Understand Your Skill Set and Make Informed Career Choices

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We live in a world where change is exponential.  Where people need to prepare for jobs that don’t yet exist. Most will be part of organizations that periodically have to transform themselves in order to survive and prosper.

Thinking about such things raises different questions to the ones we normally consider when we talk about employability. In most cases, we tend to focus on what people know and understand now.

The fact of the matter is, we need to rather think about the sorts of capability, attitude, thinking and creativity that will enable people to prosper in an indeterminate and unknowable future.

Now that we’ve put that out of the way: let’s get to understanding skills. What are skills? For those of us who’ve tried to apply for job vacancies, we have seen hiring companies, some, mentioning vague things such as “hardworking’, “team player.”

Yet, for a great number of job seekers, those terms mean, absolutely, nothing. How do I know? They never take time to view themselves in light of those.

One of the best predictors of whether job candidates will be successful in a job is the past experience they have. This is because, some skills have developed in the candidates through such experiences.

The skills, that if known can be showcased in applications, especially, when such fit perfectly to those outlined in the job advert. Hiring managers are scouting for COMPETENT candidates.

Simply put, what sells well to recruiters is the applicant’s demonstrated know-hows. No one wants to be stuck with a clueless employee. Today, it has become even more expensive to employ someone who has to then be taken to extensive training before they can become of any use to the employer.

Every job seeker must get to know him or herself well. Self-awareness is important. This helps job seekers to sell themselves to employers, while it may also help minimize the chances of humiliation.

Because of desperation, some applicants have often indicated in their applications that they’re what employers are looking for. Later, they were discovered to be something totally different. So understanding of self, will largely help avoid such.

Better yet, so many job hunters could’ve already been swept into employment. Only if they took job searching seriously. They possess what employers would kill to have in their talent pool. But because job hunting is just one of those things they have to do, little or no success has been realized.

To better understand self: own evaluation is necessary. You do know your strengths and weaknesses, perfectly. On top of that, take into account what others say about you. Ask for feedback on the work you have done. Document that feedback and there’s lots of positives you can walk away with and show as part of your skillset.

It’s about time we became serious about our job hunt. Very minute things can and will continue to hinder our success in the job market, if they go unchecked.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.