…continued from last week…
What skills do you want people to know you have? What have you worked long and hard for, to the point where you don’t mind patting yourself on the back and bragging a little? What do your friends and family come to you for help with?
Are you the go-to person in your family when tax time comes around each year, or when someone is looking to make a financial decision? Do your coworkers come to you for advice on how to handle a difficult situation at the office? Are you known as a whiz with PowerPoint? Are you the neighbor who built the best tree house on the block, or who always has an immaculate, lush green lawn?
Do you make a German chocolate cake that is to die for?
As noted above, your skills may be closely tied to your talents, so think about the things that you’ve learned, or just “picked up” over the years, that didn’t necessarily come naturally to you “from birth” – knowing how to operate different kinds of machinery, knowledge of a specialized computer program, ability to type fast, proficiency in using different types of tools. Again, if you end up with some intermixing of talents and skills here, don’t worry about that for now. In a nutshell, skills tend to be more technical in nature than talents, so let that be your barometer for sorting them out later.
Your Past Experiences
Think about the unique or memorable experiences you’ve had in the past, all the way back to your childhood. These can be related to your personal or work life. On the personal side, think about relationships, family vacations, school and extracurricular activities. On the work side of things, this could include volunteer, part-time, freelance, summer and full-time jobs.
Recall any unusual situations you’ve found yourself in. What is your favorite, “Oh my gosh, you are not going to believe what just happened to me” story? Do you have more than one? Get it all down on paper.
Think about the times in your life when you experienced emotional extremes – the happiest, saddest, angriest, most frightening, most agonizing, or just the weirdest moments in your life. It may not be comfortable to confront some of the more painful memories, but you survived! That in and of itself is worthy of mention. For other people who are confronted with a similar situation, your experience could be invaluable.
…to be continued…
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