what you want to do, but there are some general
ones that should stand you in good stead.
example, author and blogger Darius
Foroux says, “you can’t go wrong”
if you develop skills like productivity, writing, basic psychology, persuasion
and personal finance.
suggests asking yourself who you would hire as a CEO of your own business.
“Write down what skills and qualities that person should have. Then become that
person by acquiring those skills.”