Skills and Experience ("What do you do?")


 

"Tandosmama" wrote this, but I deleted hers and am posting it this way so it can have a separate subject line and I won't be getting these all mixed up!

=================================================================
(in reference to the list of jobs, she wrote):

I agree, what a great list.

I'd like to add another perspective. So often when people meet the inevitable question, "What do you do?" comes up. Although the language does specifically refer to 'doing' the emphasis seems to be more about identity. I like to think that how we make money (in other words, what our jobs currently are) is nowhere near the full sense of who we are.

It would be interesting to compile a complimentary list of skills and experience. Too often young people are led to believe that a specific track leads to work in a specific field. That may be true in some circumstances where certification is legally required to practice. But more often individuals accrue various skills and experience that enable them to perform a variety of jobs.

I like to consider skills and experience because for each of us some abilities come more naturally while others require more practice. Each of us enjoys certain activities more than others. There are usually some that we'd like to acquire and hone while other skills might not interest one at all. Figuring out the balance that's most important to each of us is ongoing.

I started a list. It's repetitive in some places and overly general in others. I'd love to see what others add.

sourcing materials
manipulating materials
using specialized tools
understands, can take apart and repair machines
ability to recognize patterns
ability to apply logic and reasoning
ability to pick up language skills easily
identify plants
sense weather
finding one's way without a map
reading maps
making maps and giving directions
connecting people
hosts a good party
good at collaborating
good at directing
good with kids
good with babies
storytelling
ability to listen
remembers details
good with numbers, proportions and formulas
singing
making up songs
recognize and treat illness
support health (all those things midwives do that are not specifically medical)
seeing the big picture
organizing information
communing with animals
good at and enjoys routine
ability to draw accurate renderings
ability to draw expressively
recognizing and utilizing systems
green thumb
baking, cooking, understanding food
writing with technical language
writing with humour
writing to express deep emotion
musical knowledge (like the folks who came up with the Breaking Bad soundtrack!)
ability to play instruments
good ear
good voice (singing and/or mimicry)
good eyes (ability to observe and notice detail)
organized (spatial logic)
neat (good at keeping things organized)
clean (good at keeping things appropriately hygenic)
knows the hand-made, homemade way of doing something (soap, cheese, vinegar or wine-making)
physical prowess like paddling a kayak, riding a bike off-road as well as other sports


 

DOH!  I approved it by accident, instead of deleting it, the original, so the lists might get mixed up.  Sorry for the confusion, for those who got it twice by e-mail.  I've deleted the other from the other topic. 



---In alwayslearning@..., <Sandra@...> wrote:

"Tandosmama" wrote this, but I deleted hers and am posting it this way so it can have a separate subject line and I won't be getting these all mixed up!

=================================================================
(in reference to the list of jobs, she wrote):

I agree, what a great list.

I'd like to add another perspective. So often when people meet the inevitable question, "What do you do?" comes up. Although the language does specifically refer to 'doing' the emphasis seems to be more about identity. I like to think that how we make money (in other words, what our jobs currently are) is nowhere near the full sense of who we are.

It would be interesting to compile a complimentary list of skills and experience. Too often young people are led to believe that a specific track leads to work in a specific field. That may be true in some circumstances where certification is legally required to practice. But more often individuals accrue various skills and experience that enable them to perform a variety of jobs.

I like to consider skills and experience because for each of us some abilities come more naturally while others require more practice. Each of us enjoys certain activities more than others. There are usually some that we'd like to acquire and hone while other skills might not interest one at all. Figuring out the balance that's most important to each of us is ongoing.

I started a list. It's repetitive in some places and overly general in others. I'd love to see what others add.

sourcing materials
manipulating materials
using specialized tools
understands, can take apart and repair machines
ability to recognize patterns
ability to apply logic and reasoning
ability to pick up language skills easily
identify plants
sense weather
finding one's way without a map
reading maps
making maps and giving directions
connecting people
hosts a good party
good at collaborating
good at directing
good with kids
good with babies
storytelling
ability to listen
remembers details
good with numbers, proportions and formulas
singing
making up songs
recognize and treat illness
support health (all those things midwives do that are not specifically medical)
seeing the big picture
organizing information
communing with animals
good at and enjoys routine
ability to draw accurate renderings
ability to draw expressively
recognizing and utilizing systems
green thumb
baking, cooking, understanding food
writing with technical language
writing with humour
writing to express deep emotion
musical knowledge (like the folks who came up with the Breaking Bad soundtrack!)
ability to play instruments
good ear
good voice (singing and/or mimicry)
good eyes (ability to observe and notice detail)
organized (spatial logic)
neat (good at keeping things organized)
clean (good at keeping things appropriately hygenic)
knows the hand-made, homemade way of doing something (soap, cheese, vinegar or wine-making)
physical prowess like paddling a kayak, riding a bike off-road as well as other sports


Cheri Tilford <cheri.tilford@...>
 

"I like to consider skills and experience because for each of us some abilities come more naturally while others require more practice. Each of us enjoys certain activities more than others."

Aptitudes. Everyone has a range of inherent skills that, when used, generally bring a sense of happiness and competence. For some people who were schooled or felt expectations or limitations on acquired knowledge and testable learning, natural aptitudes may be missed or ignored because "that's not on the test" or "that's not useful right now". Sometimes family culture influences what kids feel are acceptable skills; for instance, a family that values "education" (I put that in quotes because that usually means certain number of years in formal schooling, and maybe a few letters after your name) might be disappointed in a kid who loves to work with her hands and decides to fix cars.

This is why I want to unschool my daughter - so she can explore her interests, aptitudes, and passions on her own schedule and discover for herself what pulls at her mind and heart.

I've worked so many jobs that don't define me. I make a point Not to ask people I've just met what they do, but rather what they love doing on their own time. that, to me, says so much more.

(for anyone wanting to learn more about one's own aptitudes, the Johnson O'Connor research foundation - http://www.jocrf.org - has several testing centers around the US, and their testing is fun and highly informative)

cheri


 

-=-Aptitudes. Everyone has a range of inherent skills that, when used, generally bring a sense of happiness and competence. -=-

Another way to think of those skills is on the model of multiple intelligences put forth by Howard Gardner:


rdusseldorp
 

-=- Too often young people are led to believe that a specific track leads to work in a specific field. That may be true in some circumstances where certification is legally required to practice. But more often individuals accrue various skills and experience that enable them to perform a variety of jobs. -=- 

In my experience (both as the one being hired and as the one hiring others), personal qualities are almost as important as skills and experiences that people bring to jobs. Sometimes even more important. As long as the employee is skilled and competent, they might get preference over a person that is more qualified/experienced, but is a bit tricky to get along with. Employers like to hire people that they will enjoy spending their work hours with. 

Qualities that I noticed were most appreciated are: 

- being responsible, reliable and honest
- being friendly and approachable 
- being resourceful and creative
- being flexible and open minded
- being an optimist
- being kind and thoughtful and helpful 
- having a sense of humor 
- paying attention to detail
- not keeping track of who did what. If I was finished with my assigned tasks and one of my co-workers was still busy with theirs, I would offer to help. Also known as being a team player :-)
- not making promises that I could not keep. In fact, I most often under-promised and over-delivered.
- seeing all my jobs as internships - a way to learn new skills. This motivated me to learn as much as I could and to take on new responsibilities and challenges with enthusiasm. It rarely went unnoticed, but I probably wouldn't have minded if it hadn't been noticed. For some positions, I was barely qualified when I started and highly competent when I left. That was usually about the time I wanted to leave, because the non-monetary reward for me was learning new skills and having new adventures.

Rippy


chris ester
 

In my family we use the terms "talents", "traits", and "skills".  Traits are somewhat nebulous characteristics that you are born with, talents are something that you can do well without much practice, and skills are something that you acquire with practice.  

It gets complicated though, because you can almost always improve on your skill level in something that you have a natural talent for, such as dancing or music.  
chris


On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM, Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:
 

-=-Aptitudes. Everyone has a range of inherent skills that, when used, generally bring a sense of happiness and competence. -=-


Another way to think of those skills is on the model of multiple intelligences put forth by Howard Gardner:



plaidpanties666
 

I've been thinking about this topic and how skills and experience map onto jobs.


When Mo was just a baby, I made cheese for a couple months - just for fun, and I never really got good at it. I was still living communally at the time and one of my communards and I would go to a local farm and get milk on Saturday morning, good and early, open a bottle of wine, and start making cheese while Mo hung out in her swing or bouncy seat and stared around her with avid delight. I did a lot of reading about cheese and the science of it, but my friend was more into the experience and drinking wine, and I liked that part, too. And even without any real skill, home-made curds are yummy. 

Years later, after George messed up his shoulder, I found a job casting plaster architectural details and discovered I already had all the basic skills and knowledge - not the Specific knowledge of plaster, but the basic, kitchen-level understanding of working with liquids that turn solid, mostly from those happy, wine-sodden months of cheese making with my pal. I kept that job for five years, until the management changed. 


I sew. I'm a fabric junkie and a fiber geek. The vast majority of that I do as a hobby, for the pleasure of it, although I sold quilts for awhile as a part-time gig when the kids were little. But I've had two jobs, now, because of the skills I learned sewing and knitting and goofing off with cloth and fiber. The first was constructing bellows for player pianos - they're air-driven and that means lots of little-bitty bellows, one for each key, plus larger bellows. I did the little ones. It's not hard work, but it's tedious and requires careful attention to the right details... and there are a lot of tedious details in the kinds of fiber-arts I enjoy, so it was a good match. I just returned the jigs to that job after ten years of working for him - my new job is getting too busy, and someone else wants to try his hand at bellows... someone who has done jewelry work, so he's used to tedious details too. 

The newest job, furniture upholstery, also draws heavily on my sewing background - in fact I got it because my boss wanted someone with all the Skills of an upholsterer but who had never upholstered before so she could train them up her way. Which sounds a little unrealistic, except that it's me, exactly. I have all the right skills and experience, even though I'd never upholstered before. 


With all those jobs, it also helped that I had some knowledge of tools - "guy" tools, hammers and ladders and power saws. I learned to use tools building my cabin - and I decided I could build a cabin because I could make a quilt, and really, how hard could it be? Especially since I was surrounded by hippies willing to help out. So my ability to assemble scaffolding and climb it got me the job working plaster. My ability to use a saw and sander broadened my ability to make bellows. My general knowledge of how things are built comes into play every time I strip a piece of furniture and discover the frame is cracked, or a customer wants me to modify the shape of piece. Soon I'll get to learn to make headboards and padded bed-rails, and that involves woodworking, too. 

It turns out most of my job skills don't come from my education, they come from the things I do for fun. For me, fun involves doing things with my hands, so I've gravitated toward those kinds of jobs. I wasn't educated for that - if anything, I was specifically educated to "rise above" working with my hands, and all my hobbies as a kid were seen as cute, but "you can't make a living at that." I sometimes wonder what my adult life would have been like if I had been actively encouraged and supported to do the things I do so naturally and joyfully. I might not be any "better off" financially, but I doubt I'd have the lingering sense of failure from "backsliding" into the sort of work my grandparents did. 


---Meredith


Angeline Taylor <RainbowSkyArts@...>
 

I just have to say I love this!
It's a wonderful point and I think so holds true with what brings a lot of us to unschooling, our desire as parents for our children to live happy, fruitful lives doing what they do best and enjoying it!
I was stunted from my natural inclinations, due more to being discouraged because it was impractical to live my dreams. I have wondered like Meredith how this has effected me both emotionally, financially, and as a parent/partner and friend. 
-Angie
Meadoux (7)


On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 7:41 AM, <plaidpanties666@...> wrote:
 

I've been thinking about this topic and how skills and experience map onto jobs.


When Mo was just a baby, I made cheese for a couple months - just for fun, and I never really got good at it. I was still living communally at the time and one of my communards and I would go to a local farm and get milk on Saturday morning, good and early, open a bottle of wine, and start making cheese while Mo hung out in her swing or bouncy seat and stared around her with avid delight. I did a lot of reading about cheese and the science of it, but my friend was more into the experience and drinking wine, and I liked that part, too. And even without any real skill, home-made curds are yummy. 

Years later, after George messed up his shoulder, I found a job casting plaster architectural details and discovered I already had all the basic skills and knowledge - not the Specific knowledge of plaster, but the basic, kitchen-level understanding of working with liquids that turn solid, mostly from those happy, wine-sodden months of cheese making with my pal. I kept that job for five years, until the management changed. 


I sew. I'm a fabric junkie and a fiber geek. The vast majority of that I do as a hobby, for the pleasure of it, although I sold quilts for awhile as a part-time gig when the kids were little. But I've had two jobs, now, because of the skills I learned sewing and knitting and goofing off with cloth and fiber. The first was constructing bellows for player pianos - they're air-driven and that means lots of little-bitty bellows, one for each key, plus larger bellows. I did the little ones. It's not hard work, but it's tedious and requires careful attention to the right details... and there are a lot of tedious details in the kinds of fiber-arts I enjoy, so it was a good match. I just returned the jigs to that job after ten years of working for him - my new job is getting too busy, and someone else wants to try his hand at bellows... someone who has done jewelry work, so he's used to tedious details too. 

The newest job, furniture upholstery, also draws heavily on my sewing background - in fact I got it because my boss wanted someone with all the Skills of an upholsterer but who had never upholstered before so she could train them up her way. Which sounds a little unrealistic, except that it's me, exactly. I have all the right skills and experience, even though I'd never upholstered before. 


With all those jobs, it also helped that I had some knowledge of tools - "guy" tools, hammers and ladders and power saws. I learned to use tools building my cabin - and I decided I could build a cabin because I could make a quilt, and really, how hard could it be? Especially since I was surrounded by hippies willing to help out. So my ability to assemble scaffolding and climb it got me the job working plaster. My ability to use a saw and sander broadened my ability to make bellows. My general knowledge of how things are built comes into play every time I strip a piece of furniture and discover the frame is cracked, or a customer wants me to modify the shape of piece. Soon I'll get to learn to make headboards and padded bed-rails, and that involves woodworking, too. 

It turns out most of my job skills don't come from my education, they come from the things I do for fun. For me, fun involves doing things with my hands, so I've gravitated toward those kinds of jobs. I wasn't educated for that - if anything, I was specifically educated to "rise above" working with my hands, and all my hobbies as a kid were seen as cute, but "you can't make a living at that." I sometimes wonder what my adult life would have been like if I had been actively encouraged and supported to do the things I do so naturally and joyfully. I might not be any "better off" financially, but I doubt I'd have the lingering sense of failure from "backsliding" into the sort of work my grandparents did. 


---Meredith




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