In Ask Sherry, Career, Entrepreneurs, Salary, Women

Ask Sherry: What are the skills that I have for the job that I do?

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

You can ask any question using the form here.

You’ve mentioned that you have skills that are highly sought after that many people don’t have.

What are those skills?

*tap tap tap*

What I will say is that a lot of people do what I do.

What people don’t do in my field, is understand what they are doing. They’re just there collecting a paycheque, trying to muddle through their supposed job and hope on a daily basis they don’t get discovered for being frauds.

They find other ways to be in the same exact field as I am, but to not deliver a tenth of what I do, in the quality that I do.

That is my REAL skill — I do a very good job, and I know what I am talking about; which is applicable to any industry, not just mine.

Furthermore, I started off in one skill in my job which I am still doing now, and I branched out into a secondary one.

Did I have to? No.

Did I tell the people on the project: Hey sorry I don’t know what this is (and frankly don’t care to learn)?


I saw what it was, I saw it was highly technical and confusing, and I said: COUNT ME IN.

I worked hard at developing this second, rare skill, and there aren’t many contracts out there JUST for this skill, but as an add-on? They love that I have two rare skills, and can flip between one or the other and deliver quality and expertise in both.

Most people just tried it for a bit and then said: No thanks. Not for me. and those were the honest ones.

The other ones, said things like: Oh I CAN DO THAT TOO.. like this woman I’m training right now, and she is frustrating the #(*% out of me because she isn’t listening or being careful about what she is doing. One calculation that is inaccurate, throws off the subsequent information and then the result comes out all effed up. Then it takes time to carefully trace backwards to find out what went wrong.

This. Takes. Time. And. Is. EFFING. ANNOYING. just because she didn’t do her job carefully.

I am not the only one frustrated, the director who has to deal with her has said repeatedly to her manager and to his manager that she is useless and adds zero value (negative value) to the process. He is extremely frustrated and they are unable to do much because she is an employee, and I am a consultant who is triple booked as-is.

But, that is my value — I deliver results.

That is the second bit to becoming competitive — Do the VERY BEST job that you can and don’t say no to things that are out of your comfort zone.

Work hard, take the time, put in the effort, be organized, check the details, be careful and be the best damn person they have ever seen on that job.

And if you were entering the workforce now, what skills would you try to learn to be more competitive?

Anything in STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & I’d add Medical on at the end. STEMM, if you will.

Here are the best paying jobs of 2018.

You can’t tell me that you don’t know what pays good money — it is always stuff no one wants to do or is able to do because it is highly technical and complicated.

Those are the rare skills that companies pay for because the supply of people who are actually doing it, are super low.

Low supply, High demand = Lots of money

It’s pretty simple.

The rest, can’t be taught. It’s things like:

  • Your grit – willingness to work hard and put in the time to learn something new
  • Your curiousity – This is important in my job, but many people don’t have this
  • Your capabilities – just because you want to become a surgeon doesn’t mean you’ll succeed; you have limits
  • Your actual skills and interests – doing a job that pays a lot that you hate, is not a successful life or career
  • Your attitude – Saying yes to everything at the start, doing it with a GOOD attitude with a willingness to help & learn is key
  • Your personality – My job is very people-oriented. I had to learn how to navigate politics at work and not be a jack@$$
  • Your organization – My job is also very demanding technically and you have to be ORGANIZED. You cannot succeed in what I do without understanding how to be ORGANIZED in your thinking and thoughts (rationale, logical thinking..) It is why my trainee will not succeed. I can tell who can and cannot handle the job that I do.

I can tell you in my job, I am really persistent. I don’t like unanswered questions, and if something doesn’t go the way I expect, I NEED TO KNOW WHY.

Other people, just say: Well it didn’t work, maybe it will the next time. Who knows what happened. Let’s move on. La dee da!

This is an attitude I do not accept, and it is why I know as much as I do. If I find someone who has a skillset I want to learn, I pepper them with questions until they’re exhausted.

Then I go off and use that knowledge to learn on my own and then come back with more questions.

I try my best to instill this in Little Bun. I ask him to try, I ask him to work on it, and I don’t let him give up easily. He has to learn to build this grit and curiousity. It will serve him well in any job he gets into.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Ifa

    When I try to do the best that I can, I get labelled as someone who “spoils the market”. Like, we rotate admin work amongst us. I am so far able to complete my work faster than the others. I also did it properly, so it’s not like I compromise quality to get it done quick. Is it selfish of me to do so? Am I really spoiling it for others?

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      No. You’re just doing your job the best you can, but the rest of them can’t keep up / want to take it easy / go slow / be lazy. This is common in some companies, and not the ones I tend to stay at.

  2. Maz

    Love your attitude. My middle kid gives up so easily, it really frustrates me. I am trying to teach up not to give up but it is hard. It’s a proper battle of will. I tell her not to give up andd to just try again, try another way, from a different perspective etc but she just gets frustated. It drives me mad ! ( FYI – she’s 9 so all hope is not lost, we just need to keep working ! )

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I really need to work on Little Bun’s grit and I’m seeing he is understanding he can’t just ask me for answers all the time, he has to try first.


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