Define and Monetize Your Skills To Transition Career

Yesterday I went to Mediabistro’s eBook Summit. The summit dealt with the changing world of publishing in the digital age but there was some relevant advice from David Gaspin on “transitioning careers”. A subject relevant to many 20-somethings. Officially the Talent Acquisition Director at Conde Nast, David Gaspin spoke of himself as a networker and coach, helping people determine what their next step is and to find the path to getting there. He offered some great perspective of how to transition your career.

“It’s not about what do you do…who cares? It’s how you put across the message about what you do. What you do now has no bearing on what you want to do.”

He related that it’s less important to know what’s the “right” thing to do and more important to know what you do well and how to turn that into a career that you want and mapping out how to get there. That’s particularly relevant for 20-somethings who often still fell the push of expectations…whether it be from the family or simply from peers.  Some people say follow your passion and the money will follow. Others say, can’t hurt to look at what jobs are growing and what is needed. I think David’s advice bridges these both. You have to start with something you at good at, then figure out a way to leverage that in a way that you can monetize your skills in a way that will make you happy.

His specific advice to get to the most marketable you:

1)    Figure out what you want to do.

2)    Get the skills you need to do it. Look at classes, training available.

3)    Evangelize. You need to be able to explain your value. How can you help the company you are interested in monetize something?  Be able to tell them why they should be writing you a check. Show them you can apply your skills. Don’t be afraid to do free work to build a portfolio. It’s not just saying it’s doing.

4)    Tell the world.  Use the social media tools at your fingertips. Linked In is a must. Twitter is a great way to communicate what you are doing.

Thank you David!

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