Guest blogger: What do you think of your own skills?


Getting an education, transitioning to working life, changing jobs, ending work, and changes in one’s ability to work are phases in which many people reflect on their skills and weigh the meaningfulness of different options and, in general, their opportunities in working life. Right now, we are in the middle of the Reveal Your Skills week, the goal of which is to help you identify the know-how you have acquired and make it visible.

If you have never stopped to think about your skills in more detail, you may be pleasantly surprised when you start listing things: what you have done and what you have learned from it or what kind of skills you have needed for doing them. You may have accumulated competence from various leisure hobbies, working life, trainings or, for example, in various everyday moments without even noticing in addition to other activities.

You do not have to transfer all your skills to the job market, but when you notice where you have been able to help others, which things go naturally, or which things arouse enthusiasm, you can recognize your own strengths. These ingredients also form your own competence identity. Professional identity may be a familiar concept to many people, especially if you have worked in a field where your work is largely based on a specific vocational training or it is in accordance with the descriptions associated with the profession. If your own work does not seem to quite fit your professional identity during changes in working life, outlining your competence identity can help. You can ask yourself what kind of things you would like to do in your working life in relation to your work community, your customer target group, or society more broadly.

Perttu Pölönen, in his 2020 book Tulevaisuuden identiteetit (‘Identities of the future’), has given examples of what future skills-based job identities could be like. Even if you are still a nurse in the official papers, could your work identity be a mitigator, an encounterer, or an independenter? What if you could describe your job description as a condenser and stimulator rather than as a communication expert, teacher, or project manager? When you find a few new perspectives on your skills, you can find a new kind of motivation for your current job. In job seeking, on the other hand, you can better describe what you, as a unique individual, would bring to an organization. At the same time, a potential employer can realize that they have a need for your type of talent.

If thinking about your competence identity seems difficult, you can ask a career guidance professional for help, for example a psychologist from TE Services. Find out about the services that support competence mapping from the TE Services' event calendar and the websites of the regional TE Offices. If you are part of the local government pilot on employment, ask about local services in your own municipality.

Read more about competence identity.

Check out the tools compiled by Sitra that help you identify your own expertise.

You can read more about work motivation on the website of the Institute of Occupational Health.

If you need professional advice, the TE Offices offer career choice and career guidance as well as competence mapping, which you can find in the event calendar of the TE Services.

Hanna Gustafsson
Development expert, smoothener and combiner

At the KEHA Centre, the author is responsible for the development activities for strengthening career planning skills and guidance competence in accordance with the Strategy for Lifelong Guidance.