6 Assessing your skills
By now, you will have a clearer picture of how the range of skills in your life, work and study experiences has helped you to develop. Of course, the chances are that you feel more confident in some of your skills than in others, so it is useful, therefore, to develop a view of where your strengths lie and which skills you feel you might lack or need to strengthen.
For this you need to do a stock-take, or an ‘audit’ of your skills. A ‘skills audit’ is a review and assessment of your existing skills. It allows you to create a profile of your skills, which you can then compare to what you need, both now and in the future, to fulfil your aspirations. You need to think about the skills you have gained through your working, home and social life, as well as those you have developed (or are developing) through a programme of study, such as this one.
The activity that follows in the next section will help you to assess your skills in more detail. It will help you to identify ‘transferable skills’. These are the skills that can be used in more than one role or activity. For example, if you are good at getting people to talk, you could use that skill in counselling someone, or in making their visit to your hair salon more enjoyable.
By auditing your skills in this way, you start to look at them in the way that employers expect, and in the kind of language that you can use in job applications. Many people, especially those who may be returning to work after a break, feel that they are lacking in skills or that the skills they have are rusty. It may be that if you feel you have gaps in your skills, this exercise will help you to identify them, so that you can think about how to plug the gap.
See how you get on with your own skills audit in the next section now.