Gang Starr may have summed it up best, in today’s world it’s all about skills, skills, skills.
When is the last time that you looked at your resume? That document that sums up your supposed value to potential employers. On them many of us have the common things: software proficiencies, assigned responsibilities, years worked and excellent customer service. If we’re lucky towards the top will be a list specialized skills or certifications, forklift, A++ and welding are a few that come to mind. This last group gets us heading in a good direction but how many of us have skills we can count on or cultivate outside of the work place? There is nothing wrong with leveraging the skills you have as a means to make money. How about leveraging some skills for everyday life? How about using skills as a way to make your life better, or perhaps of you family or community? Being good at gardening can literally put food on the table. Even minimal craft and fabrication skills can save money on repairs and bring joy to your life through self-esteem or as a medium to bond with others.
Sadly, from my prospective the concept of skills is something that seems to be systematically worked out of our culture. Growing up my father was a jack of all trades but if there was something he didn’t know (electrical work for example) he knew at least 2 people in his peer group that did. I imagine that many of us could say that about the generations that raised us but would be hard pressed to make the same claim for ourselves or the ones that have come after us. I can’t say why it has turned out this way but it doesn’t have to be and I believe our lives would be better for it if skills as a culture starting making a comeback.
So what can we do? Learn and teach. Take the time to learn a new skill or refine an existing to a higher level. The internet has so many options from the all but ubiquitous Youtube to lesser known sites like 13 skills, save our skills or so many others. Secondly share a skill, maybe as business or a pass time but nothing reflects your understanding of a subject better that your ability to teach that subject.
Our skill set should be to the benefit of ourselves, not solely that of our employers.