Thursday, July 07, 2011

Writing My Way To Success

On Tuesday as editor of the Puslinch Pioneer, I had the pleasure of presenting the Pioneer’s award to a young girl at the local school.

It took me back to when I was in high school and was editor of the school newsletter. Little did I know back then that I would end up with several careers where strong writing skills were a requirement.

First it was funding proposals to get funding for the charities that I worked for; and then it was writing a parenting column for the local newspaper. Later I became editor of a national parenting magazine.

During my stint at government, I wrote briefing notes for politicians and a successful $13 million cabinet submission to fund women’s programs. While in my consulting practice, I often wrote lengthy reports with recommendations on service delivery or I would be hired to take a long document and synthesize the main concepts and translate it into terms that the layperson would understand.

I list all this because it just shows that our skills are transferable and my writing skills took me from being a fundraiser to a funder; from being a columnist to being an editor and from being a consultant to being a marketer; and from being a publisher to writing a book. The bottom line is that my writing skills were my entry into a diverse world where those skills were not just required, but valued.

So often I look at young people and they seem paralyzed by fear about making the wrong career decision, when in reality, if they have an employable skill set, they can find work in many industries. It is honing those skills that will bring them a career that is interesting and worthwhile.

As parents we need to help our children discover their talents, because, while it may not always be that obvious, all of us come to this world with our own unique set of skills, attitudes and talents. It is uncovering their passions that will help them to find their way.

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