At a certain point in your career, the only place you can keep going is up – and you do this by developing skills that are relevant to your field or profession. However, this isn’t as simple as it sounds. Selecting the right skills to develop really makes a big difference, and while there are certain skills you should learn to develop yourself as an individual, some may not be as relevant, and you should not lose focus on the ultimate goal.
Think of it like an MMORPG game, and you are your character. If you have ever played World of Warcraft in your early days, you should know or at least have heard of developing relevant skills. In your character’s skill tree, you develop and upgrade only the skills necessary, and that work together to create the ultimate character (be that a damage dealer, a tank, a healer, etc.). In the same way, you wouldn’t take skill based on intelligence as a warrior type, you shouldn’t be developing skills that will in no way develop you as a person.
If you are in marketing, while it might be useful to learn sales and copywriting, perhaps learning other skills such as logistics or manufacturing may not be wise. If your true interest is being the best marketer around, it is marketing and all relevant skills that you should be focusing on.
Equally, you should also develop skills that will make you income. In the perfect world, there would be a three-way Venn Diagram with “Things you are passionate about”, “Things you can make money off of”, and “Skills that will develop you as an individual”. Where the idea is to always be doing something where all three of these aspects will coincide, that is not always possible. So sometimes, we will have to settle with skills where only two of the above three will coincide. However, we must make it our mission to stray away from spending too much time on parts where we will only benefit from one of the three – or worse, none of them.