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This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.
- Identifying gifts, loves, and skills
- Assessing personal performance
- Applying your strengths and talents at work
- Making continual improvements that impact your career
Skill Level Beginner
Now that you've discovered your natural gifts and realized what you love to do, it's time to consider your skills, what you've been trained to do. We are educated throughout our lives to improve our skills, and that education can come from a variety of sources. While school provides some great skills training, it's not the only source. From our family members, to friends, and mentors, the people around us also provide skills training. Every job that you've had has given you some on-the-job training, and your employer may have provided other learning opportunities as well.
We want to consider every source of education when we're looking at your skills. To help you discover your skills, I've created a simple worksheet that you can download and complete. The first question is, what did you focus on in your education? If you went to college, what was your major? What was you minor? If you attended a trade school, what trade did you learn? This plays a big part in the development of your skills, so let's list those here. Next, what careers were you exposed to growing up? You may have heard your parents talking shop when you were younger.
When you spend time around someone else's place of work, or you hear conversations around the dinner table, it naturally influences your skills. For instance, my father was in radio, and my mom was an educator. You can see the combination of those influences in how I'm training you right now. Who have your mentors been? These are the people who had a profound influence in your life. You look up to them, either inside or outside of the workplace.
What did they do for a career? Mentors can have a significant impact on your skills, perception, and understanding, because you look to them as an example. So list a few of these mentors, and what careers they've had, and it's very likely you've picked up some skills from them. What positions have you held in the past? List all the jobs that you've had, and I'm pretty sure you've learned some skills from those positions. What do you study or read about in your spare time? Think about the magazines you subscribe to, the books you enjoy, the blogs you visit, or even the podcasts you listen to.
All of these things have an impact on your skills over time. And finally, what additional training have you received? For instance, maybe your work paid for you to attend some seminars, or perhaps you have gained other skills doing volunteer work, or in community roles that you've filled. After you've answered these questions, complete the Multiple mentions section. Here you will list anything you've mentioned more than once, up to the top five mentions.
You'll use this information in discovering your talents. Later, we will talk about how you can improve your skill set. This exercise is a starting point to understand what you've already learned so that you can discover your talents.