Your skills and the growth of multi-skilled jobs in 2020

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There is a popular phrase in Britain for those who have multiple skills: ‘a jack of all trades, master of none.’ 

In these ever-changing times, people are relying on their general skills and becoming a ‘jack of all trades‘ rather than mastering just one skill.

“We find that generalists end up doing things not only earlier, but end up having more impact than folks who are more specialized.” [Forbes]

Showcasing your skills inside the workplace can be challenging but don’t let it put you off developing more skills. There are many courses and e-learning degrees available online. These platforms are helping people to keep up with the ever-changing skill requirements in the workplace.

“The global eLearning market worldwide is set to surpass USD 275 billion by 2022.” [E-learning industry].

Carmen Songyu Gretler-Zhu

Carmen Songyu Gretler-Zhu

I had the pleasure to discuss with the talented Carmen Songyu Gretler-Zhu the economic changes for multiskilled workers, and how to find ways to incorporate different skills to create the best job for you.

Carmen Songyu Gretler-Zhu

Carmen Songyu Gretler-Zhu is the founder of Swiss Four Seasons Media & Marketing. She works in the fields of media, marketing, communications, PR and journalism and is currently writing her second book. 

In 2017, having worked in Switzerland for 16 years, 5 of those remotely, Carmen had the idea to start her own business. We discussed her professional journey using her multiple skill sets to create her company, and how you can do it too.

GBN: What is Swiss Four Seasons Media and Marketing?

Carmen: My company is a Swiss-based media and marketing platform. We build and manage strong social and business networks in Europe and China. I am hired by different companies who want me to enhance their visibility and strengthen their brand overseas.

What services do you offer?

Carmen: In the beginning, I was offering content and a communications platform where I translated websites as I am fluent in English, French and Chinese. I soon expanded my services into public relations too. A lot of work came from creating content and translating entire websites from French or English into Chinese for the overseas market.

What type of people do you hire?

Carmen: I call on the necessary people depending on the project I am involved in. I usually partner up with other entrepreneurs and companies to complete the job.

Why did you choose to use your skills toward entrepreneurship and not another job?

Carmen: In 2008, the market economy crashed. My head office was in Switzerland and it closed down. Only a few people were chosen to continue business via working from home. During this time, I had the idea of using my skill sets and creating my own business.

What was your biggest challenge? 

Carmen: Finding the first client was a challenge. I needed to identify what I could do for them. I needed to be clear about what I could offer as a service to my potential clients.

How did you find your clients? 

Carmen: Emailing, sending letters and using LinkedIn. Many clients found me via LinkedIn which is a great resource, especially at the beginning. As my network grew clients started to ask for different services, giving me new ideas for the future.

What type of projects have you been involved in?

Carmen: I have participated in trade fairs on behalf of companies in Switzerland. If they didn’t have the right language to expand into the Chinese market they send me. For example, Chalet Verbier is a luxury accommodation company built around providing a service for VIPs and high-end clients, and they approached me via LinkedIn.

My project with Chalet Verbier was to expand the brand into the Chinese market. I flew to China where I attended a travel fair to network and collect contacts and customers. For this project, I created brochures, websites, content for social media, attended fairs, and gave presentations. 

At the moment I am working on a project for a news app.

What do you do with the app?

Carmen: The name of the app is Chinese Headline New Media-Switzerland. We post news from Switzerland onto the app in Chinese. The app allows the end-user to be able to keep up to date with the local and national news in Switzerland covering everything from economics, sports, and lifestyle. 

How much time do you spend working on the app per day?

Carmen: I do this every day. I do not do it alone anymore as I have an assistant who has taken more responsibility now. We update three to five news articles per day, and one assistant spends two to three hours on it per day developing the platform. However, we are not making money yet. 

What are your plans for the next two years?

Carmen: If you would have asked me one month ago I would have had a clearer picture, however, right now due to the coronavirus a lot of trade between China has stopped, halting many of my projects. I have my plan A and my plan B. My plan B involves me publishing my new book.

What is your new book about?

Carmen: It is a book about predicting the changes and trends of the workforce in the near future. It will provide ideas and information to multi-skilled workers, who are also known as “slashers.” I want to share my own experiences, and about the name of the book, I won’t give that out just yet.

What advice would you give to those who want to start using their various skills?

Carmen: For those who are looking for freedom and success, I would suggest to them not to be anxious if it takes time and you face difficulties. It is important to keep up with new things and learn new skills along the way. If you look at Warren Buffett‘s wealth curve, you will see that his net worth topped $1 million when he was around 30 years old. He reached the $1 billion hurdle when he was 56 years old. Freedom and wealth will not come in a day. Open your eyes and mind, have a keen attitude to new developments then you will get sooner or later a chance to find and seize good opportunities. 

Thank you Carmen for your time!

A Final Word of Encouragement

Everyone can be a slasher. As a multi-skilled worker, aka a-jack-of-all -trades, you have the choice to use your skills the best way for you. You can be like Carmen and find a way to blend your skills to create a service for others and build your own company. Or you can simply learn new skills at work and keep yourself ready for the next promotion.

Either way, if you want to utilise your skills below is some practical advice on how you can begin. 

how to find your passion

References:

How Being A Generalist Can Help You Adapt And Innovate, Forbes

Embrace Your Paths: Why Having Multiple Jobs is a Good Thing, The Muse

Review of the online learning and artificial intelligence education market, UK Government

How Big Is The eLearning Market And The Role Of Mobile Apps?, E-learning Industry

E-Learning Market to surpass 3000 billion by 2015, Globenewswire

 

Images:

Freepik (1, 2)

Further reading:

Top tips to building your business, with Melanie Goodman by 

Skills assessments: luxury or necessity? by 

Swiss companies: It’s time to develop your business in China by 

Cherrelle Burroughs Cherelle Burroughs

As a business development manager, my strength is fostering and developing relationships with customers, suppliers and other partners.

I have done this through social media marketing, cold calling and networking events.

Through careful strategic planning I am always improving and creating new business opportunities.

Working within the financial services industry in Switzerland and customer services and sales in the UK has given me a clear understanding of what you need to build a diverse list of business contacts and thus a profitable client portfolio. This is key to managing the tasks within sales and business development roles.

Tenacity and strategic thinking have been key to my office and field based jobs. I am a successful Business Development Manager because I work best within fact-driven, results based environments with down to earth and pragmatic people…and as I am always looking for a new challenge, I’m also happy to move anywhere in the world.

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