Distinguishing Between Skills, Values & Interests

The easiest ways to determine your skills, values, and interests is to make a list of them and describe how you have used each skill in your life, whether professionally or in other areas. Remember, this exercise is only valuable if you connect the skills, values, and interests from your lists to your life by describing when you have actually used or done them in the past or present. If you are having trouble determining your skills, the information below can help you get started.

1. Skills are things you can do well. Identify 20-40 skills that you have and be sure to note specific technical skills like Word skills, Excel skills, and the like.

Examples of Skills: Analytical, Budgeting, Communication, Computing, Counseling, Debating/Language, Excel, Writing, Word, Technical, Teamwork, Team Management, Project Management, Programming, Planning, Organizational, Negotiation, Leadership, Interpersonal, Internet, Staff Hiring.

2. Values are principles you find important or motivating. Note the values that are most important to you. These can help you narrow your search during job selection. High salary, recognition, prestige, travel opportunities, etc. are some examples of values. Write down around 10-15.

Examples of Values: Adventure, Aesthetics, Altruism, Belonging, Challenges, Commitment, Creativity, Ethics, Family, Fairness, Honesty, Independence, Love, Prestige, Recognition, Respect, Responsibility, Salary, Security, Self-esteem, Travel opportunity, Trust, Vacation, Variety.

3. Interests are things you like doing. Ask yourself what you enjoy. Examine both your personal and professional interests, such as writing, socializing, programming, etc. Some people are willing to pay you to do what you love doing. Write down at least 30-40 things you enjoy doing.

Examples of Interests: Arts, Organizing or Participating in Conferences, Dancing, Designing, Dressmaking, Entertainment, Exercising, Gardening, Internet, Jewelry making, Painting, Piloting, Racing, Sculpting, Singing, Socializing, Table games, Team games, Traveling, Water sports, Woodworking, Writing.

About Shawn Athanasios

A little bit about me. I received my BA from California State University, Northridge in Speech Communication and my MA in Culture and Communication from New York University (NYU). My Master’s degree was within the field of Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management and my thesis topic was Meta-Cognition and Human Defensiveness. I wrote about the importance of individuals learning how to understand their defensiveness and negative thinking habits as a way to improve the overall cohesiveness within their human relationships. Curerently, I am an Adjunct Professor at SAE Institute, and my pasrt teaching experience includes several of the top Universities in the U.S. (NYU, LIM College, Pace University, Manhattan College & Georgia State University). My teaching experience includes the following courses: Interviewing Strategies, Intro to Human Communication and Culture, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Principals and Theories of Communication, Public Speaking and Theories of Speech Communication I decided to create my own Coaching Business (JAAS Coaching) under the umbrella of Personal and Career Development for those looking to enhance their current profession, change careers, discover their deepest passions, communicate and manage conflict more effectively, achieve high levels of motivation, and find balance with their total self by offering a holistic approach to career and personal development. My eBook, "The Soul Search Before the Job Search," encompasses all of my work as a Personal and Executive Coach. My website/blog is www.JAAScoaching.comLinks to an external site. I have had many fulfilling experiences that include being raised in Laos, Ghana, India & Egypt by parents of the U.S. Foreign Service and Diplomatic community, teaching ESL in South Korea, serving as a Primary Counselor for kids out of Juvenile Hall, and mentoring grade school children through a Psychologist’s referred program. In addition, I am proud to have received a full scholarship for my Masters Degree at NYU, to have been the sole recipient of the Rosenberg scholarship and for graduating Magna Cum Laude upon completion of my graduate degree. I also presented two papers at the New York Speech Communication Association (NYSCA) conference while at Graduate School where I discussed the importance of taking full ownership of one’s shortcomings as essential to inducing change within oneself and one’s environment and how to be an effective interpersonal communicator. And finally, I was voted Faculty of The Year and Georgia State University after just one semester on the job! The article can be found on my website/blog. My volunteer work is reflected through participating in Buddhist Activities as a member of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world. Previously, I was the Young Men’s Division Leader for Houston District, I transcribed the World Tribune to audiotapes for the blind Buddhist members, I published an article in the Soka Gakkai’s Living Buddhism magazine and was a volunteer staff writer for the organization’s newspaper (The World Tribune). I continues to lead group discussions on Nichiren Buddhist Theory.
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