Transferring Skills

I recently wrote about my struggles with creating user personas in my work or in a class (where it was a required activity), and my realization that I had a skill – creating characters for stories and games – that could be transferred over to the activity of creating a user persona. It hasn’t fully solved my problem, but it’s given me a familiar starting point to work from, and that’s created more progress for me than I had previously had.

I go through this with some regularity. I want to try something, but I become obsessed with finding the right learning resources to get me going…only to find that I already had another skill that was similar enough to give me that launchpad.

Dead Bunny Guides was my first effort at producing a video, and a video series, and it ultimately came down to a combination of skills developed over years of teaching, writing, and performing. And from producing those videos, I learned how to manage files for media projects, which has been incredibly helpful in my voiceover work.

I’ve started shooting small videos for practice and for hitRECord collaborations. I’ve been terrified of trying to shoot video, only to find that a lot of my knowledge from photography and stagecraft help me avoid some of more common newbie mistakes and helped me learn the nuances and differences necessary to survive starting out in video production.

My point here is: We all have a collection of skills we bring with us every time we are faced with (or decide to try out) a new skill, even when it seems that skill has no relation whatsoever. But if we take a minute and honestly survey what we know, we might just find that we have the right skills to tackle the new challenge with a little less fear. It’s just a matter of knowing what we know, recognizing that skills can often be applied to a wide range of activities, and then giving ourselves the chance to explore those related skills.

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