Being able to analyse your skills and talents is a very helpful start point to planning your future
If you have just reached a certain age you may be wondering what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. That long dreamed of state, retirement, is no longer far-off but facing you right now.
If you’re not planning to retire you may be considering one of several options. Perhaps you wish to find another full time job, or maybe a part-time job. Then again you may be thinking of working unpaid. Or possibly a blend of part-time paid work with volunteering.
Whichever route you are planning I would suggest you take a few minutes to analyse your skills and talents and assess what you can actually do - not just the work-related skills but the other life skills you have acquired along life’s journey.
Why bother to analyse your skills and talents? Because you’re more able, and more valuable than you may think!
I run training courses for many different clients in varied industries. I have mixed groups of all ages and I often see energetic older people sitting alongside worn out, stressed younger people!
So why not take a few minutes to analyse your skills and talents?
If nothing else it will confirm what you already know ... and it may just prompt you to consider a new direction.
Take a clean sheet of paper and start by listing all the skills you have used at work. Not just the obvious ones, but the others you almost take for granted. You know – like good time management, talking to people, building rapport, using computers, and problem solving.
Now list all the ‘life skills’ you have, for example: speaking foreign languages, assembling flat-pack furniture, baking, organising things, or playing a musical instrument.
Once you have listed all your skills now score each one on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is a beginner and 10 is an expert.
Next ask a couple of people who know you well to look over the list and add other skills and talents they may recognise you are good at that you have forgotten or not been aware of. Their scores may also be different and help you understand how other people would analyse your skills and talents.
Have you heard of the JoHAri window? It’s a concept originally developed by two guys, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, to help people better understand themselves and their relationships with others. There are four panes in the Johari window, two of which are obvious and two which are often ignored. Let’s start with the obvious ones.
Things known to me and obvious to you.
Things in the Public Domain are what I know about myself and what other people know about me, either because it’s obvious or because I share it with them.
Things about myself which I hide from you.
We all have things about ourselves which we wish to keep private although, with the advent of social media, young people often share the most intimate details and images, then probably spend years regretting it!
Things known to you but unknown to me.
The next window is especially important for the skills audit.The Blind spot.
The people around us know things about us of which we may be totally unaware.They watch us, talk with us, and interact with us. And unless you ask their view you may never know what they think about you.So,once you have the full list of skills, ask some of your closest friends to look at the list and see if it’s complete. They may well add extra items you are either unaware of, or have underestimated the importance of.
Things unknown to both you and me.
The final pane is also very important when considering your skills audit
We all have hidden talents so keep trying new experiences, meeting different people, travelling to new places, and researching new ideas. You will stay alert, fresh, energised and feel valued. That is the final reason to do an analyses – to become aware of your hidden talents.
Tony Bray, Edinburgh, Scotland
Return to feel wanted and valued