Spotting and filling in your skills gap
21 August 2020 at 5:24 pm
We all have skills that need working on. We’ve rounded up some ways you can bridge those gaps before applying for your next job.
While 2020 has not panned out the way anyone thought it would, the past six months have been a good time to reflect on where you are and where you want to go.
Part of this reflection might be the realisation you’re itching for a career change. One of the most important things to do before applying for a whole bunch of jobs is to consider your skill gaps, and how you can fix them.
Being honest with yourself about this won’t only help you in the long-term, it will put you ahead of other candidates when applying for your dream job.
It’s why we asked Sharon Davies from Talent Propeller for advice on the best ways to identify and address your skill gaps.
Narrow down your criteria and test it out
It might sound obvious, but when deciding what kind of job you want to go for, it’s important to narrow down the skills you’ll need and then put them to the test. This will help identify the areas you need to work on, and what you’ve already got under your belt.
“For example if you’re in sales, take a sales aptitude test and see which areas of the sales process you are strongest in, and by contrast the weakest in,” Sharon explains.
“You may discover that you’re great at initiation but not so strong on closing.”
Look to the past to propel you forward
Sometimes, you need an outsider to put you on the right track, which is why it’s a good idea to reach out to your old managers and employers to ask them for some guidance.
“These are people who are going to be giving references for you to future employers so you may as well understand what they will be highlighting as areas of improvement,” Sharon says.
“Make sure you pick people who will give you honest and constructive feedback.”
Don’t get down in the dumps
Taking the time to analyse the areas of your professional skill set that you can improve on can be confronting and at times, really challenging. But wallowing and getting caught in a negative thought loop won’t get you anywhere.
“The purpose of this exercise is to improve your own self-awareness and then from that build on your skills so it makes you more employable,” Sharon says.
“Don’t get caught up focusing on the things you can’t do. Focus on proactive, positive action and reward yourself for each milestone, whether that be a new skill learnt, a weakness identified or a plan for self improvement.”