Assess your skills for career direction

Friday August 17 2018


It is always a good practice to talk to former workmates and manager about your performance. However, talk to those who can give an honest opinion. Shutterstock photo  

By Daily Monitor

Do you love the job you are doing or are you working there to make ends meet? Is your performance outstanding? Are you efficient enough to keep that job? Self-assessment of your skills is important to your career development.

Lucy Asiimwe, a human resource manager at Ministry of Public Service, observes that self-assessment is key to getting a job one desires.

“Skills assessment is when you test your expertise in a specific area or field. It is usually associated with choosing a job you are really good at,” she says adding that when a job seeker discovers what they are good at, it is a great way to learn what type of careers they are best suited for.

Assessing your skills

Self-assessment can be challenging, especially when one has to come face-to-face with their weaknesses. The best way to begin is to list down the soft and hard skills at your disposal.

Rhitah Kirungi, a state attorney, says, “Soft skills increase your possibility of getting a job because they are indispensable in the workplace and describe your ability to engage and interact with other people.

These skills include communication, problem-solving, organisation, teamwork, adaptability, time management and negotiation.”

Before applying for a job, it is necessary to weigh your proficiency when it comes to these skills.

Hard skills, such as, job-specific technical requirements are also important to asses. These may include information technology programing, call handling, support roles in legal or medical sectors, data entry, accountancy and finance.

Study your performance reviews

Scovia Kamwebaze, a customer relations personnel at Fenix International, says performance appraisals from supervisors and managers are a good indicator of one’s professional skills.

“After reading the performance appraisal, think about the steps you can take to improve in areas where you did not score well. Read old performance reviews and pay attention to your weaknesses.”

What are your likes and dislikes?

Asiimwe says in career, self-discovery is very important. The exercise of previewing yourself can create a personal framework around your skills and characteristics.

“Many people are doing jobs that they are not passionate about and this causes inefficiency. However, this can be avoided if you listened to yourself and chose a career path that you are passionate about.”

Ask other people for feedback

Kamwebaze observes that previous supervisors can be of great help if they are honest enough to tell you what you can best do, and where you need improvement. This, she says, is concrete ground for an employee to begin a self-assessment.

Asiimwe also vouches for getting the opinion of one’s friends and previous employers and workmates to get a different opinion from your self-assessment. “Speak to former managers and find out what skills they think make you a top performer.”