It’s that time of the year again, you have to set performance goals. There’s a tendency to go along with what is popular at the time but it’s way more beneficial to question and listen to your self and sometimes, people who work with you. You should be thinking about your core competencies.
Core competency is defined by Search CIO as
Fundamental knowledge, ability, or expertise in a specific subject area or skill set. The core part of the term indicates that the individual has a strong basis from which to gain the additional competence to do a specific job
Ever since I’ve known myself, I’ve known how to draw and tell stories. I remember vividly when I found out not everyone could draw like I could. This opened my eyes in seeing the unique aspects of people. While working in the UK, the 5 UX managers I’ve worked with have had 5 different core competencies (From my first at 1. to current manager at 5.)
1. User Research
2. Visual Design
3. Information Architecture
5. Technical (Code development)
I thought this was quite interesting, because they seem to cover all the important aspects of UX design, I am one lucky person. They have all been good at what they do, but these were the competencies they built their practice upon.
A Unicorn is still a horse at it’s core.
While we strive to acquire many skills, these core competencies are what differentiate us. In addition to the personal stamp we put on them, they give strength to the other skills.
Some Steps to Development
1. Take on personal projects – Especially if you aren’t able to use these skills at work
2. Teach people – This is a tried and tested method of solidifying and expanding a skillset, do more of this.
3. Find people with similar core – Look at what they have done to excel, they should give you a good example of what you can do as well.
4. Find a way to work it at work – You should bring yourself to work, it’s that simple.
If you feel like you don’t have a core competency, even after heavy soul searching, find one. Find something that interests you and that you will be committed to. Build on that. Like that tree in the picture, that’s how you want to flourish. You want a strong trunk and root that will support all that you branch into. If that root is shallow or trunk thin, the whole edifice will come down soon enough. Those who have excelled do not have seven heads, you can too.