What are your take-home skills? Are you portable?
HMRC is very tight on take-home pay. They try to control what you take home. But this is untrue in terms of skills because they can’t prevent what skills you take home.
A press release with the title HMRC highlights a decade of bizarre excuses and expense claims reported that HMRC gets a bunch of amusing and out-of-the-world reasons during the Self Assessment deadline.
Here are some funny and ridiculous excuses they received:
- “My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me.”
- “I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht and only picking up post when I’m on dry land.”
- “My dog ate the post … again.”
Even if you make up the most comical and absurd excuses, HMRC won’t complain. That is because it’s your skill that you’re taking home.
What is a take-home skill?
You certainly are a developer; sadly, you have worked for several managers.
Now, you might have observed some domesticated managers. Why do they seem afraid of their boss, as if there’s still some slavery in the twenty-first century? You see them shaking and think, is there an earthquake?
You can’t comprehend the fact that they’re scared of their boss, considering that their boss might not be the company’s owner at all. Their boss, that strict, authoritarian guy, might also be an employee of someone else!
With that, you might start wondering, “What’s going on? I don’t care about my boss, but he cares about his boss!”
Well, I know the answer: Your boss doesn’t possess a take-home skill. And if they ever decide to switch jobs, they still need a reference from their boss in their next CV.
Now, you are different. You have a skill you can carry with you because you are a developer! You can code anything, anytime, anywhere.
If you lose your current job tomorrow, you’re not worried about what happens next. It’s because you carry many things with you and you don’t depend on a specific type of job.
Even if you have these take-home skills, how is it beneficial when you’re not using them?
You have skills, but how to take these skills home, especially if you’re in a day job? Remember, you still might be in a job in your own business.
So I will show you how I utilise and boost my take-home skills all the time.
Here’s my take (pun intended).
I work Sundays, so I work six days a week. Now, this is not a blow to work 4-day-a-week enthusiasts. From the subtitle above, I’m not asking you to work six days a week.
What you can do is take extra time out of your job. As a developer, most likely, you’re not getting paid by total hours worked but by actual value delivered instead. Take advantage of this and invest the time you need.
Work any extra time that you can, and build your own stuff. Create something you can’t do in your day job, and make anything you can call your own.
However, this is not a bit of professional advice— you’ve been warned! Talk to your employer if needed to settle your schedule.
And what do you get?
Of course, you can show it off to the world! Aside from that, it also gives you a reason to enjoy your work, so you get entertained, which brings us to my next point.
I remember the answer of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray when she was asked about her opinion on the usage of medical marijuana. She said, “everything is good but in moderation.”
Coding is like drugs. Indeed, it is addicting, and I’m sure you get this hyperactive energy within you when you code. This type of drug— coding— is good in practical moderation.
Now try to divert this vibrant energy to make it entertaining.
Based on my experience, it feels like I’m not really working even though I work on Sundays and six days a week.
Well, I take pleasure in coding. I choose something I love to do where I can freely accomplish whatever I want.
This type of work entertainment gives me happiness and a sense of fulfilment.
But you might say, “Using drugs has a side effect!”
True that. As for me, I built cool stuff that I can take home— that’s the side effect of my coding addiction.
Work for your best client
What’s your standard for a perfect client?
Maybe, you have a dream client in mind— the one you always wanted to work for.
But you know what? You can find your dream client right now. Real-time.
Just look in the mirror. You are your dream client. Work for yourself.
Build something that you always wanted to build in your own manner. Your way, your thing. No company or client standards or requirements are involved.
And there’s another side effect of this coding addiction— it gives you the take-home skills, take-home products, and take-home open source code that you can take anywhere.
When to use them?
Perhaps in your next job or pitch for finding a client. Who knows? It could build a good reputation for you, and you might gain potential followers or fans who could buy from you or acquire your service in the future.
Great artists steal
You have worked all week. Tiring, isn’t it?
But fulfilling? Nah. Maybe, most of the things you did were different from what you wanted to do, or they weren’t implemented in the way that you wanted.
Keep taking note of this throughout your work week. Notice the areas that are not working as you wanted, and keep taking notes.
Perhaps there’s some corporate politics with endless ruse and rivalry, a manager pretending to be a superintendent or anything you can’t control in the office. Just take note of these happenings.
You have to code in a specific way at your work, and you’re not allowed to code the way you want. But you feel the pain point, and you have this better solution in mind.
Legally, you can’t steal code for copyright reasons.
Will this stop you?
Unless there are police outside, you can steal. But not the code, of course; instead, the idea.
Ideas are not just how to do something, but how not to as well. These could be how not to manage your team and how not to code.
Write about these anonymously. You don’t have to mention your company or your team.
This thing you do doesn’t only give you an idea for your future. It opens new ideas for other people as well.
Again, the big thing you get is that you bring people together by sharing these ideas and frustrations. You create a chamber of like-minded people.
Finally, that little flame you started might lead to something bigger.
So, what are your take-home skills? What are you proud of?
Definitely, you have them within you.
My goal is to boost, intensify, and increase your take-home skills so you can make them more visible for you to take home.