Author: Aghama Jesurobo
As a tech professional and an employee, one of the things I do often is a Personal Skill Audit. This has helped me a great deal over the last years.
I believe a Personal Skill Audit should be an important new year activity whether for an employee or a freelancer desirous of growth.
Personal Skill Audit simply means taking inventory of your skill set and level of skills proficiency.
With a Personal Skill Audit, you get to know what skills you have, the skills you need to hone or acquire for your current or desired role.
Professional growth demands that an individual be intentional; therefore, a Personal Skills Audit is important. While this article is focused on technical skills, soft skills are just as important. So, it is also useful to consider assessing your communication, networking and writing skills, to mention just a few.
A Personal Skills Audit (PSA) will clearly show all your skills, help you identify skill gaps and make it easy for you to determine steps to take in your job or career as well as formulate a roadmap to securing your relevance, pay increment, promotion, desired job.
Here are the few and simple steps to conduct your Personal Skills Audit:
1. On a piece of paper or e-notepad, write down all the skills you have acquired and note the level of proficiency by the side. Preferably, put it in tabular form or use a spreadsheet. Feel free to critically rate your proficiency for each skill you have listed. Additionally, I recommend you do one or both of the following:
• take tech assessment tests (examples of sites to find tech assessment quizzes include linkedin, pluralsight, datacamp)
• have a trusted mentor, coach or supervisor assess your work.
2. consider your current job description and deliverables or that of a desired role in another organization.
To be competitive in your industry, research job descriptions and skills requirements from 4-7 different organizations, looking out for similarities and uniqueness.
3. based on the above, identify any skill gaps and note the skills you need to gain or hone. Another way to identify skill gaps is to utilize feedback from reviews. Organizations perform yearly review exercises; what was your assessment report for last year like? What were the recommendations for your improvement?
You would be doing your career a disservice if you haven't started working on the stated recommendations for improvement if you desire a higher ranking or are working towards a promotion.
Once the skill gaps have been identified, depending on the skills to be learnt and other factors, you will have to decide between going the self-taught route or attending a training school/bootcamp requiring fees.
Worth considering is the time frame needed to acquire or develop a skill especially if you are eyeing a promotion or a new opening. It is advisable to set a deadline.
If you are able to learn on your own then you only need to set time and money aside for bandwidth and/or course bundles.
Otherwise, you would need to know the cost of paid training and set some amount of money aside to pay for the required training.
You may also need to enroll with a career coach and pay for the services.
So, make enquiries about costs, create your budget for personal development.
Depending on the total amount and your income level, you might need to put out a certain percentage of your income each month to help you cover the cost.
If your organization covers the cost of professional training, you are in luck. If not, take responsibility for your career growth and invest in it.
An investment in personal development will always yield a good return.
It is important not to forget that nurturing and developing skills require an environment that allows for use and constant practice.
If you are developing skills not required in your current role, I recommend you seek out challenges and communities that will allow you to grow the skills you have acquired.
With most tech skills, you are bound to lose it if you don't use it.
Have you done a #newyear skills audit in the past? How did it shape your professional growth for that year?
Feel free to share if you found this useful.
#skillsdevelopment #skillsaudit #elearning #techmum