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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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4 Skills developed through work

An image of a shop assistant helping a customer.
Figure 4 Skills

By now, you are beginning to see that all the roles in your life require you to have certain skills. Some of these roles may have been in a social context, others in paid or unpaid work situations. In this section, you will focus on roles connected to work in some way. All ‘work’ counts for the purpose of this section.

Have a look at the example of Angela below. Notice that it is not clear from Table 4 whether the jobs Angela did were paid or voluntary. This is not important since you acquire the skills whether or not someone is paying for your work. The table also shows when Angela has done similar types of job, but that her responsibilities might have been different, and so she was able to extend the skills she had developed.

Table 4 Angela’s work and personal achievements
DatesEmployer/organisation (include clubs, community groups, etc.)TitleResponsibilities, duties and activitiesTraining (include formal training, coaching and workshops)Skills developed
1986 – 1989W H Smith LtdShop assistantManagement of magazine department and some staff management

Handling customers

Use of cash tills

Handling cash

Customer care

Motivating others

Time management


1991 – 1992Derngate TheatreFront of house staff

Checking tickets

Seating customers

Refreshment sales

Basic First Aid

Understanding of team work

Interpersonal skills


Listening and questioning


1993 – 1994Liverpool Higher Education CollegeLibrary assistant

Issue desk duties

Cataloguing books

Customer training

IT training

Cataloguing skills

IT and keyboard skills

Inputting data into spreadsheets and databases

1995 – 1999Sailing ClubMembership secretary

Recruiting new members

Managing membership subscriptions

Database development

Accounting skills

1995 – 1998De Montfort UniversityAssistant librarian

Management of Library Social Sciences section

Supervision of Library assistants

Management training

Decision taking

Budget management

Providing relevant and appropriate information

1998 – to dateMilton Keynes UniversityAssistant librarianCreation of new library service

Business management

Process costing

Information literacy skills

Report writing

1998 – 2001Film clubPublicity secretary

Organising publicity leaflets

Writing film reviews


Working to a brief

Use this example to help you with the next activity.

Activity 4 My work and personal achievements

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes

This activity helps you to look back over your own work and personal achievements and to decide what skills they have helped you to develop.

Copy a blank version of Table 4 into your notebook or you can also complete this in your Resource pack [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


After completing this activity pause and allow yourself to feel proud of the abilities you have already developed. It is important to value what you can do. It will help you to present yourself positively to people who can offer you work opportunities.

Of course, work experiences are only part of the story. Any experiences that have helped you to learn can be just as influential in developing your capabilities. The next section, therefore, encourages you to review these too.