Transferable Skills

Photo by  William Bossen  on  Unsplash

How a dead-end position will serve you.

As someone who has crossed state lines, done time in prison, and spent four years in seventh grade, I feel like I know a few things about doing things a little differently. Lest you jump to conclusions, let me explain.

My work history has taken me from AmeriCorps in Minnesota, to the Department of Corrections in South Dakota, to a middle school in Texas. And now I’m fully remote, living that dream life from home.

I’m not a depraved felon who never conquered fractions – I’ve just had lots of experiences in a relatively short amount of time, many of which have been extremely interesting. They’ve also taught me a lot about transferable skills, which will be valuable no matter state you may find yourself.

Be Honest –

The best way to leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth is to lie. White lies, big lies – there just isn’t any place for them if you’re trying to establish yourself in a career. If you make a mistake, no matter how awful it seems, the best thing you can do is own up to it. Do it immediately, and be prepared to offer solutions if possible.

Be Respectable –

It isn’t hard to be the raunchy/heavy drinking/foul mouthed coworker. You know what is hard? Living that kind of reputation down. If you wouldn’t want to get called on the carpet to explain it to your boss, don’t make it a part of your professional reputation. Also, we live in world where people get fired over pictures, rants, and messages that spread online. Make sure your virtual profile is something to be proud of as well.

Be There –

Of course you have to physically make it to work, but I’m talking about more than just clocking in. When you’re invested in your career, you put yourself into what you do. Subscribe to a professional journal, follow industry stand-outs online, and contemplate ways you can add value to your organization. Even if you don’t see it as a permanent position, make every effort to be exemplary while you are there!

Be Kind –

Truly see the people who you work with and around. A smile and a kind word can go a long way, and so can showing that you have noticed and remembered something about someone else. When someone remembers you, they should smile, not cringe! Make an effort to leave a good impression, through both word and deed.


We live in a transient world, and the interconnectedness of our networks is astounding. The odds that you will cross paths again and again with past and future co-workers, bosses, and employees are ever increasing.

Photo by  Dylan Gillis  on  Unsplash

Make an effort to be someone who is remembered well, and sought after often.


Related podcasts: