To believe in yourself and figure out where to go next
Everyone should reevaluate their job skills from time to time.
It allows you to track your professional growth, to understand what opportunities you have in the job market and what you should work on to increase them. It also helps to write a great resume if you're getting ready to change jobs. We tell you how to analyze your skills.
What are the skills
Work skills are divided into two large groups: professional knowledge, or hard skills, and universal skills, or soft skills. The first group includes everything that can be learned at university, on courses or in practice. For example, knowledge of foreign languages and programming languages.
The second group includes personal qualities that help in work: creativity, critical thinking, ability to work in a team and manage people, negotiation and public speaking skills, the ability to act under stress and others. These skills can also be learned, but it's more difficult.
You need both types for a successful career, and many recruiters believe that soft skills are more important. Two candidates for a job may have roughly the same level of education and experience, then being able to present yourself and speak favorably about your experience will be an important advantage.
Competencies change over time: each new project or task teaches us something new. That's why it's worth revising your skills regularly - about once a year, even if you're not looking for a job. If you decide to quit your job or change your profession, you should not only formally update your CV, but also try to understand what you can do and what you would like to do. To do this, it's worth digging deeper into your skills, well-developed and hidden. Here's what you can do to do this.
Ask others to evaluate you
It is difficult for people to evaluate themselves. Fears, desires, psychological peculiarities and unrecognized motives distort self-perception. One of the most famous studies on this topic was conducted in the 2000s by Simin Wazir, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne.
She asked a group of students to assess their intellectual level. Then she compared that data with the results of IQ tests. It turned out that they barely correlated with each other. But self-esteem, as shown by psychological tests, had a direct impact on students' perceptions of their own intelligence. Those who were generally confident did not doubt that they were smarter than others, even if their academic performance was not impressive. The unsure thought they were stupid, even if they got straight A's.
Wazir's further research showed that other people - friends, colleagues, partners, and even strangers - tend to evaluate our intellectual and creative abilities, strengths and weaknesses much more objectively. And when reassessing your own skills, it's worth using this.
The simple way: just ask different people what they think about your professional skills.
The hard way: make a detailed questionnaire. You can use the 360-degree method as a basis. It's not uncommon for HR professionals to use it to assess employee competencies.
Ideally, the questionnaire should consist of several dozen questions covering all the skills you have to apply at work. For example:
"Am I good at what I do? And what do I lack?"
"How do I make decisions: do I listen to others or based on my own experience?"
"Am I communicating correctly with my colleagues, supervisors, and clients?"
"Should I be more assertive at work or should I tone it down a bit?"
Ask colleagues and clients to take your questionnaire. Perhaps not everyone will agree - try to choose those who are willing to help, and explain to them how important it is to your professional development. And lastly, be prepared for criticism.
Write Your Biography
How we evaluate different events depends not only on what we remember about them. It also depends on how we tell ourselves and others about them. Through stories, we organize our experiences. A special method in psychotherapy is based on this notion - narrative therapy. Most frequently, they are applied for the treatment of traumatic events, but are useful in many other cases. Among other things, they can be used for determining the reasons for one's professional successes and failures - to extract from them important experiences and change one's relationship to them.
One way to do this is to write your professional and personal biography. This method is used in business schools to help students understand themselves, recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and understand their goals.
The rules for writing a biography, at first glance, are simple. You need to tell in as much detail as possible, with specific examples and in chronological order:
1. about how and why you chose your profession.
2. who influenced you professionally. 3.
3. all the troubles and difficulties that have happened to you at work - and how you have dealt with them.
4. what you like to do and what you don't like to do. What you are good at and what you are not so good at.
5. At the end, articulate where you are going, that is, what you would like to accomplish professionally and career-wise.
This work is likely to take several hours, if not days. But don't try to fit it into a shorter time frame: in narrative practice, process is the most important thing. By remembering and detailing our experiences, we force our brains to re-structure and analyze them. You will surely notice that the same events in your biography can be recounted in different ways, which allows you to look at yourself, your skills and abilities in a new way.
Remember that a biography is an unfinished work. From time to time it is worth going back to it, rereading it - and perhaps rewriting it - if you realize that your view of yourself and what happened in the past has become different.
Visualize the growth
To do this, remember everything you've learned lately at work. To make it easier, try the PARLA method. It's used by human resources during hiring or annual performance reviews. But you can also work with it yourself.
First, make a list of work projects you've recently been involved in. And then make a five-column table for each of them on a separate sheet of paper. The first is "Problem," where you describe the main problem you solved while doing the project. The second column is "Action," where you list the actions you took while solving the problem. Summarize what you accomplished - and record it in the third column - "Result". Put the skills and knowledge you gained while solving the problem into the fourth column - "Experience". Put those that you will use in practice in the "Application" column.
Such tables will be a visual representation of your experience, will help you formulate and analyze it. And they will come in handy when updating your resume. Recruiters advise to add to it not an abstract description of duties at the current place of work, but a short story about results with specific figures.
Don't be guided by formal achievements
It is not always the case that great seniority, a high position, a solid salary, or even expert status are signs of a good worker. Expertise does not prevent you from believing fakes, and confidence in your own experience often prevents you from questioning your judgments and perceptions-it leads to inefficiency and mistakes.
One study, in which researchers tested more than 3,000 executives, found that people with more experience were less accurate in assessing their effectiveness than those with more modest seniority.
Power also has a blinding effect on people. The authors of another study involving several thousand executives found that the higher a person's position, the more he or she tended to overestimate his or her skills and abilities. The fact that there are usually few people around solid executives who can give them constructive feedback - and those who do, they don't do it for fear of losing their jobs - according to scientists, only exacerbates the situation.
So if you want to evaluate your skills and abilities honestly and without distortion, remember to check the opinion of your colleagues - and preferably from different workplaces. And begin to appreciate not only external manifestations of success. But also your internal, imperceptible from the outside victories. The way you coped with fear of public speaking - and gave an excellent presentation. The way you learned to say "no" in response to requests to do someone else's work. The way you solved the problem you feared the most.
Do some field research
To understand what skills are in demand right now, how competitive you are, and whether you have a chance to change your field - study the advertisements on job search sites. Look not only for jobs that match your current position and occupation. Also look for jobs that specify a higher position that you would like or a new field that interests you.
Look at what requirements for applicants are listed in them. Write down what employers say is required or desirable. Think about how well you meet these criteria, whether you can add the right skills to your resume right away, or whether you need to work on them. If in the process you get the feeling that you have nothing to offer the job market - do not despair, but think about how to develop the right skills to get the job of your dreams. Career advancement can be extremely unexpected.