Don’t Panic #3 – Assess Your Skills

It shouldn’t surprise you that my “series” so far speaks little of actual job searching. The truth is, searching for a job should be the last step to take. At this juncture, you need to have an open mind, a clear and organized perspective, and a renewed sense of confidence in your abilities. Unemployment knows all ages, all genders, and all races. No matter how long you’ve worked (if at all), you have developed skills that define you. Whether it’s a knack for numbers or a technical craft, you have interests and hobbies that translate into a profession you can truly belong.

Don’t Panic – A Working-Class Guide to Employment

#3 – Assess Your Skills

Your skills are divided into three categories: personal, functional, and technical.

Personal skills are inherent characteristics that go with us to any job we take.

Functional skills relate to how well we work with people, ideas, information, and things.

Technical skills are specialized practices, usually learned on the job or in school.

To start, take an objective look at yourself. What strengths do you have for sale? What kinds of work values are important to you? What do you need in a new career? What are your personal, functional, and technical skills? Professional staffing associates across the world create extensive lists of keywords that help you answer these questions. Here’s a sample list of commonly used keyword associations to give you an idea of what those look like.

Take an objective look at yourself.

Of the countless keywords that may come to mind, implement filters in your judgment to create a strong and definitive set of skills to market yourself with. When done, ask yourself, how have these skills contributed to my success in the past? Which skills should I work on to be competitive in the workforce? How can I improve these skills?

Create a strong and definitive set of skills to market yourself with.

The key is to have between five and eight keywords per category that you can own as “marketable” skills, values, and needs in the workforce.

There are many benefits to completing a self-assessment:

  • It helps you be honest with yourself.
  • It leads to a well organized resume.
  • It prepares you for interviews (that address your strengths, skills, goals and achievements).
  • It allows you reflect on your previous career (in ways that help you make better decisions in the future).
  • It will give you a sense of direction; targeting industries and jobs that are most desirable to you and your abilities.
  • It will put a value on your skills in the current job market; possibly exposing weaknesses to work on.
  • It will give you confidence to find the right job.

Don’t panic. This does sound easier said than done, but having done one myself, I can say it’s incredibly beneficial to your future. Like a lot of things, it’s all about confidence. Become aware of your talents and contributions in the professional world, and use them, now.