Your job skills don’t match your job

By Scot Herrick | Job Skills

Jan 26

Let me make a brash, unjustified, unprovable statement: your job skills don’t match your job. You are doing your job, of course — job skills or not — but I’ll still contend your job skills don’t match your job.

There are some good reasons for this condition — and some that are harmful to your employment security.

Your job skills don’t match the job because you were just placed in a slot from a reorganization

If you are wondering about how you ended up where you are as part of the ongoing corporate churn, you are probably not alone. See, company management reorganizes all the time. When they do, they move organization chart boxes around like they were trying to fit a puzzle together — and the puzzle is you. When you get down to cases, though, sometimes company management wants you as an employee, but you don’t exactly fit the new and improved corporate structure. So management forces you to fit into the puzzle and puts you with a group where you may have few job skills to match the job.

The good news? You still have a job. You might like the new position even though your skills don’t match. You could learn new job skills that will help your employability. You might broaden your employability with your new job skills.

Or not. Moving you to a position where you don’t have the job skills can also be the polite way of telling you to look for another job — or we will fire you for not doing the job right once you start failing to deliver. You know, because you don’t have the right job skills even though management put you into this position.

Your job skills don’t match the job because you haven’t continued learning new job skills

The reorganization stuff is really not your fault — even though you need to react to the circumstances to protect your employability. But this one — not keeping up your job skills — is entirely, completely, your fault. Yes, your fault. Look in the mirror and say, “Yes, this is my fault.” Because it is.

This is where you were hot stuff in the job — five years ago. Now? Not so much.

Let’s look at a great example: certifications. The certification I’m most familiar with is the Project Management Professional — the PMP. As a project manager, you didn’t need one five years ago in most markets. You could say it was nice to have — but it didn’t prove you could do the job. No, you had experience. Besides, the PMP costs money to get and your company wasn’t willing to pay for it so forget it. No PMP for you.

That was five years ago. Now, to get a Project Manager position, you start seeing job descriptions with “PMP preferred” on them. Now, five years later, the PMP makes a difference in your employability. “But,” you argue, “just because you have a PMP doesn’t make you a good Project Manager!” True.

But here’s the deal: without the PMP, you’ll still get a crack at the Project Management position — after all the PMP’s have interviewed for the job you want. And however many PMP certifications stand in your way before you even get an interview is how many chances you lost at getting that job.

Job Skills need consistent revisiting for competitiveness

There are the right jobs skills for the job you have now. Go check out some job descriptions on open positions for the work you do and find out what they are. Do you have them? Are you missing core job skills you see on most job descriptions? If you are, you better figure out how to get those job skills — because if you don’t have them, you not only don’t have job security, you don’t have employment security.

When is the last time you did a job skills analysis for the work you do?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.