You remember those boring lectures or seminars you just have to attend? I received a dozen of those as a corps member. The seminars are what I would have been naturally interested in, but there was just something not quite right about the way it was being communicated.
I mean, why are most skill acquisition and empowerment classes structured in such a way as to say that acquiring a skill is for those who wouldn’t have a place in the future of work, a kind of ‘last resort’ path to thread?
“You better go and get a hand work, because there are no jobs out there.”
I am sure you probably heard this statement before. This creates a wrong mind-set and approach as to what acquiring a skill should be. That is why you see people learning a skill and never getting to make do of it.
I totally buy into the idea of acquiring a skill but it is not about making some cash to sustain one’s self or a venture for whiling away time when a job isn’t forth coming like it is being presented to be. It is about building structure, building a brand, fulfilling needs, rendering services, projecting an image. In a nutshell, it is about thinking LONG TERM.
Another thing is how as a graduate you decide to go into let’s say, production making of dish washing soap liquid soap. This is often seen as flawed when as a graduate you venture into something that is considered as below expectation, thereby forgetting that this business can become a brand to be reckoned with. Don’t get me started on mentioning names.
I have also observed over time that we see those vocational skills people have handled PROFESSIONALLY not as a skill, but as a job. Just like when you apply to a manufacturing or a production company, I bet you weren’t thinking of it as part of ‘those’ vocational skills. But when it comes to going for skill acquisition seminars, the presentation is often taken in a mundane and not-to-be-taken-long-term.
Let me briefly outline what most skill acquisition and empowerment programs don’t teach you but you might want to seriously consider, in order to be and remain in the business whether or not you are thinking long-term.
1. Product image and packaging – because you are not the only one in that line of business, so the need to project an image that stands out.
2. A practical understanding of pricing – how to come about building a price structure after considering specific production factors.
3. Paying attention to marketing communication – the combination of strategies used in reaching your target market.
4. Developing a business plan no matter the level your business is.
5. Developing management and marketing strategies that works for you.
6. How to source for potential customers.
If you have ever attended a skill acquisition program, please share your story.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Daniela Spyropoulou