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It pays to step out in skill!

Updated on September 11, 2013

Do you have skill?

Are you stuck in a job position and wonder how to advance a step up?

Do you desire to make more money and find a position that satisfies you?

Jobs are becoming harder to come by. It pays to step out in skill!

Dust off the old typewriter!


Finding skill

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Where did you study in school? Did you finish high school? Did you go to college?
  2. What's in your background as far as work and life experience?
  3. What's in your achievement folder? What ribbons, plaques, and awards have you earned over the course of your life?

This article is meant for anyone. That means the neighbor that didn't finish high school and can't find landscaping work in the winter. It also means that the educated professional, layed off due to corporate downsizing, can read here for sound advice. The only thing you have to do is apply it!

There is danger in becoming satisfied in a position that doesn't satisfy you!

Stepping out means taking risk.

Do you have a portfolio together?

A portfolio might include the following:

  • High school diploma
  • College degree
  • Awards
  • Achievements
  • Honorable Mention for Poetry Contests
  • Writing Contests
  • Published Books or other written works
  • Advancements online such as websites
  • Inventions

Risk taking.

Ask yourself what you want to do.

It's hard to predict our futures. Where do you see yourself in five years is the most difficult question in which to ascertain an answer. Why? Because ask it backwards. Where you were five years ago and what did you see ahead of you?

Are you happy in your current life position? We all have a "position" if you want to call it that.

However, search within and find out if you are working in a job that you want to be at or if you are just doing it because it pays the bills. If it is just paying the bills, but you really aren't getting anything out if besides money, have you thought about what else you might like to do?

What will it take to get you to where you want to be at your job?

What is it that you want to do?

A lot of people get stuck in the same mundane routine and find comfort in what they do.

The other option is to stay at your current job but apply yourself to new areas to achieve advancement. Volunteer to learn something new or apply your own talents underutilized by your employer.

Are you hungry?

Does your appetite include more than the daily grind can provide you?

Are you trying to figure out a way to make the bucks without coming home night after night tired to the bone and having no pleasure in what you do?

It's so hard to move on when we think we've found the right job. It pays the bills, it puts food on the table, it provides for the family, but it doesn't satisfy us! We do it to get by.

Is getting by good enough for you?

Wouldn't you love to be able to take control? Take the bull by the horns and ride it until you are soaking wet and feel good from accomplishing what you truly want to?

If that's what you want, then you can have it!

Dress for success!


Vital pieces to hang in your wardrobe.

Two-piece suits
Satin boxers
Black pants
Thin professional socks
White blouse
Business shoes
Satin underwear
Nice cologne or aftershave
High heels
Nice watch

Dressing the part.

Put your best look forward.

Regardless if it's normal for you to dress in a suit or high heels and lipstick, it makes a statement that you are serious about what you do and what you want.

In 2009, a study was done and the statistics were staggering. Good looks pay better. What does that mean to you? It means take you as you are, and add to it. You are good enough. Believe in yourself!

Humans are visual. That means we tend to be attracted to what we like when we see it. For example, if you walk in to a store and see two shirts hanging on a rack, you will pick the one you like the most because it suits your taste and style. If the same shirt was hanging on that rack wrinkled and dirty, you are probably going to pass it by unless it's on clearance for a very reasonable price you can't pass up! That's what I'm talking about. That shirt became worth less to you because it was no longer appealing to your taste.

Therefore, the same applies when you are trying to find a job that suits you. Put on your best to get the most in return for your hard work!

(You may want to know what satin underwear has to do with dressing for success! No one sees it anyway! Besides that, your old cotton ones are just fine. Well, when you dress for success you not only want to look it, you want to feel it as well.)

Be the Captain of your Ship!


You are a writer, use your imagination!

Most people that come here to read this article will most likely be fellow authors or writers. However, not all will be. Even if you are not a writer and have no desire to be one, you write every day. You type on the computer, you write emails, you send a text, etc. Every day there is some form of writing that goes on in your daily encounter with life.

If you write, written words are from you. What's in you besides words? Imagination!

Put on your creative thinking cap for a minute.

How can imagination be applied to finding a job?

A writer is also an actor/actress in a sense. Writers use the five senses to write descriptively to captivate an audience's attention. They self-market their words to others using enticing phrases and illustrative messages that they would not normally speak like in person.

How do you apply that to imagination?

In order for a writer, actress or actor to fulfill the character role in a written play or movie, they role play.

When you want something, and you'll do anything to get it, you need to role play the part of who you want to become. If you want to become advanced in your career, you will need to learn how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and begin to do so to convince others that is who you are.

Think about it for a minute. Did you ever dress up for a night on the town? Maybe put on a suit or a nice dress and go to a fancy restaurant? Perhaps you aren't even a fancy dresser every other day of the week, but for that one special occasion you stepped out in your finest clothing. How did it make you feel? Did you feel good? Did you notice others watching you as you crossed a room? Maybe you heard a few comments about how pretty you looked that evening? It was a self-esteem and confidence booster for sure, right?

Or, perhaps you put on a pair of running shorts and a tank top. You ran around the block with your muscles exposed, sweat pouring off of your face, and at the end of the mini marathon you felt so good, you couldn't help but smile about it. Your face lit up when you smiled from ear to ear. People started saying hello to you as they walked by, when normally no one would notice at all.

I've just made my point. It's in you. You just have to let it out!

Have you ever had the opportunity to advance in a career by stepping out and doing something you had never done before?

See results

Five tips to spruce up your image!

Here are five ways to spruce up your portfolio:

  1. Create a brochure summarizing your skill set.
  2. Create and keep on hand a stash of business cards.
  3. Advertise what you do through online bulletin board postings, blogs, or your own website.
  4. Create a logo for your self-image or use a professional looking photo of yourself.
  5. Invest in a professional looking briefcase or handbag large enough to keep extra copies of your portfolio with you.

Be sure to proofread all of your work. Have someone take a look at it in draft stages before you do a final printing.

Creating a brochure about yourself.

Brochures are really easy to do.

You don't have to be a computer guru or fancy designer to create a simple brochure.

All you need is cardstock and a good printer.

  1. Download free clip art or find a photo suitable to use as an image that represents you. It doesn't have to be your photo. If your interest is in writing, it could be a simple picture of a typewriter. Feel free to use the one I posted above.
  2. In a word processing program, there are free templates for brochures. Paste the picture in the brochure and write about who you are, what you do, and references.
  3. Don't underestimate the power of charitable work. Have you volunteered before? Put that down as life experience.
  4. You may wish to create a free email account to put on your brochures.
  5. After printing, tri-fold the cardstock and you have your own brochure!
  6. Print out more as you need them. In fact, keep five at all times in your new briefcase/handbag.

Creating business cards.

There are companies online that will create business cards for you for a minimal price.

You can also purchase business card paper for your printer at department stores such as Walmart and office supply stores.

For a few dollars, you can create your own business cards on your word processing software.

Most word processing programs have business card templates that align with the paper you buy at the store.

Once again, use a free clip art photo or one of your own. You'll have to adjust the size. Paste it in the card on the word processing screen, and then type your personal information.

I suggest that you keep it to your name and email account that you created for your job search.

Giving out your personal address and phone number to strangers may not be suitable for all situations.

If you have a website, you can list that on the business card as well.

Advertise or market yourself.

The local grocery store here has a bank in it. The bank started promoting small local businesses by providing a table in the front of the grocery store with advertising opportunities for a week at a time. Local businesses set up a table with their custom-made brochures, business cards, a catalogue of photos of their work and much more.

This is just an idea of how small companies market themselves. Individuals can take similar measures to pro-actively market yourselves through blogging, posting to free online bulletin boards, and pinning up flyers where they are accepted at grocery stores, libraries, and other places such as small family restaurants.

Creating a logo.

Free clip art works just fine.

If you want something unique and would rather have an actual picture of yourself to use on all of your marketing materials for your portfolio, I would suggest taking a professional-looking photograph in front of a plain background. You want to stand out in the forefront. A busy background will distract the viewer.

Custom logos can be hand-drawn, or created in a program such as picasa or photobucket.

Invest in a professional looking carry-all.

Recently, TJMaxx had a clearance on their handbags. For $15, I scored a regularly priced name-brand $88.00 handbag. It's large enough to hold my day planner and carry a random toy when I take my children to an appointment.

I've gone through three similar bags in the past year. I was searching for one that will do it all. I could only find ones that were not big enough to hold my ever-growing calendar.

This in itself is experimental proof about what people are looking for in skill.

They want a jack or jill of all trades. One person who can do it all. They want someone that is willing to multi-task. Someone who can create brochures by day and update websites by night. They want someone who can go the distance and come back to do it all again the next day.

Be all you can be!

If you are searching for a job, make it your job!

A few years ago, this area was devastated when long-time professionals in science and research found themselves suddenly unemployed. The corporation had built it's own empire, closed up and moved over seas where taxes are cheaper.

It happens.

People with degrees are no better off sometimes in this arena we call job-searching.

Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation or you just want to advance your career by finding something better, take this advice. Schedule your time like it's your job.

That's right! If you are home and the distractions are too much, go to the library where it's quiet.

Look in the paper, search the web, call old contacts, do whatever it takes. But remember that each moment of time is an investment in your future. If you sit around idle and wait for that dream job to come your way, it most likely never will.

Believe you can do it!

The biggest hurdle to many people trying to overcome job challenges is believing they can't do it or fear of failure.

Here's a secret. Employers are looking for confident responses.

That means when you are looking for a job, go that extra mile and say, "YES, I can!"

People are looking for leaders and go-getters. They want self-starters who will jump start their way to success. The employer doesn't want to have to do that for you!

Be aggressive in your approach. Don't stand back in fear that you will fail before you even start.

This is coming from someone who had no experience and ended up working on million dollar projects, billable at $200 an hour.

Yes, folks, it can happen and it does! It's up to YOU to make it! You can take that to the bank!

Reach higher!



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    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you Laura! I took some courses years ago on creating brochures, website marketing and design. Now, I see people posting self-marketing brochures on bulletin boards at supermarkets and they get business from it. (They add perforated cards so someone viewing their brochure can rip the card off and take it for future use. Such as landscapers, professional home cleaners, etc.) I used to create brochures for a company I worked for.

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 

      5 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      I love you advice to market yourself--I tell clients I write resumes for this all the time. Business cards, a custom logo (nothing fancy), a professional photo... A brochure, however, is a fantastic new idea that I'll create for myself post-haste as a sample and additional offering for my clients. Thanks for the suggestion! You are SO right that a person MUST dress the part and really market themselves for the job they want. voted up, excellent!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Wetnose! Thank you. It's always nice to see you.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      5 years ago from Alabama

      You have written another incredible hub.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Christy! Yes, and they are so easy to do. It can really add to the appearance of a professional portfolio.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Creating a brochure is a cool idea!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi DDE! Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you Audrey! I couldn't believe I had all that to write about.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      It pays to step out in skill a great hub and so well researched, useful, interesting and most thoughtful indeed.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      Such a comprehensive article! Well done!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you! :D

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Awesome, Crafty. You go, girl!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Yes Flourish! One time, after becoming ill from toxic mold in an office, I had to change jobs. I didn't know where to begin after being in the same job for 8 years. Well, it was difficult. I applied to a few ads, but also to a temp agency to take on any work I could find. I soon got an interview at an office that dealt with clients who were movie stars. The minimal project was $50 million. I didn't get the job because I didn't LOOK the part. It was upsetting, but I changed.

      I bought a new wardrobe, cut my hair, went to a professional salon to have it colored. Then I stepped out of my own way and got 5 interviews. I had employers fighting over me, upping the ante. I eventually accepted a position and started working for movie stars. Go figure, kind of ironic. But anyway that's how it rolls.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I was once determined to work for one specific high-profile corporation that paid big bucks. I applied repeatedly but never even got to the interview stage. I decided to go all-in (what did I have to lose?) by doing a non-traditional resume supplement which listed my skill and expertise areas in a creative manner. Not only did it get me an interview. It got me the job. I like your message. Go for what you want. Get noticed.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Yes, Billy, that's right! And what's more, is that people don't apply themselves in their jobs once they get comfortable in them. That's a shame. We all have skills to embrace and use to increase our learning, and doing potential.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your message and I think it is so important in today's economy. There are far too many people who are settling for the status quo. I think they get so comfortable in their dead end positions that they never consider moving up and out. Great suggestions here my friend.


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