It’s Your Skills and Experiences That Really Matter


How do you balance work and life? What is it like to work in a male-dominated environment? What advice should I give my daughter?” 

These are the most common questions I hear when I speak to groups of women around the world and listen to other women leaders present.

But, when we listen to male leaders keynote, we don’t ask these type of questions. Men don’t ask these types of questions.

What I don’t hear asked often enough are these even more important types of questions: 

What specific skills factored in most heavily into your success? What specific work experiences did you have that leap-frogged you ahead of others? What technical knowledge sets you apart? What one skill do you think is most important to future success in this industry?”


HARNESSING a key opportunity

When we limit ourselves to the first set of questions and focus exclusively on what its like to be woman at work, we squander the opportunity to learn about the skills and experiences that matter most on the path to success.

Wouldn’t you rather uncover clues about the expertise you need to achieve your career and business goals? Expertise in areas like: technology, financial acumen, scaling, coding, manufacturing, strategy, innovation, data mining, etc. And, what about the critical importance of working in revenue generating parts of a business?

There is a huge mismatch between the skills people have and those required to perform many of the current job openings, and an even larger gap in the requirements for the jobs of the future.

Success will come to those of us who have the most highly demanded skills and experiences. There is no shortage of jobs, nor a finite number of new jobs to be created. The current limitation is people’s abilities.


With this reality in mind, I want to challenge you to do one thing:

Starting with your core strengths and abilities in mind, identify a new type of leading-edge expertise needed for success in your field.

Then, spend the next few months – or year, if that’s what it takes – to develop that expertise.

Write it all down: your ideas, your plan, the actions you need to take, and commit to developing your new expertise.

customize your life thewaywomenwork

If you don’t know what that key differentiating expertise should be, ask a highly successful business woman or man who is still rising in their career or business.

Sneak peek: Starting March 1 we will post “One Thing” each day that you can do to invest in yourself and build your career. Keep an eye on our Twitter and the hashtag #Work31.