Skills – What are Yours?
Skills – What Are Yours? When you’re looking for a different job or want to progress in your current employment, you need to know what your skills are. Sounds simple, but is it really? If anyone asks me what my skill set is I sometimes have difficulty answering, possibly because I’m not a teacher, or a solicitor, or a bus driver. So in the past when asked I haven’t got a straightforward answer handy! When looking for a career change, it can be difficult to demonstrate you have the skills an employer is looking for. So I like to ask about transferable skills, which are more general skills which can be used in many different professions. An example of a transferable skill is driving – many of us have this skill but it does take quite a bit of practice to acquire it. When thinking of work, it can be useful in a range of jobs – courier, project worker, community nursing, and so on. I once asked a client what skills he had and he told me he didn’t have any, despite being a driver! When I pointed this out, he told me that driving wasn’t a skill because everyone can do it. Of course not everyone can drive, and I paid rather a lot of money to an instructor to learn this skill! It shows how often we can take for granted our skills because we can do them easily without thinking about them too much.
There are many other transferable skills that you might have that you don’t think about but may be able to use when looking for different work. For example if you are a parent, the skills involved in this are wide ranging and very varied. They might include being organised, having a high level of assertiveness (to stop bullying perhaps), being motivated (when you could really do without picking the toys up AGAIN today!), negotiating skills (ever tried to get a small person to eat a carrot? Or stop siblings fighting?), cooking, cleaning, comforting, taxi driver, being a economical with the truth (Santa does exist), teaching and coaching. The list could go on.
You can take any area of your life and think in this way about what your skills are. Of course if you haven’t had a career break you can think of the skills you have from your current role as well as your hobbies and interests. If you are very creative you might be able to think of how a particular skill is useful in helping you learn a particular task you have never done before in a potential new role.
If you are struggling to identify your own skills, or to fit your skills to a position you are applying for please do get in touch as I can help you with this.