“This above all, to thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare
Before you start considering what job to apply for, or start thinking about writing a résumé, do you know what you have to offer? What do you bring to the table? You need to know very clearly what you have to offer as an individual.
Your Transferable Skills, Knowledge and Attributes
The skills you have acquired throughout your life, at work, and in the rest of your life through family commitments or interests, are not isolated to that particular context. They are transferable to your new working environment. Take the time to recognize themes as it is often the skills or knowledge that you take for granted which give you a unique point of difference from other job applicants.
Your Personality and Values
Your personality traits are an integral part of you and will impact on how you deal with many different aspects of the new work, such as stress or change, and particularly on how you will interact with work colleagues.
Your core values are at the heart of who you are as a person, your integrity and your ethics. They determine the decisions you make and the sort of work environment where you will be comfortable.
Your Passions and Interests
Your passions and interests are clues about what you would love to have incorporated into your work. However don’t make the mistake of thinking that those clues, those interests and passions, must be directly translated into an occupation. You should not ignore them but think of them like cryptic clues!
Consider what transferable skills you have developed because of those interests. When you really care about something most people take the time to learn whatever they need to know to follow their passions. At the same time as developing skills and knowledge they are also developing personal skills, perhaps team work, patience, or communication, all vital skills in the workforce.
Go deeper…What it is that you really like about your special interest? For example you may love gardening. It is the joy of being outdoors, or is it the plant biology? Is it the peace and tranquility you get when gardening, or the challenge of having the best garden in your suburb? Is it the appeal of being environmentally friendly in your garden and creating a sustainable ecosystem? Could it be the money-saving or health-giving benefits of having fresh organic vegetables and herbs growing in your garden? Is it simply your time away from everyone?
Often what seems like an interest in your life, something unrelated to your worklife, is actually the reflection of a deeply held core value that should be considered when you are considering a new job or career change.
Your transferable skills, the skills you take from one job to another, are frequently skills that you have developed through your own personal life, not just skills that have been learned on the job.