How To Determine Your Skills

Do you really know where you are most skilled?  If you are like most people you probably never really considered this unless you are going for your next job.  The reality is that this is something few of us have really considered in any kind of systematic way.


The trouble is that understanding your skills at different points in your career is essential.  Why? Well for starters you will want to showcase your skills in job applications and CV’s.  In your current role you will have to showcase your skills in your performance appraisals.  It is also important in determining what you need to develop.


Although we all appreciate the importance of understanding skills, we often don’t know how to go about determining our skills.

We might even be resisting going out and getting feedback because of fear about what others might say or lack the confidence to deal with the feedback that we receive.


So how can you go about determining your skills and overcome the worries of seeking feedback?


Take some sort of skills assessment as a useful starting point.  In reality this might involve doing a more generic assessment and then drilling down into more detailed assessments.  As an example you might start with a generic leadership or management assessment and then drill down to a specific assessment like a communication or time management assessment.


Start first by self assessing.  This will take a bit of time and require you to reflect.  The biggest challenge with a self assessment is that the temptation is to by overly critical of yourself or to always score your self as mid range.


Get feedback from others.  Your own self assessment is extremely valuable.  However in my experience feedback from others is even more valuable.  Others can often see strengths in you that you cannot see for yourself.  Equally they can also point out blind spots or weaknesses that you could not see.


Get feedback from different groups of people.  The most obvious people that you think of getting feedback from is those who are more senior than you.  Yet peers and those more senior than you are also excellent sources of feedback.  Most of us also have either internal or external customers who are also excellent sources for identifying our skills.


Accept that there will be negative as well as positive feedback.  This is just the way it is.  Everyone has their own perspective on you.  For that reason I always encourage people to focus on the patterns or themes of feedback rather than getting hung up on individual points of feedback.


Accept that your skills assessment is all about helping you get better.  We all have areas that we need to work on so don’t allow the possibility of getting some less favourable feedback from stopping you getting clarity on your best skills.


Duncan Brodie works with accountants who want to achieve more career success.  He invites you to sign up for his free report The 7 Biggest Barriers To Having A Successful Career In Accountancy   

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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