As far as I’m concern, it is skills that put food on the table, more than degrees and diplomas. People with good grades and degrees without adequate skills to support them stunt or nosedive into a career rut somewhere along the line.
You can pick up any skill of your interest and begin to develop it, but that won’t be effective as you will miss out on so many other opportunities to explore a skill where you will learn faster and excel better at than others.
Thus, you’ll do best to discover skills that are inherent in your nature, character, and exiting interests.
The way to go about that is, as I wrote on here to first develop your self-knowledge before everything else. Use introspection to identify innate skills buried underneath your most ravaging interests and nagging desires. There’s a reason your interests exist; they’re nudging you towards the direction of your true north; your best career options lie therein. Your desires are not to be muffled, they’re to be embraced and used fully to your advantage.
My desires as a young child revolved heavily around reading newspapers. Later, I discovered my liking for good fiction. In all the skills I had developed till this day, including architecture, design(which is my area of formal training,) project management, and training, none continues to fascinate me as did journalism, writing and public speaking. More than the latter trio, the formal quadral, still generate the larger portion of my income.
Discovering your skills and developing them seem to travel pari passu. You’re developing your skills and discovering new ones; merging the old with the new to create combinations that take your broad interests into consideration. To discover new skills, you will have to develop existing ones even if they’re outside what you love. That way, you’ll learn some vital skills that cut across fields like tenacity, focus, emotional intelligence, coordination, planning, and resource management.
Another way to discover your skills is to do a thorough research into the different kinds of skills that are possible given your childhood inclinations-if you have already discovered them-if you haven’t, do a deep search into your early life for patterns of interests that we can call your ‘childhood crush.’ Because our genes contribute largely to our childhood, as well as what we turn out to become as adults, it is only reasonable that we dig into that childhood to unearth the instincts, mindsets, passions, and interests that can form the basis of a lucrative and fulfilling skillet.
The development of skills can be achieved in many ways beginning with being a voracious reader. If you read wide, you can build rockets like Elon Musk. Be a lifelong learner. Develop your skills with all means possible;
Watch You Tube videos about any subject or skill you want to develop;
Read relevant books and blogs;
Listen to pod casts;
Get a mentor and learn from them;
Attend seminars, workshops, lectures, and any gathering where you can meet great minds in your industry.
Lastly, understand that the process of discovering and developing your skills will take several years, and its in fact, a lifetime thing.
This article first appeared on Quora as my answer to the question, “how can I discover and develop my skills.”