Do the Math
Can you really do the math on the value your skills? Why do people discount their value and skills at halftime? Are your skills really worth anything? And how do you assess your skills accurately? I will answer all those questions in this article.
We will approach this topic with three main areas: Mindset, Understanding Value and Partnerships. This article is especially relevant in today’s economic society because there are so many with valuable skills, resources and talent who are frozen in their tracks. They are at the halftime of life and feel like they are no longer needed, no longer relevant and are overcome with fear to dip their toe back into a tech-savvy market.
There is much talk about confidence, assurance and empowerment, especially for today’s woman. Those are great words, but how do you get there and especially, how do those qualities help you do the math? Program after program will sell you on their methodology and courses with a variety of terms. Who do you believe and where do you turn next?
Programs on confidence are becoming commoditized, almost like the charm schools from the 1970’s. Girls would meet and spend a couple hours learning how to walk right, sit with good posture and conduct themselves like ladies. My, how times have changed! Confidence is not merely an outward appearance of an assured pose, but is based on an accurate assessment of your skills and uniqueness. Confidence and assurance is not arrogant, but honest.
Women Rate Themselves
According to a recent study, women rate themselves less confident than men until their mid-40’s but then gains become more than three times that of men.* This explains the reason that women are less likely to apply for jobs or take risks unless they are confident they meet most of the listed qualifications. Because of this, an accurate assessment is extremely important!
An important area to focus on is efficiency. Just like clearing clutter on your desk clears up the mind to focus on a project and work, efficiency frees up “brain space” for energy for additional focus and greater productivity. Focus in the right areas will reap greater rewards and one of those areas are your skills.
LinkedIn listed the top 5 soft skills needed the most in 2020: Creativity, Persuasion, Collaboration, Adaptability and Emotional Intelligence. Many women possess all these skills, whether or not they have a degree or have been in the corporate market. Those who have spent years balancing even part-time work and raising a family are extremely skilled in all those areas and need to own them!
Hard skills can be learned, such as sales, computing, production, etc…** but soft skills develop over a number of years, sometimes unknowingly. Forbes came out with their list of skills and complex problem solving was number one and critical thinking was second in order to succeed in 2020.*** What mom hasn’t had to deal with both those issues?
Evaluation of Skills
The same evaluation of skills applies to those in human resources, medical technology, nursing and most every other field. In fact I’d propose that 80% problems in H.R. deal with soft skills. The main problem many face is communication and partnership, which we approach in our next section.
A fascinating mathematical equation to add to the assessment of skills is to put a percentage on the number an investor would need to put aside to generate $80,000 a year. (Read the full article here) If you truly take the time to do the math, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! This should definitely build your confidence!
Partnerships and connection are extremely important, but often not approached with enough intentionality. A man or woman at the halftime of life adds an extreme amount of value to most any organization because they have already made a lifetime of mistakes. At this point, they don’t want to waste time.
Younger workers have more time to waste. What I mean by that is they can afford the time to make mistakes as they have many more years ahead of them. The conflict arises when the more seasoned professional communicates their experience but a younger worker wants to try something new and different.
This is where soft skills comes in! If we ever needed negotiating skills and problem solving, it is today! With the wealth of experience, talent and skills coming from workers in their second half of life, communication skills have never been more important!
Solopreneurs tread cautiously toward partnerships, which is understandable. (I am one!) They have worked extremely hard at their craft and do not want to lose ground by partnering with a venture that may fail, especially at this time of their life. However, taking smart risks to develop a strong network with partners that will help you expand your reach, increase your platform and boost your influence is well-worth it. Just do your research, own your skills and realize you have more value than you can imagine at the halftime of your life! Take time to do the math—you will be glad you did!
*https://hbr.org/2019/06/research-women-score-higher-than-men-in-most-leadership-skills **(https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2020/most-in-demand-hard-and-soft-skills) ***https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2018/08/06/the-skills-you-need-to-succeed-in-2020/#752f3fa5288a