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Matching Your Skills to a Job

Urban PlannerNo employer will hire anyone unless there’s a good fit between the business need and the candidate’s skills and experience. It’s vitally important, therefore, to know what you can offer an employer. And at mid-career, that can be quite a lot.

What do you know? How can you contribute? Make a list of what you do every day, every week and more occasionally. Sometimes we forget all the tasks we do when they become routine. Making a list helps identify the complete set of skills you have, many of which you might take for granted.

If you’re aware of your skills, then the next step is to find out how they fit into the business operation; what jobs you’re qualified for. Job titles sometimes describe the skills needed, but often jobs are called different names in different companies. A little research will reveal the titles of the jobs you’re looking for.

Think of yourself as an independent contractor selling your services to an employer. You need to know what the employer’s business needs are and then “sell” your services to them. Just applying for a job without knowing the corporate need is likely to result in no action.

Throughout all stages of your career you need to reevaluate your skills and update your resume to reflect things you’ve learned and can offer to the next employer when the time comes. Adding new knowledge and skills is a career-long process; sometimes achieved on the job, sometimes from formal courses or degree programs.

Every job offers opportunities to learn something new as well as a chance to apply what you know. Take some time to assess your current status and then make some plans for the future.

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