Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by opportunities to learn and better myself. I believe that, in everything a person faces (especially challenges), a chance at personal growth presents itself. Whether at school, social events, or the workplace, I have never given up the constant struggle to better myself, to learn new skills, and to improve on them. Below, are the top three skills I have developed over the course of my (currently short) life. I made sure to choose not only the skills that I possess but also the skills I am most passionate about.
1. Seeing the Big Picture
For me, this skill is encapsulated by two key elements. The first is envisioning and planning for an ambitious future. The second is keeping eyes on the target.
My mind is constantly racing with new ideas. Settings ambitious goals and planning how to achieve them is something I’ve never had trouble with. I’d like to think that my ability to ‘see the big picture’ is something I’ve had since a young age and has been developing throughout my life. When I first became interested in crypto-currencies, I had my eye on Dogecoin, and would do anything I could to get my hands on some. I started out by building a custom quad-SLI GPU mining rig out of a milk crate. It was working, but was slower than I’d hoped. From there, I created a website that served as a list of “faucets” (websites that gave users free Dogecoins) and made some Dogecoin from renting out ad-space. Thinking bigger still, I decided to create my OWN faucet and implement it into my already growing faucet list. Scaling businesses, brainstorming ideas, and deciding where to go with a project are all part of ‘seeing the big picture’ and are things I truly enjoy doing.
After a plan or decision has been made, I stay focused and keep my eyes on the target. One of the things I learned from my many failed projects is how easy it is to get distracted. Usually, the bigger and more ambitious an idea is, the easier it is to lose sight of the big picture. Throughout my time collaborating with others and managing teams, I have developed a habit of ensuring that both the efforts of my team and myself are put to good use. I can’t quantify how many hours I’ve spent working on features of a project that were almost pointless to its main purpose. It is through these failures that I have learned to avoid being sidetracked and remain focused on the big picture.
2. Building Relationships
When I was in high school, I took part in my local homeschool group’s Model United Nations debate team. Although I greatly improved my abilities to formulate arguments and speak publicly during this activity, I mainly thrived outside of the committee room; making allies and building relationships. I once wrote a resolution that passed unanimously in a committee with over 50 countries; the only unanimously passed resolution during the entire committee. That wasn’t a fluke though; in just about every MUN conference that I participated in, I brought groups of countries together under a common goal, formed voting blocks, and most importantly, made friends.
My ability to make friends and build genuine relationships has also served me well in the workplace. In the words of one of my previous supervisors, I “get along with all of my co-workers in the office”. When our office first established an “associate of the month” award, I was able to win it within the first couple of months. And, unlike other companies, all associates in the office could vote on who they believed deserved the award.
3. Solving Problems
I genuinely love a good problem. No, not like a math problem. A REAL problem; one that can teach a valuable lesson. Within every solution to a problem lies the chance at learning something new, which is why solving them is so appealing to me. No doubt, one of the reasons I love computer programming is because of the endless opportunity of problems it provides. Programming has definitely increased my level of persistence and made me a more logical and analytical thinker.
Much like building relationships, my ability to solve problems has helped me quite a bit at work. During my time as the “IT Support Guy”, I encountered many tech-related issues that I have never dealt with before. (Although my official role in the office wasn’t tech related, I was the go-to guy for all things IT; see experience) Not only did this provide me the chance to use my problem-solving skills but it also allowed me to further develop them. Because of this, I was the go-to guy for every tech problem that our office was experienced. In fact, I solved so many tech issues that providing technical support was added to my official job description.
Although these are my top skills, I will continue to develop and improve them over time. A goal of mine is to be able to use all of these skills wherever I work. Because work doesn’t feel like “work” when you love what you’re doing.