Properly Valuing Your Work Skills


There are many persons who, for various reasons, leave gainful employment and find themselves unemployed, under-employed or intentionally on a ‘work sabbatical’ for extended periods of time. Many of these individuals later desire to re-enter the job market, but encounter great difficulty determining how to access opportunities that may be available. Our central theme today assists those individuals in assessing their skills and starting the journey towards successful employment again.

What skills do you have?

Each individual, whether they have been employed or not, possesses certain personal skills. These skills come naturally or are acquired during the natural course of one’s life. They might include competencies such as honesty, punctuality, dependability and other character-related virtues that help make a person who they are. There are many, despite being taught or encouraged to acquire these values, who are seemingly incapable of displaying them, as their natural environment did not reinforce them as necessary.

Persons who have worked have amassed some job-specific skills. Many of these skills are technical in nature, and may have been bolstered by formal education, training, on-the-job coaching and other learning methods. Skills such as proficiency in Microsoft office, web designing, accounting, teaching, sales and marketing, nursing etc allow individuals to use their talents and knowledge to benefit others. Our grandparents taught us that when you receive a good education or acquire some good skills, no one can take it away from you.

Along with personal and job specific skills, many individuals possess transferable skills. These skills are honed and attained over the course of a person’s life, work history and every day experience. They are competencies that are not confined to any one company or sector, but can easily be used in other companies or areas.

Individuals who have successfully engineered family or church cook-outs and fairs have, unbeknown, probably mastered project management, budgeting, delegation and many other related competencies. These must not be taken for granted but, rather, highlighted and celebrated as you re-enter the job market.

When you have determined your worth by measuring the personal, job specific and transferable skills you possess, it is wise to freshen your chief marketing and advertisement tool. The resume should be kept fresh, as it is the living breathing document that is constantly being updated to reflect the dynamic professional you are.

• NB: Ian R. Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities.

He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com


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