Fandom Achievement List

So you're looking at your fandom experience, at your hobbies, and asking yourself "OK, what did I learn and what can I do?" so you can think about your career or add to your resume.  It's not always easy – you've done a LOT, but you may keep thinking over the same two or three skills.

There's a trick I've found that works well: an Achievements list first.

Sit down and list all the things you've accomplished in fandom: running a convention department (and list every year you did it), creating a website, editing a fanfic series, doing a group cosplay, etc.  Put those down on paper or type them up in a word processor or spreadsheet – I recommend a spreadsheet (more below)

Now that you've done that – and gone as far back as you can – next to every achievement, list all the skills and abilities you used JUST for that achievement.  Don't worry if you repeat yourself, list them for every achievement, even if you put "sewing" next to every single costume you finished.  If you used a spreadsheet, you can create a separate cell for every skill, keeping them all in one big column.

Now sort through the lists of skills and see which stand out – which keep popping up and which stand out (this is why a spreadsheet helps).  You now have a huge list of what you've done, a rough idea of how often you use a skill, and ideas of skills you may never have thought of.

So if 90% of your fan/geek activities involve writing convention program booklets, you may have a sign of your skills and interests there.  When "photography" pops up more than you expect thanks to your cosplay work, you may have a career option – or some skills to try and use on the job.

Of course, this method also works fine on your career too, geeky or not, but I felt introducing it this way had a bit more impact!  Besides, we usually are more aware of our careers than we are of what we do in our fandom, since we're usually busy having fun in the latter.

– Steven Savage