Transferable skills – a big asset in post-corporate life

As a corporate employee, you tend to gain experience in relatively specialized areas. In fact, after a few years you may become unable to carry on a conversation about work with anyone outside your own industry.

The skills you accumulate in such a specialized environment will probably not be of much use when you are laid off or retire.

In a post-corporate environment, you may find that your ability to generate income comes from skills that you have never paid much attention to, because they fell outside your normal career activities.

The job skills which help you move from one career to the next during your business career may still be useful after your corporate life is history, but your real earning power may come from your ability to cook or to write or to entertain others in some way.

You may find yourself as a professional caretaker for people, or pets, or even houses. You may find yourself in the role of educator, or life coach, or in an administrative role in a non-profit organization far removed from anything you have ever done.

The possibilities and challenges are amazing and if you take full responsibility for your life, you may find yourself with more job satisfaction than you ever experienced as a corporate employee.

Post-corporate life is a different game than anything you ever did as an employee. For one thing, you may be self-employed and you will have all sorts of responsibilities and freedoms that you never had before.

You will learn to be very resourceful and you will eventually develop a network of people who may help you develop a business and will most certainly help you develop a lifestyle that maximizes your value to your network.

And the skills I mentioned at the beginning? They will probably be things that you have always enjoyed, but never figured that you would ever find use for them.

The way things are going now, you most certainly will need all of the skills you can muster.

Don’t just dabble around with your hobbies. Try to do everything to the best of your abilities and to learn as much as possible about the techniques that you are employing. Try to gain a professional understanding of what you are doing, even if it is a hobby.

You never know, but your future livelihood may depend on that knowledge.

Are any of you earning a living from skills that were once a hobby?

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0 Responses to Transferable skills – a big asset in post-corporate life

  1. Mouse says:

    Am I earning a living using skills that were once a hobby?
    I should be, shouldn’t I?

    I CAN talk to everyone about mainframe software support though, even those who are totally baffled and especially those that fall asleep

    I think it’s taking me a while to disentangle myself from the rat trap!

  2. I actually earned money from a hobby in my pre-corporate life. After I decided that I did not want to become a therapist or mental health counselor, I got certified as a fitness trainer. One of the attractions was precisely that this did not feel like getting into another professional career. I had been burned by the notion of “passion” and decided to make my living doing something that was not loaded by symbolism or heaviness, something that was so natural that it was just part of me.

  3. Seattle Guy says:

    David: Love your book, your blog, and truly appreciate your new lifestyle and lifework. It is truly difficult to balance that middle
    ground of living on and off the “system”.

    I left corporate life about a year ago and I have never looked back. For better or for worse, I am a dabbler; I can pick up new things and skills quite quickly to the 80% level with moderate effort. Of course, taking it to the 90-95% requires true effort.

    With this said, I dabbled in SEO, web analytics, and wireless technologies at my old life at a giant software company, as a
    hobby. Strangely enough, these are same hobbies that currently
    put steaks in the fridge, especially the designing, installing, and
    maintaining wireless systems.

    My Take-Away: This is nothing new. Do things that you enjoy. Let your mind play. Match your skills and interests with the unfilled needs. The most difficult part is to believe in yourself, stop making excuses, and get moving.

    Good luck and God Bless.

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