Action, reflection – identifying qualifiable skills
When you are looking for a new role it important that one of the first things you do is take the time to identify your core skills and strengths. This is good practice and will strengthen your CV, and ultimately, it will stand you in good stead in interviews, when you are asked competency-based questions.
However, it’s not always easy to dissect your own personality – be it your work persona, or your everyday personality, so it can be helpful to ask others for an assessment too. It’s important to get an honest opinion from them, as it can shine a light on areas in your skillset where there could be room for improvement and what makes up your workplace DNA. This feedback can be from colleagues at work, or friends at home, and it is worth working through the results with your Career Consultant too.
Reflecting on your career
Identifying your qualifiable skills can be difficult, so your Career Consultant can act as the mirror for your reflections. An independent voice, someone who can only see you as you appear to them – without any backstory and prior knowledge – can be very useful in identifying both your strengths and weaknesses. Your Consultant can talk through your responses with you, and it will give them a good indication of the kind of person you are. Your aspirations, for example, will often define your perception of your own capabilities and level of hopes for the future.
But it won’t just be about your answers, about how you respond – it will be your posture, the language you use, your demeanour. Do you come across as a negative person, a nervous person, a lazy person? Do you undersell yourself? Or are you overconfident, with no weaknesses, or self-awareness of them at least? It’s not always easy to identify qualifiable skills. When you are put on the spot, if you are asked what your strongpoints are, many people cannot readily put their finger on an answer. You must have organic, natural responses – not parrot-fashion soundbites – and that is where an external viewpoint may be useful.
Often people reel off achievements as examples of their success. It’s an easy way of measuring success and it is something tangible – it’s like an author holding up their book when asked for their raison d’etre. It’s a neat justification for their work, their career and their own existence. But many roles don’t have such as easy way to demonstrate or encapsulate success. When asked what their greatest work achievement is, a ready answer is not always forthcoming. When selecting such an example to use, say in an interview, it should be a moment in your life when you played to your strengths and delivered real results.
Your Consultant should be able to help you identify what the answer to that ‘greatest achievement’ question might be and also draw out how you came to enjoy that success. There will a multitude of factors at play – these may be personal knowledge and aptitude, confidence and attitude, or other work-related skills. But by discussing and reflecting on your career with a Consultant, you will find that you slowly reveal your quantifiable skills as part of the process. This self-awareness will leave you better prepared for all stages of the hunt for your next move – from enhancing and strengthening your CV, to preparing with more self-awareness for interviews.
Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.