Job Action Day: 3 Actions Jobseekers Can Take to Bridge the Skill Gap

The skills mismatch is a huge issue in the current jobs crisis.

Jobs are more complex these days requiring cross-functional skills or specialized knowledge.  Education is lacking for many unemployed workers and for those who are educated, the push has been towards non-technical skills creating a dearth of skilled workers in the trades.  Schools and business aren’t aligned especially in vocational and technical areas.  So even students who want to train lack the facilities to become “job-ready” graduates.

Thousands of jobs are going begging because employers can’t find skilled employees. So what’s an unemployed worker to do?  On the 4th Annual Job Action Day sponsored by Quintessential Careers, the good news is that there are smart actions you can take.  Having worked with individuals of all levels and backgrounds, I’ve found the skills mismatch can be a mindset issue and not reality.

Here are three ways to bridge the skill gap:

  1. Most people take their strengths & talents for granted & don’t tout them enough.  Ask those who know you well, “What are my best skills, abilities and talents?”  Take to heart what you hear.  When something comes easily to you, don’t mistakenly assume it comes easily for everyone.
  2. Skills are transferable from job to job, employer to employer and industry to industry – more than most people realize.  My client Steve found his skills as a marketing executive in the music industry were key in helping  him successfully launch his custom furniture business. Now Hill Haus Woodworks is not only bringing him joy and fulfillment but a paycheck as well.
  3. Sometimes we gain skills we’d rather not use.  Rather than settle, Soul Search to determine those skills you most want to be using in your career -be honest.  For Stanford graduate Jessica DuLong, working in an office didn’t satisfy her soul.  Yearning to work with her hands, she transitioned to working as a fireboat engineer and is now an advocate for putting American hands back to work in the trades.

With the myriad of reasons for the skills gap, it can feel as if it’s out of the job seeker’s control to bridge the distance.  But you have a lot more skills than you give yourself credit for.  Take these three actions on Job Action Day and you’ll be ready to go after your dream job with the perfect match of skills and passion!



**Reinforcing the Job Action Day 2011 “Skill Up, Start Up, Speak Up” message is this group of bloggers dedicating blog posts on or around Job Action Day 2011 to the event. The first four represent the Quintessential Careers family of blogs:

— Quintessential Careers Blog, Job Action Day 2011: Skill Up, Start Up, Speak Up

— Career Doctor Blog, #Job Action Day 11: Speak Up: It Takes a Village to Turn a Jobs Crisis Around

— Quintessential Resume and Cover Letter Tips Blog, #JobActionDay11: Skill Up, Start Up, Speak Up: Expert Tips to Fire Up Your Job Search

— A Storied Career, #JobActionDay11: A Start-Up Story of Triumphing Over Job Loss, 

— Deborah Brown-Volkman, The Career Coach’s Blog

— Susan Guarneri, Career Assessment Goddess, The Start-Up Mindset: 10 Tips to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

— Nancy Miller, Job Action Day 2011, Life Work News, Skill up for Employment

— Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa, Start Up: Building A More Stable Career,

–Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers, Job Action Day 2011– How to confidently drive your career bus where you want to go

–Meg Guiseppi, Today is Job Action Day 2011!

— Deborah Shane, Deborah Shane Toolbox, Raise Your Career Metabolism, Bring Your A+ Game

and Develop More Magnetism

— Wendy Terwelp, Rock Your Career

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