‘The practiced brain eliminates poor solutions…so fast they barely reach the attention of the conscious mind’. Thank you for a great line of thinking Kevin Ashton, author of ‘How to fly a horse’ and father of the Internet of Things.

Kevin is referring to the obvious benefits of achieving mastery in our chosen skills, and he points out as well, the perils. More on the perils in my next blog.

In looking at the efficiencies of expertise, he describes in some detail what we all sometimes ponder … why experts (damn it!) make things look so easy. And why masters tend to see solutions in first impressions. Continues Ashton …

The expert’s first impression is not a first impression at all. It’s the latest in a series of millions.
This relates well to our notions of agility too. Spinning on a dime to see obvious solutions, or those not so obvious to the untrained/less trained eye. Suffice to say ‘How to fly a horse’ is a highly recommended read.

What does it mean for me, you ask?

Refining our enduring transferrable skills is a life long project and critical to our success. What we’re talking about when we say enduring lifelong skills are those skills that to a large extent will ‘future proof’ our careers and working lives. Those skills that belong alongside our technical skills, which we know are constantly is a process of becoming redundant. We’re talking about the role of mastery in the trilogy of self determination – meaning, mastery and autonomy. (see earlier blog).

In a world of uncertainty – tenure shrinking, career paths collapsing, new roles and careers evolving everyday, where do we begin? The complex human skills we use to think, engage, collaborate and problem solve are very much in demand and will be for the foreseeable future.

Building them is not a stop start process, changing from role to role, gig to gig, at the whim (and budget) of your employer. So a few things to bear in mind –

Understand your strengths and build on the low hanging fruit
Use your interests to fuel your understanding of what skills you need now and in the future
Aim for continuity as you build a plan to grow and apply your skills – in doing so, continuously building your employability and personal brand value
Check in with others about how they see your strengths, motivators and skills
Own it ­– while invested, your employer is not deeply committed to ensuring you personally are equipped well for your next role or next five roles. The buck stops (and starts) with you.
PlanDo is a market leading evidence based career management platform equipping self directed individuals to be achieve, grow and contribute at their best everyday.