Identifying your unique knowledge, skills, and abilities require you to ask yourself several important questions including, “What do I know?” and “What can I do?” Your knowledge assets include both:
- The general knowledge that you have about subjects such as fitness, politics, football and more
- Any specialized knowledge you may have that is required to work in a particular occupation (i.e. doctor’s knowledge of medicine, mechanic’s knowledge of cars, etc.)
You have gained a considerable amount of knowledge about the world of work and specific professions through various personal and professional experiences, formal education, and training. Reading, watching television, listening to the radio, and hanging out with friends also contributes to your learning.
Your skills and abilities describe what you can do. You may know a lot about marketing, but that does not mean you can do marketing well. To become a skilled marketer, you need specific strategic ability and experience as well as knowledge of marketing principles.
What comes to you naturally is typically described as your abilities. For example, you may be skilled at performing on the piano, selling items to people, or rewiring your house. You may have been born with particular artistic ability, but you still have to learn specific skills to become a competent musician.
Skills can be grouped into three categories: transferable skills, personal management skills, and work specific skills.
- Transferable Skills: These skills are essential skills used in almost any kind of work. They are called “transferable” skills because they can be employed in a variety of work settings. Some good examples of these skills include communication, computer skills, and analytical/thinking skills.
- Personal Management Skills: These skills are the skills you use every day to “manage” your life. They allow you to live in harmony with yourself, your work, your community, and the world in general. Perseverance, dedication, and discipline are examples of these skills.
- Work Specific Skills: Work specific skills are specialized skills you need to do particular types of work. The orthodontist’s ability to straighten your teeth and the software engineer’s ability to create an e-commerce application are good examples. These skills are usually learned through formal education, training, or on-the-job experience.
Your Homework: Your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Please take 20 to 30 minutes to think about and answer the following questions that will help you identify and gain greater clarity on your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
|1. What are 3 to 5 areas of general knowledge that you know a lot about? (i.e. fitness, football, politics, etc.)? This does not need to reflect your career.|
|2. What are 3 to 5 areas of specialized or occupational-related knowledge that you know a lot about? (i.e. psychology, medicine, project management, software development, curriculum development, etc.)|
|3. What do you consider to be your Natural Abilities? (i.e. the natural, inherited talents that Mother Nature has given you). Please list your top 3 to 5. For example, the ability to dislocate your joints to fit into a small box.|