By Anja van den Berg
The Covid-19 lockdowns have destabilised life as we know it. Many are re-evaluating their lives and choices, including the direction they are taking career-wise.
But while new insights might lead to a change of heart – and a change of career – don’t just jump ship and hope for the best.
“It is better to prepare adequately before moving on, rather than just quitting and taking your chances in this difficult economic environment,” says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean of Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education.
Take a deep breath and make sure you have a strategy in place. What is your next step when you have realised your current career path is not for you?
Skill stacking is the answer. The New York Times describes skill stacking as the idea that, instead of concentrating your efforts on becoming singularly significant at one specific skill or task, you strive to become proficient at a few related skills that can be woven together into a broader skillset.
Writing for theshortcut.com, Jason Link defines the notion of skill stacking as combining the total package of your skills uniquely and individually. It means that you showcase everything you can do in a synergistic bundle. Thereby, you’re offering a multi-dimensional skillset that is much more useful than the sum of each skill separately.
Dr Mooney explains that you don’t have to throw the skills and experience you have already acquired to the wayside to pursue an entirely new direction. Instead, you can build upon the achievements and successes you have already attained.
The more skills you have, and the more value you can create, the more your services will be worth. But, says Sam Brinson, author of Connecting the Dots: Learning How to Learn for Modern Day Thinkers, don’t aim to be a jack-of-all-trades or “a master of one”. Instead, he says, “you should be skilled at a few.”
An above-average ability in a few areas can make you the best in the world at the point where those abilities crossover.
Brinson adds that it pays to be a polymath in the modern world of work, or, as he describes it, a jack-of-a-few trades. “By expanding our minds in both breadth and depth, we ensure our value on the open market and make ourselves more immune to automation.”
East Coast Radio: https://www.ecr.co.za/lifestyle/family/expert-advice-how-prepare-yourself-career-change-2021/
Kate Richardson: https://www.katerichardson.co/articles/how-to-change-careers-in-2021-pdksk-xjhrm-wsde3in
The Ladders: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/skill-stacking-instead-of-mastering-one-skill-build-a-skill-set
Sam Brinson: https://www.sambrinson.com/stacking-skills/
Darius Foroux: https://dariusforoux.com/skill-stacking/
The Shortcut: https://medium.com/the-shortcut/skill-stacking-be-awesome-with-average-skills-a52de26026e4