We hear the word ‘skills’ all the time, whether it’s a section in our CV, a job requirement or even mentioned online in an article talking about finding your passion at work, which is easier when you know your motivated skills.

One thing is clear for sure, that your skills are the core of your job. There are two types of skills, soft skills, and technical skills. Soft skills include your interpersonal skills, communication skills and basically any skill you use to deal with people in the workplace. Technical skills, also known as hard skills, are the job-specific skills, such as software development, quantitative research or budget planning and so on. But have you ever took a minute to think about which skill you genuinely enjoy using? Or have you ever thought of the meaning of the word ‘skills’ for that matter?

What is a skill?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines skill as “a learned power of doing something competently: a developed aptitude or ability.” This means your ability to do any activity comes from a skill you’ve developed at some point in your life.

Let’s focus on the part that takes up one-third of your lifetime, your working hours. During your working hours, you get to do different types of tasks, interact with many people, use your soft skills and technical skills and then you leave work. Then why do most people feel like they’re demotivated and completely drained by the end of the day? You know why? It’s because we usually don’t know enough about and we don’t utilize many of our motivated skills.

What is a motivated skill?

Your motivated skills are the ones you enjoy doing, using, and you are potentially, but not necessarily, good at. Imagine the job that you would love to do if you didn’t have any sort of financial responsibility whatsoever, the one that would make you feel like you’re following your new found passion and you don’t feel time flying because you’re enjoying it all. This job, whatever it is, contains all the tasks that you truly enjoy doing, by default your motivated skill.

But, how do I identify these skills?

You would need some working experience to be able to have a clearer idea of what you do like and dislike. There are two ways to do this. The first one is a bit straightforward, sit down with a clear mind and a clear paper and a pen. Start with listing your daily tasks in your job/s within the past 1-2 years. Start by writing down,

  • Activities you’ve been involved in your job.
  • For each activity, break down your tasks. Don’t disregard anything!
  • Consider each skill needed to complete every single task.

Sounds complicated? It should not be. You can always refer to your job description for assistance and then add on it if the tasks were not included in there from the beginning.

To see how the outcome should look like, download this 2-minute-read document that will help ease the process.

How will this help me?

This exercise will help you get a general understanding of your skills and preferred tasks, which will help you roadmap your ideal job day to day tasks and help you shortlist a number of jobs or functions that would be more enjoyable to you according to your new found self-understanding.

Doing this sort of exercise with a career coach, which is the second way of getting to know your motivated skills, is preferable and is more efficient. Your coach, who is an experienced and understanding professional, will be there to challenge you, ask you the right questions and help you shed light onto the concepts and angles that you probably have not thought of before. As simple it can sound to you, having an experienced professional who knows when to step in and challenge your perspective on yourself or your qualification is a necessity to self-exploration, as we always don’t see ourselves as others do.

Your coach with help you genuinely consider your level of competency in a particular skill or level of enjoyment. That offers a far greater value of self-understanding that the self-assessment might not be able to provide you with most of the time.

Being self-aware of your own skills, the ones you would prefer to have in your workplace, the ones you’d like to avoid is extremely important in your career or job decision-making process. Lack of self-awareness will always keep you from using your full potential. Nobody wants that!

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