I don’t have any employable skills.

A friend recently pinged me about how she hates her job. While we talked about making a switch, she said, “I don’t think I have any employable skills”. Which is a strange thing to hear from someone with over ten years of experience. So, we set off on a mini-project to find what employable skills she has. 

Here’s how you can help yourself. Remember to do one step at a time. Don’t jump the gun.

First, take a blank sheet of paper — or a document on your computer, if you’re so inclined — and recollect all the work you did since your first job. No work is too small. Wrote your life’s only press release once? Note it down. Danced for company annual day? Include it.  Wrote a script to automate something on Excel? Write down and add a star next to it. The longer your list, the better.

Group all these skills into 4-5 categories: Sales, content, web design, project management etc.

Now, open LinkedIn and look for jobs you are interested in. When you go to the jobs tab, LinkedIn might automatically — even if inaccurately — curate top jobs for you. Start there.

Look at each job description and note down all the skills they are looking for. Remember, don’t get distracted about each role at this stage. Just write down skills they are seeking.

Now, map the skills you have to those in demand.

Ideally, by now, you’ll realise you have some skills that are in demand. Focus on building your CV / profile / portfolio to showcase these skills. 

If you see that the skills in demand don’t match yours, it’s probably because you’re not looking at the right job roles. Keep looking. 

If you notice that no one is hiring for the skills you have, go back and do step one again. This time look for even the most obscure tasks you’ve done and update your skill list. Sometimes, what we want to do might not pay well. And what we can do — but didn’t necessarily think of it as a skill — might. 

Whether you want to do it or not is entirely up to you. I’m just saying you do have employable skills. 🙂