Your skills are the abilities that you possess. Skills are developed and improved with practice and over time, though they can be influenced by a natural knack or unique talent. Communicating your skills in a way that builds confidence requires that you give evidence of your past exposure and success.
1. Using the list below for inspiration, come up with ten skills that describe your current strengths.
Managing a Project
Collaborating towards a Goal
Compiling a Budget
2. Next, come up with ten that describe those you expect will be important in your fields of interest. How do they compare? Note overlaps as well as gaps.
In making decisions about your career options, it is helpful to analyze what you know about yourself from past experiences. Think about what you have learned about your skill level and preferences of certain work components. These components could include broad soft skills like communication, working with others, and problem solving or specific work tasks that you would need to use in your area of interest such as technical skills or programs.
*Remember it is easier to build a skill in an area versus trying to make yourself like something.
Place the skills you use most in your work, classes, and other projects onto a chart like the one below. You can list skills in a section (for example, “these are the skills that I like to use and do well”). Or you can be more quantitative and place points for your skills at positions relative to how much you like to use them and how well you perform them.
- Are the skills in the Do Well/Like category consistent with your interest areas?
- How will the Don’t Do Well/ Dislike category shape your search? Will you avoid these skills altogether?
- Or will you have to improve some of them in order to do work you like?
- Are the skills in the Do Well/Dislike category things that would make up the majority of your work in careers you’re interested in?
- What are ways you can improve the skills in the Don’t Do Well/Like category?