Discovering your strengths

Colourful graphic of a person thinking about the different skills they have.

(Mellow music)

Hello and welcome to Kick Start.

I’m Alice from Christians Against Poverty,

and in this session,

we’re going to talk about discovering your strengths.

A big part of finding a job is knowing what you’re good at

and being able to clearly tell employers all about it.

So the first thing that you need to do

is identify the skills that you have to offer.

Your initial response may be that you don’t have any,

but this is simply not true.

With a little self-reflection,

you’ll hopefully see that you have plenty

of skills and qualities that you

can use everyday without realising.

In this session, I’ll help you identify some

of your key skills and understand how showing them off

can really help you to get that job.

It’s easy to assume that your positive qualities

come from a previous job, and some do,

but there are plenty of skills that we use at home

that are just as applicable.

Let me give you a personal example.

I’ve just returned from twelve months of maternity leave,

and during this time, I’ve learned to multitask

and to deal with plenty of situations under pressure,

as I deal with a screaming child.

These are qualities that an employer will be looking for,

so I need to be sure that I talk about them

in my next CV and interview.

I’m now going to introduce you to Melissa in a short video

to show how we can all look at our own lives differently.

As you watch, see how many skills you can identify.

(Lighthearted music)

[Melissa] Some people would say

that for five years, I’ve been a mum.

I’d say something different.

I’d say that I’ve been a coordinator,

because those kids can’t get themselves to the nursery.

I’d say that I’ve been punctual,

because if a swimming lesson starts at 11,

then the kids need to be there at 10:30 to get ready.

I’d say I’ve been reliable,

because to arrange a five year old and a baby

means to be responsible and trustworthy.

Because being a mum is applying yourself

to all areas of life.

Those little ones can be demanding you know.

I never thought I’d be able to teach,

but it turns out that explaining and encouraging learning

was inside of me all along.

I never thought I’d be good at painting,

but it turns out I can be pretty creative.

Some people would say that for five years, I’ve been a mum.

But I know that I’ve been a lot more than that.

Melissa was able to identify skills

that she didn’t realise she had,

skills that are easily transferrable to the workplace.

Let’s look at what qualities we found.

The activity that Melissa spoke about was childcare.

Here are the five skills she identified.

Coordination, punctuality, reliability

responsibility and trustworthiness.

These are all really positive qualities

that Melissa wouldn’t have included in her CV

if she hadn’t reflected on her day-to-day life.

Now, she has confidence in what she has to offer.

She’s better able to identify the type

of job that she would suit.

In this case, it’s teaching.

Melissa knows that she can talk

about her skills in her CV and in her interview.

Now it’s your turn.

I’m going to introduce you to Rick in another short video.

As you watch, use your pen and paper

to write down any skills that you can identify.

(Lighthearted music)

[Rick] A few years ago,

my mate Danny took over his local pub.

He asked me to run the quiz on the Friday night.

I didn’t realise I’d do such a decent job at it,

but I’m pretty good at public speaking

and if anything, I’m committed.

I’ll always support City from the glory years

right through to the not so glorious years.

So I put together some questions for the punters

about the seventies, music, football,

and some general knowledge too.

You’ve got to stay self-motivated.

I ended up realising I wasn’t just arranging the pub quiz.

I was being hospitable, reliable,

encouraging others to give it a go.

It actually had a pretty decent turn out too,

especially the night I met my Mrs.

The nights became quite popular,

which made the quizzes more detailed and varied,

so I got to show off more of my general knowledge.

Danny said it was me who drew the crowd in.

To be fair, I’ve always been good

at making friends and including people,

recognising that I could pull

a crowd together changed everything really.

I’m just glad I realised I could do it

and all the skills I get to use.

In the end, the organisation for the nights always pays off,

especially when the drinks are on Danny.

Hopefully, you can see that a bit of self-reflection

is a great way to start identifying your skills

and positive qualities.

You’re now going to spend a bit

of time applying this to yourself.

Start by thinking through an activity that you take part in,

like volunteering or a sports team that you’re a part of,

then write down the skills and qualities you think

an employer may be looking for.

(Mellow music)

You may have been out of work for a while

or have recently lost a job,

and we understand that the need

for a source of income is extremely important.

But now we’ve identified our skills and qualities,

we need to think what sorts of roles

will enable us to use them.

Applying for a job that needs somebody with your skill set

could well put you a step ahead of other applicants.

It’s also common for your natural strengths and skills

to be something that you enjoy doing too.

So you’re more likely to really enjoy a job

that needs you to use them.

For example, if you’re great at speaking to people,

you’d find much more enjoyment in a customer service role

than you would by working alone in a warehouse.

If you find multitasking a breeze,

a receptionist or secretarial job

might be right up your street.

But finding your next job doesn’t happen by accident.

Understanding what you enjoy can be really helpful

for you as you consider which roles to apply for.

Look back through your list of skills and qualities

and tick the ones that you like using the most.

(Mellow music)

An important but often challenging part of finding a job is knowing what we’re good at and being able to clearly present this to employers. When identifying the skills we think are relevant for a job application, we typically look at previous work experience. However, being aware of the strengths and experiences we gain from other areas of life can be just as valuable.

This session aims to help you identify your own individual strengths and skills, drawing on your personal and professional experiences, which you can then use when applying for jobs. You’ll explore your interests and hobbies, with the aim of helping you better understand the benefits of finding a job that you enjoy.

By the end of this session, you will understand the benefits of finding a job that interests you. You should feel more able to recognise that skills and qualities for a new job can come from past life experience as well as previous jobs. This session will also guide you in creating a personal skills and qualities list that can be used when building your CV and application forms.

Yes! We offer additional facilitator resources, such as guidance on activities and discussions, to allow you to run this as a group session for your church or community. Fill out the form and you’ll receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to access your free resources.

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