So often I found it easier to market the skills I had experience with, rather than building skills I wanted to use. I could not get excited about more of the same, but like a steam roller, I used my persistence and determination to keep on going. I looked at the websites and job ads to see what was offered, rather then investigating work I wanted to spend time on. It wasn't until I hit a wall in my career that I even began to look at new possibilities. I went back to college and majored in career counseling.
As a career counseling graduate student I took a number of skills assessments. After sorting skills cards, I came up with a nice stack of skills I CAN use. Neither the assessment nor the result was very exciting. Then I went to the 2009 Career Management Alliance Conference, where I had the opportunity to go to Richard Knowdell's workshop on _Motivated Skills. After laying out the cards in columns across my desk, I had a short list of skills I CAN use and actually WANT to use. These are the skills that give me motivation to take action. It sounds so simple, yet a light bulb went on in my head. I realized I could develop the skills I like to use. I spent years getting a job without planning a career or thinking about what I really want. It was finally time for a proper job search.
After seeing the simple list of skills I want to use, I decided to spend time mastering those skills. I spent two years writing regularly, publishing articles, and getting feedback for my ideas. The last time I searched for a job I chose a new category--writing/editing. Without a degree in English or communications, I had never investigated jobs for pay as a writer or editor. Many of the job notices gave a preference for an English degree and many required years of paid experience, but I started finding notices for bloggers and people with experience developing a social media presence. When it came time to prepare a resume and letter describing my social media presence, writing, and publishing experience, I dug right in. It was fun to share my experience doing things I love to do.
Career change is the norm, and we oftentimes need to use skills that don't fit our preferences while getting a foot in the door. Once in the door, you can experience new skills, see what you like, then fly with the skills you like to use. Stop the steam roller and soar to new heights of mastery. You won't need to force yourself to go to a job you don't like. As you gain expertise in your motivated skills, you'll anxiously anticipate everyday with new energy. Love your job search!