Today’s Most Marketable Skill

For honoring the class of 2014, Webucator, Inc. requested me to write a piece on the most marketable skill. The questions given to me were thought-provoking and sought after honest, not mumbo-jumbo, answers. For example, I was asked “what is essential for success;” “what skill is personally important;” and “what is the call for action to…implement it?”

From previous paragraph, in bold, I have highlighted the most marketable skill, which is “implement,” that most job seekers seem to lack, or are unaware of how important it is to have it. “What projects have you implemented?,” or a similar question, will be what stoops job seekers with no or little experience in implementation during interviews. Hence, implementation skills are crucial and can provide an overview of job seekers’ attributes in a nut-shell to the interviewers. Keep in mind that interviewers do not like their time wasted on someone that does not qualify for the job.

What is essential for success?

In your shoes, I have been! I also share the experiences and struggles in finding jobs and matching my qualifications to job preferences. Sometimes, I feel that I am going no where in this job-seeking process. Then, when I get interviews, there are no job offers. The cycle just continues and drives me crazy! Believe me. I know. Hopefully, my experiences can prevent you from wasting energy on job announcements that may not be for you. Here is what you can do:

  • take inventory of your skills
  • explain how you developed and implemented those skills
  • relate your implementation experiences to job preferences
  • decide if you have met more than 80% of job description
  • narrow down your job search based on your implementation experiences
  • be creative and find ways to span your implementation skills

What personally makes implementation today’s most marketable skill?

Without my implementation skills, I may have not been hired as a bioinformatics analyst. My independent research writing project has led me to apply to Innovative Products Research & Services, Inc. based on my prior implementation experiences involving proteomics data management and research. Let your projects do most of the “talking.” To remember what you have done for each project, it is best to keep some documentation referencing the skills used in projects, role you held and results derived from those skills. Also, you may want to record how you troubleshoot some implementation issues. It takes some practice and several rituals later to become familiar with documenting almost every career-related project you have done thoroughly. This practice will truly make you stand out in interviews.

What is the call for action to implement…implementation skills?!

All you have learned leads to how well you can apply what you have learned. Classroom assignments are not enough for implementation, because satisfactory academic performance develops only in a controlled environment. What interviewers really want to know is how have you applied what you have learned in the real world in real-time. Some university programs provide practicums and internships. These entry-level positions are a great way to jump start your career. If you are not sure about your career, they provide tremendous work experiences for potential apprenticeships down the road. At times, you may receive volunteer, or nonpaid work, while you search for jobs or hold a minimum wage job. Every experience counts. Never rule out anything. As daunting the job market can be, opportunities will come sparse and randomly. In preparation of these opportunities, your call for action to implement must include:

  • well-developed skills
  • application of skills in group or self-directed projects
  • documented skills encouraging desired results
  • role held while demonstrating skills
  • date and description of projects

Moreover, implementation involves a set of skills typically variable from person to person. By housing it in a portfolio, you are able to demonstrate your core attributes: leadership, application, computation and communication. Make the A.


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While Away, Have a Great Summer

Before I break for the summer, I want to leave you with a thought provoking post until I return in the fall. Have you really thought of how to actually live your life?

At times, I struggle on the question above. There’s so much to take in consideration. Typically, a thought can become an action in no time, but has any of us ever just sit in silence and start to think in future tense, especially, about events we plan in our heads for ourselves to do later?

Sure, spiritual literature says that we must be in the now, in the present. But, that principle is for those wanting to live a serene life. What principle is for those of us already living a serene life? A serene life cannot be the final destiny, or answer to life’s quests. There’s just too much in life to enjoy being almost absent-minded.

No, I will not start a new spiritual awakening movement on fleeing from serenity. Seeking serenity has its purposes and is appropriate on some occasions, just not this summer. I seek serious adrenaline rush—sky driving, water rafting, rock climbing, etc! Make the A.


A Tip in Business

One thing I’ve noticed about business is that it requires simple and basic soft skills: reading, writing, speaking, listening, presenting, analyzing, computing, and researching. Regardless of format, these soft skills reside under one umbrella term: communication.

From a LinkedIn forum, a member points out that people in business tends to over think forms of communications, especially, in marketing. I agree. Sometimes, we do in general and forget the basics. If a customer wants and needs it, it will sell!

So, business models shall be based on customers’ wants and needs. To find the wants and needs of any customer, we have to engage in communication with our customer despite scaling.

Projected business plans do not work but agile does. Since there aren’t any real customers in projections, there aren’t any real metrics to be reported. It is impossible to grow a business on what it needs—a totally different business model from customer engagement.

If we are in business, we must build meaningful relationships with our customers as time goes and as our brand progresses. Instead of projecting the potentiality of our businesses, we can evaluate what we already have ourselves and demonstrate what our businesses already offer to bypass the mumbo-jumbo. Make the A.

Summer Break

Soon, I will take a break from blogging this summer to focus my multiple self-directed projects. Until this “break” arrives, I believe that I can summon a few more blog postings.

Although it can mentally drain me at times, I enjoy blogging and, definitely, enjoy watching the number of readers increase. Thank you to my readers! Now, I am looking forward to expand Make the A’s platform—video/ podcast blogging w/ script. I’ve probably dried your eyeballs these past couple of years. (Maybe, I should have supplied years of eye drops.)

One of my other self-directed projects involves compiling the first year or two of blogs into somewhat a reference/ nonfiction books about the mechanics of learning, university structure and its politic and un-marginalizing the marginalized. Hopefully, I can finish them by the end of August. Yes, I’ve given myself a three-month timeline to write these books, actually, manuscripts.

Once I’ve prep the manuscripts for self-publication, Make the A will final become an online nonprofit for people who float or do not fit in any social classification. I know they exist. Make the A.

Do’s and Don’t’s of Self-Marketing

Think of self-marketing as those procedures you take during job searching. However, instead of job searching, you are self-marketing.

At times, I become too lazy to search for contracting opportunities, or to research legal business structures. Recruiters and experts can come in handy for those times and be used as your team members. Services such as for resume broadcasting reduces the time required for manual job-searching-labor.

In former blogs, I’ve mentioned that freelancing sites such as Elance or Odesk, not only help you apply your skills for experience, can also help you build your clients’ list. Email addresses are golden in this digital age! In the USA, we have a CAN-SPAM Act for those of you thinking to use a purchased email list, or an email list in general, for email marketing. From dreadful experiences, I do not recommend it, because the majority of email addresses in that email list is inactive, outdated, bounced, and not even related to your self-marketing campaign (despite, filters).

Guess what else? Save your money on PPC advertising. After you submit a bid, you will be told how many times your ad will appear to over millions and millions of people. A FALLACY! You may have submitted a bid, but you are costing yourself in limited impressions. You will have to pay much more for those millions of people, I mean impressions. Anyway, I’ve learned to stop the laziness and designed a campaign using good ole meta tags and his pal, link building.

No one says that being self-employed and performing self-marketing will be easier than being employed. Keep that in mind. There isn’t much stability but freedom for unlimited potential earning and networking. I must also admit that you will physically move your body around much more than usual when self-employed. Your body, mind and soul will need to become one—no splitting, or you will not go far. Make the A.

Facing Ego

Lately, I’ve been having deep thoughts. I know what you are thinking: when do I not ever have deep thoughts? Right.

Besides studying and researching in bioinformatics, running my online business, and caring for family, I do think about the external world at times. There’s constant pondering about whether I will make it or how successful I will be in the external world. Sometimes, I say to myself, “why am I not ‘made’ or ‘successful’ now?

After all the spiritual development that I’ve done, my ego still exists. During my spiritual journey, I’ve been deflating my ego and possibly made it worst. Whether anyone likes it or not, confidence/ arrogance is tied to the ego. Instead of deflating my ego, I decide to face my ego. You know what…that’s all what taking “selfies” or achieving a higher status in life means. We all try to find ways to face our egos.

Apparently, after carefully listening (meditating), my ego simply wants two things. It wants to lead; and, it wants perfection. That’s all! I tear myself apart and have worried over those two simple things over the years! What a waste of energy! Deflating my ego has turned me into the opposite—not leading or perfecting. Perfecting doesn’t have to mean something bad. It’s about growing the self, which is, for the most part, the ego.

Awakened by self-confrontation, maybe it’s time for me to try those two simple things. What have I got to lose? I know who I am. Make the A.

Positive Image

Certainly, it does not hurt to be positive. Why will it hurt to have a true positive image? I do not see anything wrong with being organically a nice person. Unless sociopaths come along wanting to ruin your positive image, you will need a great “PR” management team consisting of loved ones to deflect or deflate them.

Any time I hear someone complaining about how nice a person is, or notice that being nice gravels the person, I remove myself from the situation. It has taken long years for me to finally remove myself from certain situations. A person does deserve a second chance, but chances can run out really fast.

At times, even, chaos can take you out of your positive image. It’s important to find balance. There shall be an important skill called balance management, especially, useful in our personal lives. When chaos strikes, for example, I may come across lacking certain skills as some critics may observed. Who doesn’t? Only in chaos will I learn additional skills to grow, or hone former skills. To judge a person in this presumptuous way is to commit an act of  foolery. With people, it never ends.

So, there is no reason not to have a true positive image or to be an organically nice person, unless you choose otherwise. And, if you choose otherwise, it says a whole lot about you. Make the A.