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How to Spot Skills to Make Them Pay Off

By Sandy Schroeder

In a busy world, life can be pretty competitive, so it pays to know who you are and what you do best. Sometimes you may find yourself in a job that really does not use all of your skills.

This can happen at home, too. In a world where moms and dads often share parenting tasks, it can be a good idea to match skills to individual jobs. Dad really may be the better cook, and Mom may be the one to pay the bills and do the taxes.

Evaluating Your Skills

If you wonder about the potential of your skills, start looking closer at your job, and your home. You may see gaps to be filled, or skills that could go farther.

At work, think about what you do on the job, what you do best, and what you would really like to do.  At home, do the same thing, consider what you do and what might work better for your family.

Strengths are really innate capabilities that let us see, feel and make life work in our daily lives. Your unique mix of capabilities makes you who you are.

It is a mistake to ignore or downplay capabilities. The skill to clearly explain material, analyze a complex problem, or persuade others to take action, really is a strength that should be recognized and put to work.

Where Do You Stand?

Ask yourself where you stand. Your skills may be working just fine for you, or they may welcome some tweaking.

At work, think about your job and your skills. If there is a gap in what you do, and what you could do, then you may want to shop around. Talk to people in fields that interest you.  If there is something better out there that requires more preparation, you can keep on working while you take steps to qualify for the new job.

At home, think about the daily routines, who does what, and how it all works out. Moms often become excellent negotiators, having to keep the peace and keep everything going. They also may become good analyzers and researchers, needing to find the best prices in the market, and the best resources for all sorts of family needs.

Dads may have developed skills in managing budgets, seeing the big picture, or running meetings and working with a variety of people. 

Looking further, you may be a quick reader, good writer, strong math person, or quick study. You may be hands-on, or way better at theory. These are good skills that just need the right home.  Keep looking and weighing the options. When you capitalize on your strengths everyone benefits, and life often feels a whole lot better. 


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