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  • Writer's pictureDr. Onyeka Abengowe DHA,MBA,CNMT,LGBH,CTC,CBN

10 steps to achieving career success in a skills-based economy

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Do you absolutely love your career? If your answer is not a resounding yes, then it's time to evaluate your skills and life experiences. Just might be time for a change, or maybe just a tweak in strategy! It is no longer news that the world economy is becoming more skills-based. A college degree alone is no longer enough to get that dream job you always wanted. These days additional licensing and certifications are a must, regardless of how many degrees you have under your belt. Further more, many people are choosing to step away from their college-degree-related careers and building careers around hobbies they enjoy or other activities they are passionate about.

Whether you are looking to retrain, retool or gain skills to better position yourself for that dream job or you want to improve on skills you already possess so you can focus on that passion project, you are going to need a solid plan to be successful. Here are 10 steps to help you prepare and achieve career success through skills acquisition.

1. Decide what you want to do - What do you really want?

This has to be the most important task and you need to thoughtfully make this choice. There is no hurry, take your time because this is the foundation for your future career. Do not entertain the thought that what you truly want is not attainable (which I honestly think is not true, cos I believe anything is possible). Tune out the negative and just ask yourself, " what would I rather be doing if I had my way? Not sure where to begin? Let's talk.

2. Find people who already have your dream job

Research and find out who already has the career you are aspiring to go into. Thank s to technology, there are a lot of resources to help you get all the information you need. Take the time to go through the profiles you have identified and zero in on 2 or 3 that you feel a connection to or are closest to your aspirations.

3. Make a list of education, skills and work experiences of your imaginary mentors

Yes, I referred to them as your imaginary mentors because you are going to use their profile as a guide to planning and executing your strategy towards creating your own career success. Make a list of their education, work experience and skills. Also make note of personal life experiences if provided. No matter how many they are, do not be intimidated. They may help you to recall your own experiences that you thought were not valuable.

4. List your education, experience and current skills.

Make a list of your education, work and personal life experiences and current skills. Be sure to list everything you can remember. Do not leave out anything - internships, your very first humble-beginning job, relevant assistance to friends and family members.

5. Do a side by side comparison.

Compare your education, experiences and skills against those of your dream-job holders and imaginary mentors. Again do not be intimidated. You may find that you probably have most, if not all of what you need to achieve your goal.

6. List the education and skills you currently do not have

Write down the education and skills you currently do not have. These represent your education and skills gap that you will need to fill in order to achieve your goal of pursuing that career.

7. Find out what careers you can pursue with your current skills

Thankfully there are tools you can use to identify the careers that best suit you. To get you started , download and complete the WHY, WHO and CLARITY METER™ worksheets from our Free resources page. The questions on the worksheets get you thinking about who you are NOW, why you need a change, what you are good at, your current skills, and the things you are passionate about. This exercise may just be what you need to point you in the right direction. You can also reach out for help here.

8. Research the additional skills you need to pursue

Explore your options on where and how to acquire the additional skills or education you need. There are many available and affordable and sometimes free options, depending on your budget. You may also want to explore professional certifications that are relevant to your target career.

9. Map out a realistic timeline for acquiring your desired skills

To achieve your goal, it is important that you stipulate a timeline for meeting your set goals. Be realistic in setting your expectations so that you do not get burned out. Have someone (I suggest me) who you can count on to hold you accountable, cheer you on and help you stay focused on achieving your goal.

10. Integrate and apply your education, skills and experiences

While you are working on acquiring the additional skills and education you need to land your dream job, it is essential that you continue to work with a clarity coach (like me) to develop a strategy for how to integrate and apply your skills and education towards achieving your goal.

HINT:Remember that you not only have to work hard , you also have to work SMART (as in Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound)

I hope these steps will help get you on your way to achieving personal and career success. I am rooting for you and you can reach me here whenever you need help or just need someone to cheer you on!


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