10 Secret Skills that Build and Convey a Personal Sense of Power and Engagement for your Work

From now though March I offer to you a countdown of 10 Secret Skills that build and convey a personal sense of power and engagement for your work.  I suggest them as a countdown because I believe that they are a progressive set of skills that can be developed – meaning working on #10 provides a solid foundation that makes #9 easier to do and share with others.  In other words, I believe it’s going to be very hard to tap into Secret Skill #1 if you haven’t yet incorporated Secret Skill #10 into your daily work.


You might be wondering 2 things…


1.  Why should I value building a sense of power for my work?  Because when we feel that we have something unique to contribute to others it energizes us and makes us feel like we matter.  Do you want to tap into a greater sense of energy and fulfillment from your work?


2.  Why should I value conveying a sense of power for my work?  Because when others get a sense that we are powerful we inspire others (and stand out over other job candidates when we are interviewing).  Inspiring others connects us to a personal sense of mastery of our work.  (Check out what Harvard Business Review has to say about why inspiration matters).  Becoming a master often frees us from external factors (i.e. what others think, do and say) as contributing more to our sense of self-importance and value to others and shifts our source toward internal factors (i.e. what we think, do and say) as contributing more to our sense of self-importance and value to others.  We then become more intention-focused vs. (material) reward-focused.  That shift creates a more sustainable connection to happiness and (therefore), success from our work.   From that the materials markers of success flow more naturally and in greater abundance than we could imagine than when we were solely focused on collecting them.  They become an effortless by-product of our happiness and engagement at work.


Our jobs are one of the easiest realms of our life to make a difference because unlike in family dynamics there is no pre-context for others about what we are capable of – (or what might be appropriate for us to be capable of in relation to our elders or given some scale of privileged or tradition we were born into).  At work the people we serve are always welcoming and hopeful for us to give our best.


Boosting up the volume on the “secret skills” you already have can matter greatly to those who are served by you or work with you – especially if you…

  • embrace them and acknowledge them as special (they may seem remedial but trust me – not everyone has easy access to these “skills”)


  • understand how you do them in a way that is unique for you


  • offer them everyday to those you serve and work with – practice them everyday!


Let’s face it – having a skill and not offering it is the same as not having the skill at all.  It only exists in practice.


The other thing about these “Secret Skills” is that you will absolutely want to talk about them on your next job interview!


So let me explain a few things up front before I jump into describing these “skills”…


I like the phrase “Secret Skills” because it implies skills you have that YOU may think don’t matter.  Probably because they are so innate for you that they don’t even occur to you as special.  Or, you may think they are things everyone can do (to some extent) – and because everyone can do these things that makes them not special.  However many of these “skills” are actually not “skills” at all.  Many are more like personal qualities, abilities or talents than actual skills.  In my Discover Your Life Calling Bootcamp I offer a different way to think about abilities, skills, and talents…


  • Ability (or aptitude) – something you can do (either you learned it or you were just born with an innate sense about how to do it).
  • Skill – something you can do that has been cultivated through experience to do well.
  • Talent – a unique expression of a skill.  Something you do well in a way that is not common to others.


So for this series let “skills” mean abilities, skills or talents (or even personal qualities) you may have – let’s not get hung up here – I just like the double S of Secret (and) Skills – it’s memorable.


So let’s get on with the countdown of  “Secret Skills”flaunt ‘em if you got ‘em.



Secret Skill #10 – You take pride in your work.  


People who take pride in their work are people who go out of their way to understand and use what’s available to them to do what they do as well as they can imagine it being done.  They see a job well-done as a reflection of themselves.  So what do you make full use of in order to do your job as well as you can imagine it being done?  Here are a few examples:


  • organization (i.e. keep things neat and easily accessible, being a planner)
  • making good use of resources (i.e. financial resources, material resources, the talents of others)
  • tech-savvy (i.e. keep your technical skills updated, prudent use of social media)



Secret Skill #9 – You are courageous in the face of challenges.


Courage is having fear and acting anyway.  Being willing to take on a challenge isn’t the same as someone who is courageous in the face of challenges.  Courage means you will do things that might scare you – that’s powerful!  Taking on challenges just means you will do something that may or may not be easy for you – that’s nice.  This skill gives you an opportunity to demonstrate:


  • determination
  • to explore and try new things – things you don’t know or understand
  • to recognize and handle opportunity
  • that you have energy and you give it (vs. drain it) from others when times get tough
  • to face fears and grow/learn from experience
  • that periods of anxiety do not cripple your ability to act
  • productivity



If either of these apply to you – be sure you understand exactly what you do that qualifies you to say you have either of these “Secret Skills”.  Be sure you have 2-3 examples (stories) journaled or documented somewhere that you creates a memory for you to draw from to demonstrate how you take pride in your work and/or are courageous in the face of challenges.  Your stories/examples should demonstrate how what you did in your unique way made a difference FOR ANOTHER (never just for yourself).  For example, if organization is a way you take pride in your work – share how being organized enable another to accomplish something meaningful.  Making an impact for another is most powerful!

About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

Comments & Feedback:

  1. Emmanuel Maxwell says

    Am inspired to do more
    Good on my secret skills

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