Skill Stacking 101

A recent post by productivity guru Darius Foroux explained that successful people don’t just excel in one area…they are a product of “skill stacking”.  It’s a term I wasn’t familiar with, and yet, it makes perfect sense. And the more you look at your life in terms of skill stacking, the more you’ll see your contributions as valuable.

Skill stacking is about knowing a little bit in a variety of areas.  For example, you might have a degree in history, take a painting course, volunteer as a coach for minor league hockey, and love to BBQ.  While your history degree might allow you to find a job in the area of teaching, you might not feel like your knowledge of painting is worth much because you’re not at the level where you could sell your work. But those skills learned from painting—design, colour knowledge, patience, creativity–are all valuable skills that could be applied elsewhere.

Now add in your coaching abilities. Sure, you probably won’t be paid millions of dollars to coach a major hockey team, but you’ve certainly developed lots of skills to get you to your current coaching level. You understand management, team building, perseverance, personal development, kindness, and strategy. All of these are useful skills in many environments. And that BBQ passion? While it might not be quite as useful, it takes patience, learning how to problem solve, and might even involve learning how to light a fire from scratch.

So, how does skill stacking make a difference? When you are thinking about a career change, or career development, take a hard look at the skills you have, and “soft” skills that you might be able to use or develop even more. Think outside the box, consider everything you do in your life and see how it might apply to the job you want. Someone isn’t going to hire you to be a reporter for a major newspaper with a note on your resume about “having good handwriting”, but that skill can be broadened, made into something worthwhile. You might take that idea about the handwriting, and focus on the fact that it means you are conscientious, that you are detail oriented, and that you enjoy the art of words. Now, expand on that. Take a writing class, or work on your memory skills through study, and “earn” some of those soft skills until you’ve got a better stack.

You can read more about Foroux’s Skill Stacking in his article here. It’s fascinating!

What skills are you stacking right now?

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Teen Vogue Does it Again

Teen Vogue has been hitting it out of the park lately with their thoughtful, timely, and superbly written articles. And this one in particular took me right to the printer to keep a reference list.

How to Use Gender-Neutral Words is a topic more of us are discussing lately, and to be honest, it’s difficult to come up with appropriate terms for every label we’ve ever known. With more people identifying as nonbinary, transgender, or cisgender, our labels are quickly losing ground, and we need to find appropriate terms. Often, people are open enough that they are willing to answer a question about what they’d prefer to be called, but often, you might feel the need to know someone well enough to ask. The writers at Teen Vogue did it for us…and they’re amazing! Some are a bit tricky to get used to, but practice makes perfect!

Remember when your primary school teacher used to say “Good morning, boys and girls”? I can’t quite picture a teacher opening a class with “Good morning, Kiddos”, but maybe? Print the list and start using the terms.

But this story is soooo thorough, it goes beyond simply what to call a nonbinary person. They discuss:

  • using nonbinary terms even when there are no non-binary people present
  • keeping other people accountable for their language, not as a scold, but as a teaching tool
  • how even people who don’t identify as nonbinary or cisgender can be offended by binary language (They use our favourite example of women being grouped by a word such as “ladies”, because it implies a gender stereotype.)

Take a few minutes to review the list and read the article closely. It will open your eyes. Bravo, Teen Vogue!

 

Podcast and a Book!

It was inevitable…a multi-media version of a book, but not in the way you might think. We’re used to audiobooks, and podcasts, but a new book by YA author Courtney Summers does something a little different.

The first half of SADIE is narrated by the protagonist, in this true-crime YA novel mix. The second half of the book is told through supposed podcast transcripts told from the perspective of a fictional radio journalist.  And now, the transcripts have come to life in a podcast called The Girls, adapted straight from the book. Isn’t this a fun way to get into a book?

You can hear the podcast now free on iTunes, and read the book which just came out on September 4/18 to get the most of out of the story. Let’s hope this becomes a bit of a regular thing!

Harry Potter, House Editions

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, the latest editions are going to get your heart racing! All you need to know is which house you belong to!

That’s right, the newest editions are going to be House-Specific. They’ll have colour-specific covers, with the house crests, which will be explained inside! So far, it looks like it’s just Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which is going to be released this way, but no doubt the entire series will get the treatment eventually. For true Harry Potter fans, these will be definitely be added to a current collection!

Will you buy one?

Ice Cream!

It’s hot. Let’s face it…summer isn’t ending anytime soon. But if you’re looking for a few fun August things to beat the heat, the latest issue of Good Housekeeping magazine has some great recipes for making your own ice cream. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

You can access all of the recipes, and the rest of the magazine, from our website on Flipster. Just drop by our website, and click on the Good Housekeeping cover as you see it scroll by the bottom of the screen. You can read the entire magazine on your computer, phone or tablet. Now that’s cool!