Flexing Your Job Skills

By |2020-12-07T11:27:45-07:00January 5th, 2021|

Sparkchasers Episode 17 | Show Notes

Flexing Your Job Skills


Hey hey! Welcome to a new year. If you’re listening when we release this, it’s the first week of 2021. We’ve finally turned the page on 2020 and I don’t know about you…but I’m SO ready. I’m also really excited to kick off the new year with you because we have some new things planned that I think you’re going to love. The first one that’s coming up soon is our new Arts Integration Bootcamp.

This is a FREE month-long, action-oriented plan to help you kick start creativity in your classroom. Each week, you’ll receive free training on a new strategy, a single task you can use in your lesson planning, and a community of others for support and encouragement. By the end of the month, you’ll walk away with an actionable plan for integrating a creative strategy into your classroom or school. Everything culminates with the enrollment opening for our 2021 Arts Integration Certification program. So if you’re curious about the process and want to participate, head over to the bootcamp page for all the details.

This bootcamp is going to be a major focus for us this month because we believe all educators can integrate creativity into their classrooms. And one way to do that is through getting certified. But there are plenty of others, like learning a new strategy, or even just mapping out a good plan. Other than lack of time, though, there’s usually one roadblock that holds people back from pursuing this: the job thing. When people are looking into arts integration certification, they often ask “are there jobs for this?” and my answer is usually, “you’re asking the wrong question.” Not because I’m trying to be a smart aleck. But because I believe that certification isn’t about a single job.

Sure, there are arts integration specialist positions. In fact, we get hundreds of requests a year for arts integration specialists to work in and out of schools. But if all you’re looking for is a job, you’re missing the point. Instead, you need to focus on the skills you’re building in a program and how those skills will help you long term. So in today’s episode, we’re going to explore this idea of flexing your job skills and how you can use that to pivot into any position you want. Let’s get started.

Your Job Skills are Elastic

In Dan Pink’s book Drive, he explores the idea of what motivates people. And one of the profound ideas he shares is that people are not motivated (really) by money or prestige. They are motivated by meaning. When you have meaning to your work, you want to do more of it – you enjoy it. And often, it’s not about finding a different career. It’s about making our job skills more elastic. Stretching what we currently do and flexing our skills so we can explore different avenues within our career.

This is BIG when you really think about it. Often, when we are burnt out and frustrated by our jobs, we think finding a different career or job will be the fix. But if you actually make that leap, you might be sorely disappointed. Instead, by staying within the same career but building your job skills, you can flex into other arenas. That’s where our certification program really shines, I think. 

We’ve had hundreds of alumni tell us that more than just learning what arts integration is and how to use and lead it with others, this program teaches you how to be a good teacher. Learning to break apart standards and write assessments that make sense helps in every area of teaching. Understanding how to weave together two concepts into a creative, engaging lesson helps you support other teachers and build your coaching skills. Learning how to recognize resistance and build buy-in makes you a leader that everyone wants. These are skills that you can take anywhere and use to craft any career you want.

  • Think of yourself like a rubber band – each new skill helps to stretch out the band
  • Elastic Skills have two components: information and communication
  • Don’t pigeon hole your dreams.

Vision Casting

How do you know what’s next for you? This is such a difficult question. If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that you can never truly know what the future holds. But there is a process I like to use which helps me outline what I really want: vision casting. Vision casting is when you brainstorm what you want the future to look like and determine a path for getting there. There’s a few steps to help in this process:

  1. Brainstorm your vision by answering questions like “What life would I like to create for my family? What kind of marriage and family relationships do I want? What do I want to create financially? What would I like to create in order to influence the finances of other people in a positive way? How do I wish to be remembered? What will my legacy be?” 
  2. Consider if it’s possible. Can you make your vision happen with your current job, skills, or activities? Or do you need alternative skills, mindsets, or coaching to help you reach your vision?
  3. Commit to a direction. Once you know what you want and if it’s possible, determine the course of action you need to take in order to get to your goal.

Creating Your Future

Once you recognize what you want and have a plan for how to get there, then it’s time to take action. Now it’s time to create the future you’ve been dreaming about. Start by checking off the items on your action list one at a time. Each time you check something off, you’re making progress and building momentum. 

  • Never underestimate the power of momentum
  • Know which skills you already have, which you want to expand, and which you want to add.
  • Consider the ROI of your investment. How much are you going to get out of what you’re putting in?

I hope you can start to see the potential that is available for you this year, my friend. While we have no idea what life is going to throw at us next, these 3 big ideas from today can help us all feel prepared and more importantly…help us take control of where we’re headed. 

Additional Resources:

Drive from Daniel Pink

How to Adapt Your Skills

Making Vision Stick

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