Identifying your skills, knowledge, and talents at the beginning of your career can be challenging for most of us. However, before we enter a profession, we must be aware of their skills and talents so that we can be more effective and efficient in our profession.
When we are not aware of the skills that we have and in which area we can outperform ourselves, we may miss many opportunities that lead to the path of success. Being aware of your strengths not only helps you get an opportunity but also present and work on it with confidence and efficiency. Knowledge regarding what you already know will also help you upgrade and work more on strengthening the skills that you already have.
Identify your soft skills (the ones you’ve learned through your life experiences) and hard skills (learned through job, training, and work).
Communicate and ask people who know you personally regarding your strengths and weaknesses.
Be conscious and make a list of things you feel like you are good at.
Ask your family and try to remember what you loved to do as a child. What were you passionate about and interested in as a child?
Take a close look at your interests, the kind of music, movies, and hobbies you are interested in, and try to identify why it is that you love them.
Take self-assessment tests to know more about yourself and your skills.
Look back and identify what are the things people compliment you on? What are the things that come easy to you that some people might struggle with? Which area of life have you always found to be easy for you or has strengthened you?
Look and identify skills and talents in other people. It might help you discover some of your talents as well.
Explore your hobbies and be open to different experiences in life.
Your skills and talents will serve you throughout your life in terms of personal and professional development. However, the greatest advantage that one has is that skills can always be learned and strengthened through consistent effort and practice. When it comes to a skillset that is valued in professional settings, a few of the skills may vary from your personal life however developing such skills will help you in all areas of life at some point or the other.
Communication is one of the key skills which is valued in any situation; personal or professional. It highly determines your relationships with people. Having effective communication skills will always boost your chance of enhancing your relationship and leaving a good impression.
Various courses and teachings can be found online, talking about communication and how one can communicate effectively. Here are some books which may help you enhance your communication skills:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston
We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter By Celeste Headlee
Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great By Carmine Gallo
2. Leadership and Management
Leadership and management skill refers to the ability to lead, motivate and encourage others towards the success of a goal while being able to manage and control the group ensuring that you reach the goal. Leadership and management are two of the most sought after skills because they highly determine an organization’s success. Here are the top 5 of the leadership skills/qualities that you might want to incorporate into your skillset.
Clear communication and negotiation
You can further enhance your leadership and management skills with the help of the following books:
Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell
Leadershift by John C. Maxwell
Leadership is an Art by Max DePree
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Teamwork refers to the collective effort of a group of people towards achieving the same goal. This too is one of the most valued skills by employers. The ability to work effectively in teams and lead them to success will maximize the individual strength of the team as well as bring better results for the company.
If you are a shy individual, have issues with socializing and working with people, here are a few books that might help you enhance your ability to work in teams:
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team by John C. Maxwell
Revolutionize Teamwork: How to Create and Lead Accountable Team's by Eric Coryell
Interpersonal skills refer to your social skills which help you build relationships in organizational settings. The elements of interpersonal skills in the workplace include:
Verbal communication and nonverbal communication
Listening and conflict resolution
Empathy and consideration
Here are a few books which may help you enhance your interpersonal skills:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Nursing by Alec Grant and Shirley Bach
Research and planning skills refer to the ability to gather and critically identify and organize valuable information while also being able to plan, organize and manage events and projects effectively and efficiently.
Planning or management staff needs to have organizational skills, problem-solving skills, analytical abilities, observation, and attention to detail.
Here are a few reference books to help you with planning and research:
Powerful Planning Skills by Peter Capezio
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell
6. Flexibility and time management
Think from the employers’ perspective, would you not prefer someone who can prioritize the work, be flexible with the timings as well as someone who has strong time management skills to work for your company?
Flexibility and time management refers to the ability of an employee to manage and adjust their work schedule by the task when necessary.
Here are some books which may help you enhance your time management skills:
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life by Jason Selk, Matthew Rudy, and Tom Bartow
First Things First by Stephen Covey
Work ethic refers to the values and beliefs which are related to the importance and valuing of work. Since your clients and employers are there in a professional setting, the thing that matters most is if you take your work seriously and are responsible for your profession.
Here are some books which might help you ignite the work ethic and help you be more self-disciplined:
Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader's Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce by Eric Chester
Self-Disciplined Producer: Develop a Powerful Work Ethic, Improve Your Focus, and Produce Better Results by Martin Meadows
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
Having a positive attitude in the workplace is essential in bringing motivation, encouragement, and performance in professional as well as personal settings. Having a positive attitude also helps you with stress management and coping with stressful situations.
Here are books to help you build a positive attitude and achieve more in life:
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of your subconscious mind by Joseph Murphy
A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Confidence in the workplace refers to your ability to believe and own your abilities and be aware of your weaknesses. Confidence comes from the deeper knowing of yourself and what you bring to the table. Having a confidence workout appearing arrogant makes you more charming, skilful, likeable, and respected in a professional setting.
Here are some books which will help you boost your confidence:
The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
The Power of Self-Confidence: Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life by Brian Tracy
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
The world is constantly evolving. The skill to adapt to a change, as well as the hunger for knowledge and learning, will help you withstand any difficulty you may face.
Companies love to have strong, resilient, evolving, and adaptive people as they will help the organization sustain itself for a long time. Therefore these key skills are one of the most desired skills wanted by the recruiters.
Here are some books which talk about adaptability and having an open mind to the unknown:
Adapting to Change: The Business of Climate Resilience by Ann Goodman
Jump by Steve Harvey
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
The Open Mind: Exploring the 6 Patterns of Natural Intelligence by Dawna Markova
Growing up and evolving with age helps us gain various knowledge and skills throughout the lifetime. These skills that we learned unintentionally or came to us as lessons will stay with us and serve us in all the areas of life. The more skills you possess and utilize, the more successful you will become. Therefore, before you start a profession, make sure to assess yourself and live by your highest potential.