There is a Monty Python sketch in which an accountant (played by Michael Palin) sits down with a vocational guidance counselor (John Cleese), and announces that he wants to be a lion tamer. The counselor suggests to the accountant that he might want to work his way toward that goal, “perhaps via banking.”

That sketch is actually more relevant in the United States today then it was back in 1969 when it first aired in Britain.

That’s because workers today must be more pro-active about arming themselves with skills — whether it’s advanced Excel, Spanish language ability or specialized industry certification like Six Sigma — that both today’s and tomorrow’s employer will find valuable.

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