What do you enjoy?
In some cases, the things you’re good at will correspond with the things you like doing – we all tend to put more energy into the tasks that we enjoy. So, it’s worth initially considering what you enjoy at work, as this may help to piece together your unique skill-set.
Think about the following:
- What roles have you enjoyed?
- What factors have influenced these roles?
- Were these positions at the same type of company?
- What roles haven’t you enjoyed?
- What kind of people have you enjoyed working with?
- What really matters to you at work (variety, money, challenge)?
Above all, asking these types of questions will ensure that in your latest job search you pursue the things you love, and avoid the things you don’t.
What are your skills?
Transferrable skills – the skills you take from one job to another – are what make your career change possible. Your employability will rely heavily on showing precisely what those skills are, and how you’ve developed them. So, you need to work out exactly what they are and where they came from.
Firstly, consider the tasks you undertook within your previous roles:
- Think about the tasks you enjoyed – what skills did they require?
- Consider the things you did that no one else could – what skills did you develop?
- Think about your proudest working achievements
- Think about your greatest challenges and successes – what skills were needed to overcome/achieve them?
Outside of work
Now reflect on the skills you may have developed outside of work:
- Think about your hobbies and interests
- Think about the skills these interests demand
- Think about which hobbies you’re particularly good at – what do you do better than anyone else?
- Think about the skills you use at home that can be applied to work
Understanding how others have perceived your ability is also an important way of knowing your value:
- Think about what other people say you’re good at
- Think about what people at work would typically ask you to do
- Consider all feedback you’ve received in performance reviews and appraisals
- Think about any feedback you’ve received when you’ve applied for roles in the past – what was it that got you the job?
- Consider what friends and family say – what do they think are your greatest attributes?
How do you work?
Your style of work – how you organise tasks, your flexibility and how you interact – will help you to focus on roles and organisations that are a perfect fit for your personality.
How to find your work style
- Speak to existing and former colleagues – they’ll be the best source for an honest understanding of what you’re really like at work. It’s also worth asking people you’ve worked with less intimately to see how their impression differs
- Where appropriate, speak to people you worked with externally – clients, contacts and anyone else who may be able to provide further insight
- Search the internet for career blogs and tests, which can help to refine your understanding of how you work
What to consider
- Whether you’re at your best in a team or independently
- How you cope with pressure
- How you manage difficulties and challenges
- What you want from a manager – close contact or independence?
- Whether you like managing people – and if so, how you manage people
- How you solve problems
- How you manage large projects – do you prefer working alone or collectively?
- What processes you use to organise your work
- How you create ideas
With a better understanding of what you enjoy, what your skills are and what your work style is, you’ll be able to understand what your value is. Knowing precisely what you’ve got to offer makes it far easier to show prospective employers why they should choose you.
Please speak to one of our consultants if you want advice on understanding your skills, options, or anything else. We help people change their careers every day, and have the expertise and contacts to fulfil your aspirations, whatever they may be.