6 Skills That Will Make You Invaluable in Any Industry
I love my neighborhood. I love its energy, and the fact that when I walk my dog, I run into people that I know are my neighbors somewhere in the buildings that surround me. I don’t know all their names, but I definitely know their faces, and they know mine. We have those brief, friendly conversations that generally last no more than 3 minutes because we are all New Yorkers who have places to be. It’s an unspoken understanding. If I run into someone I know, I take this as the universe telling me that I am in the flow with life and on the right track. Seeing my “people” shows me that synchronicity is at work and to keep going.
Recently, at different times, I ran into a couple of my older neighbor friends that I chat with on the sidewalk. I realized that they say similar comments to me. They always seem happy to see me, just as I am happy to see them. Then they ask me what I am up to because I always have something going on that is interesting. I think to myself, “These people have interesting lives, too!” After all, we live in the same city, with the same abundance surrounding us.
These threads of comments show me what makes me different in this diverse place: In the 17 years that I have lived here, I have switched careers many times. I’ve had jobs in different industries, and that is unique. When hearing all the industries I have worked in, people ask me, “How could you do that? “ By that, they mean to ask how could I go from casting to a talent agency, from an antique showroom (to the trade), to interior design, with other things mixed in between? How could someone do all these things? I have a very simple answer for them: they all involve the same skills, just different lexicons. All of my skills are transferable to each industry, and the only difference is a matter of learning the language of that field.
From being in so many industries, I have learned that anyone can switch careers as long as they have these six things:
- A positive attitude.
- A “can-do” frame of mind that stems from listening to your intuition.
- The ability to get along with people.
- An understanding of when to speak and when to keep quiet.
- Knowledge of how to make things happen (and quickly)
- Acceptance that the first one to two years in a new industry will be the most challenging and most likely interfere with your personal life, but after that everything will settle and become almost routine.
If you are willing to go through the awkward growing pains of learning and being persistent and organized in your process of learning, you will create value. If you create value and make yourself invaluable through persistence and thoroughness to whatever industry you choose, there will be a demand for you, not only there, but in other places as well. It’s all in the details. You must adjust to any and all changes, whether it be a daily happening or a completely different job industry, and if you accept this, all the rest will fall into place.
Whether you are 25, 40, or 65 and want to do something different, you most certainly can. It’s a matter of your tolerance for knowing there will be a transition period that will be a little uncomfortable, and after that, things will fall into place. I know this because I have done it more than a dozen times. Allow yourself to be led to the next and most unexpected opportunity, and allow yourself to begin something new.
It’s not going to be easy. Transition is uncomfortable and takes effort – a lot of effort. As the saying goes, there is no free lunch. But know that you really can change anything in your life. While some elders say “You are different, Mo. You are a go getter.” But I’m not anymore of a go-getter than anyone else. We are all go-getters, as long as you believe in yourself and your capabilities. You either sink or swim, and sometimes you almost drown, but you will find a way to pull yourself back up. I have always been dependent on myself and drowning is not an option. There were times I thought I was about to drown, but I held on to what felt like the eleventh hour more than a handful of time and EVERY single time a lifeboat appeared. This is true for all situations in life. Ride the wave and trust that you will make it through no matter which way you are thrown. But if you don’t take a dive into the unknown every once in a while, that is giving up on your brilliance, and in my book, that is not an option.
You are too magnificent for that option.