Make some waves and own your skills
- Posted on October 25, 2018
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Andrew Burnell.
“What are you good at?”
For some, this is a no-brainer question to answer, with their go-to response on the tip of their tongue. For others, it can be fairly difficult to come up with some skillsets. Having been in recruiting for a fair amount of years, and with Avanade as a recruiter for the digital studios for just over five years now, the question of skills comes up quite a bit. I often ask candidates this question but realized I can’t even answer it so easily.
Some people have obvious skills - like the superheroes my five-year-old son plays with - but for us regular folks, we usually need to give ours more thought. I like a lot of things - movies, surfing, family, food - but do any of these count as something I’m good at? Not really. But if I stand back, look at my career and the choices I’ve made to get where I’m at today, it’s easier to see where my passions lie and which skills are my best. As a candidate or co-worker, you should always come back to what you’re good at and what you enjoy, because that’s where your best work comes from.
I would say I’m good at making waves. I love the ocean, and to surf, and it’s a great metaphor for something that is constantly changing and bringing something new to my life. Every wave is different, and every ride requires different skills. I apply this concept at work by looking to innovate and bring positive change to the world, something that Avanade’s innovative culture has encouraged me to do. Always keep your skills and talents in mind - they will help guide your work and keep you focused.
Coming out of college, I went straight to work at Microsoft where I worked within the recruiting team. From there, I did the full spectrum of recruiting at start-ups, digital agencies and consulting companies. The career choices I’ve made have largely been due to being able to jump into something with both feet and build something new, try something different and stir things up using my skills. I was able to make waves every day in my work, coming up with new ideas and exploring new industries. I experienced first-hand how the agency world is great at creating new ideas and the consulting world is great at executing them. Avanade’s Digital Studios are a great example of innovation that marries both the idea and the execution perfectly. Working to recruit talent to work on our digital offerings allows me to align my skills working with people and my passion for change.
We all get busy, and it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds with work. What helps me to keep the fire stoked and stay engaged is to remember to focus on what I am good at and how I can practice it every day. I can’t always predict what I’ll be doing next, but I know I’ll be able to give my best effort when I can insure that it aligns with my passions and skills.
When interviewing here at Avanade, candidates need to remember this - we are looking for someone who wants to combine their skills and passions to create change in the world. Consider how you have made waves and what waves you want to make next. Just as no one ocean wave is the same, no one’s career waves are the same; that’s what makes hiring so exciting for me.
With all the this talk of waves, it’s time to grab my surfboard and hit the beach. Don’t wait for the next big thing, enjoy your work, know your skills, and, in my case, get to the beach.