Do You Know What Your Marketable Skills Are?

Do You Know What Your Marketable Skills Are?

Chicago street scene.jpg

A 10.3 % unemployment rate in Illinois continues to remain high and only .2 % lower than August, 2009.  Private companies are tapering off in layoffs as is the public sector, yet there are still millions of job seekers out of work looking for a way back to employment.


Many job hunters have exhausted their personal and professional networks, along with their bank account.  It’s not a pretty picture for the “have-nots” in this recession.  For many, the recent figures attesting to a slowing in lay-offs means nothing to them as they struggle to survive.


Sometimes changes are unavoidable in your career, yet you must be able to identify what skills you bring to a company and how to transfer your skills to a new position.  Identifying what skills you possess will be the most important task you perform in your career.  Jobs, even careers, will come and go, but your skill set is always something which makes you unique and marketable.


You need to know what skills you possess before you can move forward.  The more proficient you are at something the more likely you don’t recognize it as an asset because it comes naturally to you.  In fact, determining your innate skills may be the most difficult task in your career because most successful people do their job so well at such a rapid pace they rarely take time out to assess what makes them a success. 


Sure, you know how to do your job, but what specific attributes do you possess that keep you employed?  I am an advocate of the Meyers Briggs personality assessment tests because they are remarkably accurate in assessing our personal strengths.  IQ tests are also relevant in reminding us of the areas we are innately the strongest. 


The last IQ test I took, I scored 117 points, bright normal, not brilliant as I had hoped.  In fact, I was lower than both of my parents which reminded me we don’t necessarily become smarter with each generation.  Yet, when I reviewed my test scores with an industrial psychologist the tests indicated I was “off the charts”, as he said, in the communications sector.


This was not an epiphany, yet it was an affirmation of my communication abilities from a trained professional.  This gave me confidence I was on the right track to continue pursuing industries which required strong communication skills such as sales, marketing, writing and public speaking.  I recommend all job seekers to meet with an industrial psychologist for a skills assessment test.


Another effective, but overlooked tool for a personal assessment, is to receive feedback from your friends, business colleagues and family members who interact with you on a daily basis.  You’ll be amazed by the detailed feedback you’ll receive. Ask them to offer a couple of strengths and also weaknesses they’ve observed.


Open your mind to their comments by not being defensive.  Just listen to their comments and observe the most consistent observations.  This feedback will help you understand how you appear to the world. Often others see us with more clarity than we do.


Once you have defined what you’re skills are and what you have to offer to a work environment, rather than defining yourself by what your title is, the career opportunities will present themselves.  The transition to a new industry or profession will become a doable rather than a daunting task. 


People who reach dead ends in their career tend to define themselves only by their title making it much more difficult to change professions.  Your unique set of skills will help you survive.   The experience you bring from another industry offers a company new strategies and creativity to keep a company competitive.  Identifying and utilizing your strongest skills will allow you to thrive in your career pursuits, while adding enjoyment, success and balance to your life.









Leave a comment