How to figure out the skills and expertise you have outside of your work experience

The first step to identifying the skills or expertise you possess starts with knowing where to look. The best recommendation I can give it to start by looking at the things you enjoy doing. While you may enjoy certain activities because of the people you’re with, the relaxation you experience, or some other benefit, it’s likely that there’s another factor at play.

That other factor is your strengths. When I say strengths, I’m talking about the characteristics and capacities you possess that make you stand out from others. Things like:

  • An ability to organize items or information

  • An ease of connecting with strangers

  • An ability to stay motivated and motivate others

  • An ability to quickly generate ideas or problem solve

When you are doing something, whether for work or otherwise, that uses your strengths you tend to find more enjoyment, satisfaction and fulfillment from it. That’s why even if you’ve never thought about your strengths before, I bet there is some evidence of them in the activities you enjoy doing.

P.S. If you want to learn more about strengths, and what yours may be, I recommend the Clifton StrengthsFinder book and test. This is something I usually have my career coaching clients do. Just a tip–when you buy the book you get an access code to take a strengths test. You don’t need to pay for the online test, unless that’s how you’d prefer to take it.

What do you do outside of work, or what did you do in the past that was fun and life-giving for you? When you think about what aspects of the activity you enjoyed most, is there any evidence of a strength, skill or expertise on display?