The Millennial Star is pleased to present the following guest post from Stephanie Abney. Stephanie (Peterson) Abney is a member of the LDS church and resides in Mesa, AZ, Mesa Mountain View Stake, with her husband of 38 years, Jim. They have a remarkable and growing family (5 kids – 4 living – assorted in-laws and at last count, 14 grandchildren). Stephanie is currently a writer and a substitute school teacher. She writes regularly for the Arizona Beehive newspaper and is the General Vice-President of American Night Writers Association (a network for LDS women writers).
I’ve gone back to school in order to complete a degree in Education and to become certified so I can start teaching full-time and not just substitute teach. I just finished a summer school class called, “Introduction to Education.” I really loved this class, not just because the information is so useful but because I think I managed to sign up for a class taught by a “master” teacher, Mr. Ted Telepak, at M.C.C., Mesa, AZ. Just observing him I gained great insights about the kind of teacher I want to be.
In one of the class periods our instructor said we need make good use of our “transferable skills” on our resumes and during the interview process. Just the sound of it intrigued me and I’ve been thinking about it a great deal ever since. “Transferable Skills” are non-job specific skills which can be used in different occupations. We generally develop them through our educational course work, jobs or internships, church service, volunteering, extra-curricular activities or just plain life experiences.
Most of us posses many of the skills considered valuable just as a result of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences we’ve had throughout our lives. Emma Smith said, “Life is a very good teacher.” It occurs to me that this is even more apparent in the case of women because we wear so many different hats. Before I continue and suggest some of the abilities many of us have acquired, I can’t help but wonder ~ eventually, transferable to where? In the end, just where is it that we expect these skills to benefit us and those around us? Ponder that, while I continue:
LDS women have mastered many managerial and/or administrative skills. We’re pretty good at planning, arranging, budgeting, delegating, guiding, directing, organizing, evaluating, and multi-tasking, to name the most obvious. We’re very likely to possess more than adequate communication skills as we deal with those around us (and for many that would include dealing with a spouse and children). We shine in our ability to listen, provide answers, accept input, write correspondence (even if most of it is via email these days), speak in front of groups, lead discussions, teach lessons, persuade, negotiate, read and perhaps we speak a foreign language. We have learned to investigate, research and present information (and do so with a lovely little centerpiece, which leads us into our decorating, scrapbooking, and hospitality expertise, not to mention our culinary and transportation abilities). Our human relation and problem-solving skills have become daily occurrences as we encourage and motivate others, teach and train children, and keep the peace.
You can see how, with just a little brainstorming, that you are far more accomplished than you give yourself credit for. So, now I want to go back to the question I posed earlier ~ where do we hope these skills will be transferable to? Despite the fact that such abilities and talents will enhance our earthly sojourn and bless the lives of those we deal with on a daily basis, I do hope that along the way, I am acquiring skills that will be of value to my Heavenly Father and the hosts of heaven. When I show up with my little resume and recommendation letters in hand, I pray He finds my “transferable skills” acceptable and that they will include compassion, humility, Christ-like love and faith.