Unveiling Skill Awareness: How Well Do You Know Your Skills?

skill

Skills are things you learn to help you do other things. You might pick them up through work, study, or activities you do in your spare time. If you can recognise and talk about your skills, you will find it easier to work out what you want to do. When you are applying for jobs, they will be the things that will convince employers that you are the right person for the job. Finding more about skills will help you find job opportunities, apprenticeships, and courses that match.

Mastering Skills: A Guide to Technical, Transferable, and Personal Competencies

Skills are specific abilities or competencies individuals acquire through learning, practice, and experience. There are different types, including technical, transferable, and personal skills. 

  1. Technical skills: are specifically related to a particular field, industry, or job. They are often tangible and measurable. Examples of technical skills include programming, data analysis, graphic design, accounting, carpentry, or operating machinery. You can acquire technical skills through education, training, or hands-on experience.
  2. Transferable skills: Also known as soft or portable skills, transferable skills are applicable across various roles and industries. They are more general and are often related to interpersonal, cognitive, and behavioural abilities. Transferable skills include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, time management, adaptability, and critical thinking.
  3. Personal skills: are attributes and qualities that reflect an individual’s character, attitudes, and unique strengths. These skills often contribute to personal effectiveness and well-being. Personal skills include self-motivation, resilience, emotional intelligence, integrity, creativity, and cultural awareness. Individual skills are more intrinsic, and you can develop them through self-reflection, personal growth, and life experiences.

Specific context or industry is another way of categorising skills. For example, patient care, medical terminology, or CPR may be considered technical skills in healthcare. Skills like market research, social media management, or content writing in marketing may be relevant technical skills.

Skills are not static but can be developed and improved over time through continuous learning, practice, and experience. They play a crucial role in personal and professional development, allowing individuals to perform tasks effectively, solve problems, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Employers are interested in knowing which skills they can bring to their organisation. Many skills are transferable to new work settings and usable across several job areas and in new work settings. This article will help you identify your skills and highlight those that you might like to use or develop in the future.

skills

Essential Skills for Success

It is a positive first step to your future that will help you to avoid taking your skills for granted. Decide how you feel about each item and circle the most appropriate number.

1. Teamwork or Interpersonal examples are:

  • Remembering people’s names.
  • Talking to people you don’t know.
  • Coping with awkward or difficult people or people who are easily upset.
  • Keeping calm or being in control of your feelings.
  • Accepting feedback positively.
  • Complimenting or encouraging someone.
  • Introducing and welcoming new people to each other.
  • Relating to a wide variety of people.

2. Information Technology: 

Using a computer keyboard, type and utilise social networking sites, blogs, and e-mail; use packages such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; organise and store information on a computer; access the internet to research and gather information design or edit websites playing computer games, using work-related software such as CAD and SAGE.

3. Problem-solving or reasoning: 

Finding solutions to difficulties or problems, anticipating change, solving puzzles, e.g., Sudoku, crosswords, assessing a situation quickly, looking at new ways of doing things, applying yourself to completing a task, judging the relevance or importance of the information and understanding complex ideas.

4. Written communication: 

Spelling correctly or using a dictionary, understanding the meaning of words, writing clearly and concisely, editing written materials, presenting ideas and information in writing, selling yourself in a CV or application form, reading quickly or spotting mistakes, writing minutes and reports etc.

5. Numerical: 

Using a calculator, calculating using mental arithmetic, interpreting charts and graphs, calculating averages or percentages, dealing with statistics, understanding balance sheets, budgeting effectively (projects/household), and working out the best value in pricing.

6. Practical or manual: 

Designing or making something, carrying out repairs, operating equipment or machinery, working from drawings or plans, driving a vehicle, constructing or assembling objects, e.g., furniture, painting and decorating, laying flooring materials.

7. Planning and organising:

  • Planning and organising work effectively
  • Working under pressure or to deadlines
  • Managing your time well or prioritising tasks
  • Handling change in your career or life
  • Leading and coordinating projects or assignments
  • Setting yourself achievable goals
  • Monitoring your progress in achieving goals
  • Making well-informed decisions

8. Verbal communication: 

Making a presentation to a group, negotiating or bargaining to achieve a desirable outcome, speaking clearly or be understood, giving instructions to individuals or groups, using a telephone, explaining information and ideas, telling a story and listening to others carefully

9. Physical: 

Head for heights, Strength, Stamina, Good coordination, Quick reactions, Nimble fingers, Steady hands, Physically fit.

10. Supervisory: 

Motivating others, organising groups, supporting people to develop skills, delegating tasks, monitoring work progress, chasing up outstanding work, positively giving feedback, and disciplining a colleague or employee. 

Reflecting on Your Skills

Decide which skills you are not good at or cannot do, and avoid jobs that require any of them. If it is an essential job requirement, you could learn on the job and be very honest about learning. Think about your motivation to develop and build confidence with such skills. If you can meet some or any of the requirements, you have the right reason to develop the skills further, and then you could consider the job. You should pick roles you feel confident in, using the required skills.

Core skills are Written communication, Verbal communication, Investigating and analysing, Planning and organising, Negotiating and persuading, Co-operating, Leadership, Numeracy and Entrepreneurship. These are the kind of transferable skills you can build on and develop throughout your career. Transferable skills tend to bring the following benefits to candidates and employers:

  1. Flexibility: In an increasingly competitive job market, companies want to recruit employees who can diversify and complete multiple tasks and roles. When you have a diverse skill set, this will set you apart from the other applicants and show that you have greater flexibility.
  2. Diversity: The more transferable skills you have, the more diversity you can offer to a potential employer. The experiences you have had during learning or work experience will have allowed you to develop many skills, many of which you can use in any role.
  3. Portability: The nature of transferable skills means they can be taken with you when you move jobs. As you progress, the skills that you currently have will improve, and you will gain new ones too.
  4. Employability – building a strong CV or application around your transferable skills will strengthen your chances of success. Although you may have yet to gain direct relevant work experience, these transferable skills will demonstrate that you can adapt to new demands.
  5. Finding yourself: It is about knowing your knowledge, skills, and abilities to enable you to develop a better career objective. It is crucial to predefine your career objective so that you can focus your job search efforts. It is also essential to correctly state this on your CV and appropriate areas of job applications. You can learn new skills—no matter your age, profession, or type of skill you know, it keeps you healthy, keeps your mind engaged and body active, opens doors, and increases your adaptability.

Understanding Transferable skills

You can apply transferable skills, portable or soft skills, and abilities across different roles, industries, or situations. These skills are valuable because they are not specific to a particular job or task but contribute to overall professional and personal success. It’s important to note that the specific skills needed may vary depending on the industry, role, and context. Developing and emphasising transferable skills can enhance your professional growth and adaptability and contribute to personal success in various areas of life.

Use my consciousness worksheet to reflect on your best and average skills and consider your findings when exploring opportunities or communicating about yourself. List your skills which are transferable to a new job. A weaker skill area for you could be an area for development, and you could consider training or learning to help you become more confident in using this skill. Remember to keep your more vital skills up to date so that they can be relevant when looking for a job.

Job seekers need to understand the skills and knowledge employers are demanding now and in the future are essential; you can use this information to help you identify any skills gaps as you apply for other opportunities.

In conclusion, developing diverse skills is vital for personal and professional growth. Each skill plays a unique role in our success, from teamwork and communication to problem-solving and organisation. Investing in skill development can enhance our effectiveness, productivity, and relationships. Remember that mastering skills takes time and practice, so embrace challenges and seek growth opportunities. Embrace the power of skills and unlock your full potential for a successful future.

FAQ

Why are skills important?

They are important because they contribute to personal and professional success. They enable individuals to effectively navigate various tasks, challenges, and interactions in their lives.

How can I identify which skills I need to work on?

Start by assessing your goals, interests, and current strengths. Consider the requirements of your desired job or field and identify gaps in your skill set. Seek feedback from mentors, supervisors, or colleagues to gain insights into areas where you can improve.

How can I improve my skills?

Improving skills requires a combination of learning, practice, and experience. You can enhance your skills by seeking educational resources such as courses, workshops, or online tutorials.

How can I identify which skills I need to work on?

Start by assessing your goals, interests, and current strengths. Consider the requirements of your desired job or field and identify gaps in your skill set. Seek feedback from mentors, supervisors, or colleagues to gain insights into areas where you can improve.

Can I transfer skills from one area to another?

Yes, many skills are transferable across different domains. For example, strong problem-solving skills learned in one job can be applied to various other roles. Effective communication and teamwork skills are valuable in both professional and personal settings.

How long does it take to master a skill?

The time required to master a skill varies depending on the complexity of the skill and individual factors such as prior experience and dedication. Mastery is a continuous process, and it often takes months or even years of deliberate practice and application to reach an advanced level.

Can skills be developed at any stage of life?

Absolutely! Skills can be developed and improved at any age or stage of life. It’s never too late to learn new skills or refine existing ones. Individuals can continually develop their skills with dedication, practice, and a growth mindset.

How can I identify which skills I need to work on?

Start by assessing your goals, interests, and current strengths. Consider the requirements of your desired job or field and identify gaps in your skill set. Seek feedback from mentors, supervisors, or colleagues to gain insights into areas where you can improve.

Can I transfer skills from one area to another?

Yes, many skills are transferable across different domains. For example, strong problem-solving skills learned in one job can be applied to various other roles. Effective communication and teamwork skills are valuable in both professional and personal settings.

How long does it take to master a skill?

The time required to master a skill varies depending on the complexity of the skill and individual factors such as prior experience and dedication. Mastery is a continuous process, and it often takes months or even years of deliberate practice and application to reach an advanced level.

Can I include my skills on a resume or CV?

Yes, including relevant skills on your resume or CV is highly recommended. Highlighting your skills helps employers understand your capabilities and suitability for a particular role. Be specific and provide examples of how you have applied your skills in previous experiences to demonstrate your proficiency.

Can I improve my skills through online platforms or apps?

Yes, online platforms and apps offer a wide range of resources for skill development. Many offer interactive courses, tutorials, and practice exercises to enhance various skills. These platforms provide convenient and accessible opportunities to learn and improve skills at your own pace and schedule.

Are soft skills as important as technical skills?

Yes, soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership, are equally important as technical skills in today’s professional landscape. Employers value candidates with a balance of technical expertise and strong soft skills.

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Sam Soyombo
Sam Soyombo

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One comment

  1. Thank you, Sam, for your insightful article on skill awareness and development. I appreciate the guidance on identifying and categorizing technical, transferable, and personal skills. Your advice on recognizing the importance of transferable skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, and developing them to enhance employability and personal growth is invaluable. I will utilize the consciousness worksheet to reflect on my skills and identify areas for development, ensuring I stay adaptable and competitive in the job market.

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