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 had previously taught as an Adjunct Professor at NYU, LIM College, Pace University & Manhattan College where I taught Interviewing Strategies, Intro to Human Communication and Culture, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Principals and Theories of Communication and Public Speaking. I currently teach at Georgia State University as a Full-Time instructor. I decided to create my own Coaching Business 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. Finally, I wrote an eBook that discusses the difference between having a job versus discovering their life mission. The title is "The Soul Search Before The Job Search." 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, and teaching ESL in South Korea. 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. 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 attending Graduate School.
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