Identifying your assets
Worksheet 2 is about clarifying your talents, skills and achievements. It can be hard to do this straight away so the worksheet is divided into two sections:
The first part (Questions 1, 2 & 3) are exploratory. This is where you need to think expansively about all the things that you like doing, those that you think you are good at or those that you are most proud of. Once you have collected an exhaustive list under all these topics, it will be far easier to outline your real achievements – both objective (‘hard’) and subjective (‘soft’).
Essentially in the first part of the worksheet (Questions 1, 2 & 3) you are making notes so that putting in your actual achievements (Questions 4 & 5) will be a much simpler process.
Preparation / groundwork
In answering Questions 1, 2 & 3 think in the very broadest sense about your talents, skills and interests. Think as creatively as you can about what makes you happy, what you are good at and what you have done in any aspect of your life which you are proud of. Make each list as long and as comprehensive as you want.
Your answers here will help you fill out the achievements section of the worksheet (Questions 4 & 5).
1. What makes you happy / what do you like doing?
2. What are you good at?
3. What are you most proud of?
Once you have completed Questions 1, 2 & 3 use these answers to complete Questions 4 & 5.
4. Outline your objective achievements – write a comprehensive list
These are all the ‘official’ qualifications that you have, the ones that have been formally awarded to you, such as:
- Exam qualifications
- Music grades
- LAMDA grades
- Qualifications from hobbies eg. sports (football, skiing, athletics, tennis, swimming, lifesaving, PADI licence etc)
- Driving licence
- Post-graduate / diplomas / vocational training eg. law, stockbroking exams, HR, Public sector, PGCE, etc
- Other qualifications which you may have which have nothing to do with your chosen career eg. DoE, HGV licence, upholstery, plumbing
- Work based awards / promotions – eg. employee of the month, sales awards etc.
5. Outline your subjective achievements – think creatively, make your list as full as possible
These are your more personal or ‘soft’ achievements, such as hobbies (eg. playing in bands, taking part in political or social causes); or positive character traits or behaviours you have exhibited which cannot be measured as such but undoubtedly are achievements (eg. volunteering, learning a new skill at a later age); rescuing a pet, learning to cook, bringing up a child as a single parent) etc.
You could also include things here which you are not naturally good at but have worked hard to achieve results in eg. getting maths GCSE; overcoming a fear of heights; learning to drive or dive or or anything else which didn’t come easily. Often the things we struggle most with are the ones which best demonstrate the positive aspects of our character.
Additionally, you might include much softer factors here which demonstrate what matters to you. They could be political, social or cultural eg.
- Supporting BLM or standing up to the school bully
- Visiting old people in their homes or listening to your grandparents repeat the same story many times without showing them that you’ve heard it before
- Showing compassion
- Showing common sense
- Showing good judgement
- Being fair and open minded
Some things to think about:
- Hobbies – eg. music, drama, clubs or societies. Don’t just think about what you have done but think about why they are achievements. What do they say about you? For example, if you helped set up or run a club for fun – what did that bring you / what did you learn? If you learned a musical instrument what has it brought you? What does appearing in drama productions or helping behind the scenes say about you and why is that important?
- Work success – not just specific awards but more subjective factors such as challenging projects you completed; or how you have dealt with difficult clients or even difficult managers or you might have stepped up to manage a team suddenly, written articles or even organised the Christmas party etc
Which do you think are your three most important?
Of all the achievements you have listed, which are the three you think are the most important to you?
This might be a little tricky as all of your achievements – both official and subjective – will be important in some way in demonstrating a positive aspect about you. Choosing only three doesn’t mean ignoring the rest, it is simply a way of thinking about what your stand-out achievements or talents are. It’s a useful exercise to do here as it will help you when you come to creating your personal brand in Step 3 and particularly your summary.
If you find it difficult to pick only three then just try and put them in a priority order – which do you think are the most important and the least important bearing in mind what you are you are trying to achieve with your working life.
Meeting the needs of your proposed target audience
Once you have completed the achievements section, look over it and compare it to the work you did in Worksheet 1 about your target audience.
How do you measure up? Do you meet their required needs and skills? If not, ask yourself the following questions:
- What can I add to my achievements section?
- Have I missed something out?
- Should I take up a new hobby / skill to demonstrate that I do have the requisite skill set?
- Or, should I think about another career direction?
How well do you meet their needs?
What can you add / develop to meet their needs more exactly and enhance your chances of landing your dream role?
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