By Ruth “Rocket Women” Harrison
Have you ever really thought about your skills, I mean really thought about them? Have you ever sat down with yourself and some paper and written down what you can really do?
Most people I talk to, have rarely if ever. When I ask them what they do they give me their job title but not what they do, what they can do or what they enjoy!
When you don’t know what you actually can do and achieve it can make planning that next step in your career very challenging. When you don’t understand what it is about what you do, that you enjoy, how can you find it in again?
Do you even realise what it is that you know? What you know is completely unique, you are the only person that knows what you know, understands what you understand and puts that knowledge together in a way that comes from your unique perspective of life. That is not to say that other people don’t know some of what you know, but only you have your particular experiences.
And that matters.
So never ever underestimate the power of you.
So, if we start from the point that you are unique and no-one else can be you, let us think about all the bits that make you, You. All those skills you have gained, the ones you got doing your job or jobs, the ones you got volunteering at the organisations, the ones you got while achieving a personal goal, the ones you got while dealing with illness or the ones you got while studying.
When we look at who we are, we can be tempted to look only at our job, the skills our employers have given us or have dictated we need, but to truly understand what skills we enjoy we need to look deeper. To all those activities we give our precious free time to. There we will find the skills we truly love to employ. You may find these overlap with your main employment and that is fantastic but if you are struggling to find your purpose it can be a good idea to look outside your day job.
So write with abandon everything you can do, some will come to you and you will think “oh don’t make me do that ever again”, so write them small, and some you rejoice at the memory of doing, so write them big, as they are the skills you love to employ. But don’t ever believe that something you can do is either of no use, or something everyone can do, because I can tell you right here right now that is not true.
And by skills I don’t mean facts, I mean skills, from technical skills like using software or understanding load factors to equally important skills such negotiation, mentoring, or resilience.
People within technical roles tend to focus on facts, for example knowing how to use Excel is a fact, knowing how to use excel to interpret data and report on it, is a skill.
Facts can be transferred but it is the other skills that you have that makes them transferrable skills.
It is how you see the world and interpret it that can make those skills really transferrable. It is how you apply them in new and different situations. So, when you think about what you know, really think about what you can achieve with that knowledge. Not just right now, but into the future.
Remember that wherever you are in your career, you and no-one else is you.
So, own it. Bring it and Believe it. Look to the future and see where you want to be, look at who is there and how they got there, work out what you have and what you need. Then take steps to get you there. Those steps could be networking, reading, learning, or formal study, but your next step could just be the realisation that you can do more than you thought you could.
Ruth "Rocket Women" Harrison Ruth Harrison is an experienced connector of people, passionate about all thing’s aviation and engineering. A champion of diversity and equity in all its forms and a driver of organisational change to create truly inclusive work environments. She is creative and driven to see a more equal society through creative and diverse thoughts and designs. Ruth can advise on recruitment best practice, STEM engagement, employment branding and organisational change. Ruth is also open to speaking opportunities on creating environments supportive of diversity, flexible working, recruitment, and engineering