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5 ways to identify your top skills to enhance your career

By Yvette McKenzie | 03 August 2017

If you’re looking to get ahead in your career then it makes sense to know what you’re really good at. Learning to identify your core skills can make the difference between a truly successful career path and a mediocre one.

Everyone who has spent some time in the workforce and in study has many skills that they can draw upon to get them ahead. The problem is that too often, people are not able to identify what their top skills really are.

When you know what you’re best at this can help with many elements of your work. Firstly, you understand more clearly what your job trajectory should be and you might be better equipped to handle job reviews, appraisals and aim for promotions Skillstalk has taken you through How to Ace Your Performance Review & Get a Promotion and covered the 7 Essential Traits of a High Performing Worker.

Secondly, you might find that you are more fulfilled at work. A recent study by economists at university in the UK found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, and that numerous studies have shown that happy people tend to earn higher salaries, according to Business News Daily. “It stands to reason that these high-earners are happy — at least in part — because they have jobs they love.”

Why identifying your top skills can enhance your career

  1. Remember what you excelled at in childhood.
  2. Take note of what past mentors have told you.
  3. Identify the tasks you really dislike and avoid.
  4. Understand what keeps you engaged.
  5. Think broadly about your experience – not just your current role.

If you know what you’re best at, you have more chance of success and the happiness you’ll find on the job will also lead to more longevity and greater productivity. Skillstalk can give you 10 ways to identify your top skills on the job. Learn what they are, constantly review them and see your career flourish.

1. Remember what you excelled at in childhood.

childhood concept

Think back to what you really used to love doing. This can be from high school or even before. Are you a follower or a leader? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you love taking to big groups or do you concentrate better when you are doing solo work?

By remembering what you liked as a child or as a younger adult you could gain some clues as to your true core skill sets. This information could help you to identify what you prefer doingand what tasks you will always seek to avoid, so commit these attributes to memory.

2. Take note of what past mentors have told you.

Over the course of your career you a bound to have had people in your life that have given you great feedback as to what they think you excel at. Take note of any patterns and add these skills to your list.

It’s worth noting that no one knows your skills as well as you do personally but remembering where and when others have put their faith in you can be a great exercise and help you to remember what skills you have that are transferrable to other job roles.

3. Identify the tasks you really dislike and avoid.

avoid conceptNo matter what your job is there will be tasks that you come across that you simply hate doing. These tasks will be different for everyone and knowing what they are can be a great way to help you learn what your most prominent skills are.

What jobs do you constantly delay or put on hold – and why? Sometimes we are good at things which we dislike doing and sometimes we find things we have to do regularly challenging. It is a good idea to get a handle on what the difference is between these tasks when you are doing your skills audit.

4. Understand what keeps you engaged.

Likewise, take note of what tasks you do that you immerse yourself fully in. What jobs do you do where you lose track of time and could continue to do, well after the work day has ended?

These jobs or tasks might be another method of identifying your core skills. Are there work tasks that you might even take home with you on occasion, even if you don’t have to? Consider what proportion of your job or career these tasks actually take up and consider whether the mix is right in the work you are doing now.

5. Think broadly about your experience – not just your current role.

young woman with thinking faceThere might be some terrific skills you have that you are ignoring at present that you might have identified in an earlier job. Consider your full work history when you’re identifying your true core skills.

Depending on your age and experience you might identify a plethora of soft skills and hard skills that you could better draw upon within your future career. Think broadly and see what you come up with.

Your career and personal skills are important to know about

Remember that you shouldn’t value some types of tasks above others in the evaluation process. Give every skill you identify the same weight, no matter how trivial they might seem. Be critical of your core skill set and look at the “bigger picture” when identifying your current skills and keep an updated list of skills and make sure you constantly review it

It’s important to take compliments and achievements to heart and to give yourself time and money to develop core skills. Doing an online course could be a great way to enhance your career prospects and to brush up skills you want to develop, such as leadership and management.

Climbing the career ladder is always up to you

By identifying your top skills, you will enhance your career, find out what you are good at and subsequently what you love doing. Be your own career cheerleader and take your personal value seriously. Your future career is really up to you, so make sure you invest in yourself.

Study to enhance your career prospects

Online study works around your current career commitments. You can study in a flexible way, with over 100 courses that offer rolling start dates. Have a look at Upskilled’s range of online courses here.

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