Skills Weaving

‘Skills Weaving’ confers a mindset of strategic personal development to achieve professional ambitions. It offers an innovative approach towards pro-active academic career advancement. The method has been invented by Wino Wijnen (WiWright).

Skills Weaving offers a goal-oriented iterative approach towards balanced skill development for all academic career stages. It revolves around 3 key questions:

  1. What are your professional ambitions?
  2. What skills and experience do you need to realize these ambitions?
  3. How can you pro-actively develop your skills to achieve your goals?

Skills Weaving assesses personal ambitions, strengths, and weaknesses in the context of career-specific requirements and barriers. Uniquely, it not only builds on personal strengths, but actively considers progress-limiting weaknesses (fig. 1). As a result, it helps to develop an open mindset, pro-active approach, and effective coping strategies towards realizing career ambitions.

Traditional academic career development focuses on acquiring specific field-specific knowledge, technical, and methodological skills. Such skills are well-developed, as they represent key competences for early-stage career success (usually measured by the quality of research output). In contrast, skills like communication, networking, management, and leadership are typically neglected during the early career stage. However, such competences become crucial for success in later career stages. Especially for the transition from Postdoc to Assistant Professor, the lack of a balanced skillset becomes a barrier for career advancement.

Practitioners of Skills Weaving will experience much smoother career advancement and are unlikely to end up in this so-called ‘postdoc trap’.[1]

Figure 1: Concept of skills weaving for a balanced professional development. Traditional academic skills development focuses on knowledge and (technical) expertise, building on an individual’s strengths (left). It only addresses weaknesses when faced by limiting career advancement thresholds. This causes reactive career development that lowers a candidate’s long-term perspectives. Skills weaving ensures that all skills are aligned in parallel for smooth career advancement (right).

Want to learn how to advance your career with Skills Weaving? Get in touch for an introductory coaching session.

[1] https://www.nature.com/news/the-future-of-the-postdoc-1.17253

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