My Life Skills are Working Skills!

It's common for many of the people in the workforce system to under value the things they can do that will have value in the labor market. If you or the job seeker writes something they did on the top line of this handout, you can extract all the skills involved in that accomplishment and put them in the lines below. Then you can look at different combinations of their skills and put the matching jobs or careers in the following set of lines. This sends a powerful message about the labor market value that can be found in many people.

To use this most effectively, make sure you extract all the soft and hard skills from the accomplishment. I once got twelve skills from a person fixing their bike. I got twenty-eight skills from someone organizing an event at a faith-based organization. When you go to match these to jobs and careers, you do not need to use every skill. Just pick out the ones that could be used in various jobs and careers. It is good to think of as many jobs and careers as possible so people understand the full potential of what they can do.

This tool is very effective in group work. Have a person put in an accomplishment on the top line. The piece of paper is then passed to another individual or small group where all the skills are outlined. Then the piece of paper is folded over just under the thing the person did and the paper is passed to another individual or small group. They cannot see the original accomplishment so they are not limited by it. All they can see is the skill set. They start thinking of jobs and careers without being hindered by the knowledge of the original accomplishment. It is amazing what people come up with in this process. Then the paper is given back to the original person so they can see all the skills, jobs and careers that other people saw in their accomplishment. It is good to have the original people report back to the group about what they see on their paper. What did this make them feel like? What jobs and careers interest them the most and why? What are the next steps they need to take to get closer to their favorite job or career?


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