Each of us has a skill set which, for various reasons, falls into disuse – a sport, a musical instrument, computer programming. We move on to new paths in our lives and our careers where the skill is less relevant and yet it may still be useful to revive it as one progresses and circumstances change. An opportunity may arise where the skill, perhaps in a modified format, becomes important again.
Revival is painful. Atrophied muscles ache, scales and arpeggios elude the clumsy, unpractised fingers, “how does that damn algorithm work again?” “I used to be able to do this so well…”
My own half-forgotten skill arose from a great love of English grammar, rhetoric and literature; it was a subject I’d studied to degree level. As my career progressed into technology and then engineering and finally into management, the ability to write in plain, good English was an asset I valued. In Engineering, clarity and precision of meaning is paramount. Also in Law. And in Commerce. And in almost any subject you wish to mention.
Now I have moved on into consultancy where this skill has even greater relevance. So, after nearly half a century, I took a diploma in editing and proofreading to formally revive it. “Easy as falling off a unicycle,” I thought.
As the course progressed, the brain cells and eyeballs ached, the back went into spasm from long hours at the desk re-learning style and grammar and spotting errors in texts. Books cluttered the desk. Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Oxford Guide to English Grammar, The Complete Plain Words, Fit to Print, The Elements of Style, The APA Publication Manual, The Editor’s Companion…
And by the end, after my diploma arrived, I had effectively re-learned the old skills to apply to the other services you can view on my new website www.ogcengineers.com
Have a look at your own half-forgotten skills. One or more of them may be worth reviving.