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How to Identify and Monetize Your Skill Set to Reach Your Income Goals


After being let go from my employer in 2019, I decided not to return to the workforce at all. It’s true what they say, having a 9 to 5 isn’t for everyone and it certainly was not good for my mental health. It was completely unplanned, so I had no idea what I would do, or how it would all work out. I sold everything I could, and placed the remaining contents of my one bedroom apartment into a storage unit and relocated to another state. I had a bit of money saved up from working, but it was running out quickly and I was getting nervous because I still didn’t have a plan.

I ended up connecting with in my local community to search for a mentor in hopes of figuring out how I could use my skills to perhaps start a profitable business or at the very least discover a way to earn an income. After choosing a mentor from the list of available volunteers, I scheduled a date to meet. I didn’t know what to expect at this meeting, or exactly what we would be discussing. I had high hopes, though.

During the meeting, the mentor shared some things about themselves and I shared some things about myself. Once we were done sharing, they asked me what I was looking forward to gaining from the mentorship. Unsure how to answer the question, I responded with guidance. The mentor then asked what I was looking for guidance on. Once again, I was unsure how to answer. Seeing the look of confusion on my face, they quickly took over. “Let’s start here,” they said to me, picking up a notebook and pen. Then the mentor proceeded to ask about the last three work positions I’d held and the duties I performed for each position.

As I spoke to them about my work, they repeated each skill back to me and I suddenly began to realize the goldmine of skill sets I had acquired working these positions.

What exactly is a skill set?

According to, a skill set refers to a specific area of competence, knowledge, experience and abilities required to do a job. Some categories for a skill set may include computer skills, communication, time management, research and planning, leadership and accounting. Some people may also call skill sets ‘competencies’ or ‘capabilities.’

List those duties along with the individual tasks it takes to complete each of your required duties. Include the use of software programs, websites, equipment and all other resources. After listing your duties and tasks, decide which of these skills you can execute to make you money without having to be employed through a job. Ask yourself, “Can I make money directly with this skill without having an employer?”


Identifying Your Skills

The first step in monetizing your skill set is being able to identify the skills you already have. Identify all the ways you are earning money right now whether it is independently or through an employer. It is sometimes easier for us to identify with our work position rather than the skills required to meet the expectations of our job position which, let’s face it, can have much greater depth than what is listed on paper. Having the ability to separate your skills from your job position can give some leverage in being able to name and claim your skill set. Ask yourself, how am I performing the task to fulfill the duties of my current or past work positions?

Some work-related skills you perform on a job as a part of your job position that translate well into a skill set can include: consulting, digital creations, scheduling, languages you communicate in, accounting, being well versed in certain software, social media marketing, crafts, and handy work.

Another ways to identify skills you may have is to ask:

  • What do people come to me the most requesting help with?
  • What are some of the ways that other people are earning money? Ask yourself if you are able to do those things.
  • What are skills that employers are seeking or what are some things that people are outsourcing for their individual business?
  • What problems or issues do you understand from the perspective of your own life and your own personal journey?

As you’re considering the hard skills you currently possess, meaning skills that are specific and quantifiable, don’t forget to factor in those majorly important soft skills that cannot be proven, but must be demonstrated through work style and approach. These skills include communication leadership, teamwork, and creativity and are quite valuable nonetheless.

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You can look on places like linkedin and job board descriptions as well as to get ideas about the kind of gigs other folks are offering and the skills they are requesting.


Are My Skills in Demand?

The next important step is to figure out whether the skills you have are in demand and who needs these skills. Where can I find new customers and clients?

Identify who needs these skills and who will pay for these skills and reach out to these individuals or companies. Is there a demand for this skill that you have or the skill that you want to learn?

You also have the option of creating demand around your skill by simply identifying a common issue and demonstrating how your knowledge or skills solves these problems or makes tasks easier for your potential clients.

Bringing Value to Your Clients

Remember, the key to monetizing your skill set is that you must be able to solve a person's problem with your knowledge or skills.

How valuable are your skills? Skills that are rare or are in high demand are considered much more valuable than others. What clients are willing to pay and how you value your own abilities are important to setting your price. Do a bit of Internet research and ask others who may already be receiving the services you plan to offer what they currently pay for such skills.

Connecting with Prospective Clients

How do you plan to connect with your clients? In other words, where will you find them or how will they find you. You can also consider creating a domain around the skills that you have by letting people know how your skill can benefit them in their businesses and their business needs. There are also freelance platforms and classified websites where you can list as well as seek out those in need of a service. Craigslist for example is such a place.

After doing your research, decide what is necessary to monetize your skills. Should you decide that you need to add to the skills you already have, consider how much time and money it might take to obtain these skills and whether or not it is worth the investment.

Here is a list of options for your skills monetization strategy:

  • Freelance
  • Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Course creation
  • Consulting
  • Digital product creation
  • Course creation
  • Languages
  • Freelance website
  • Crafting
  • Gig platforms

Each of these steps can assist you in identifying, evaluating, and monetizing your skills as a freelancer or as part of a new business model. Should you find this article helpful, comment below and share it with others.

© 2022 Victoria Wray

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