Your 7 step guide to a personal skills audit

The start of the new year is often a time of reflection and decision making.  People reflect on the past year, and make decisions about their priorities for the year ahead.

I always find it incredibly energising.  Hopefully you’ve taken some time out to rest and recharge, and think about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Every year you have the fantastic opportunity to experiment, try and learn new things.

Now is the perfect time to conduct your personal skills audit.  You may be wondering why you’d bother doing this.


In short, because if you want an awesome career it’s your responsibility to keep learning and growing.   To remain relevant it’s essential that you equip yourself with interesting and leading-edge ideas and skills.

The good thing – this is a simple exercise to do, and it can be fun.

Here’s how you do it…

Step 1 – Find a quiet location and somewhere that you find relaxing.  Write down all the current skills and knowledge you have.  These skills should be both technical, functional and behavioural.

Step 2 – Imagine your dream job.  What would it be? What would it involve? Don’t limit your thoughts or ideas.

Step 3 – Consider what new skills you would need to land your dream job.  Once again, these should cover technical, functional and behavioural skills.

Step 4 – Look at the gap between the skills you have and the skills you would need.  For each skill rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 4:

  1. No current skill
  2. Some skill or knowledge, but not proficient
  3. Competent at the skill
  4. Expert with a high degree of skill

Step 5 – Think about what activities and courses you could undertake to close the gap, and what activities you would prioritise. This may include: books to read, courses to enrol in, journals to subscribe to, new people to meet and new practices to perfect.  Make sure you stretch yourself and have a balance of activities that will be challenging and fun.

Step 6 – Create your personal development plan that maps out what you will do and by when.  Ideally, this plan will also include clear measurements so that you can monitor your progress and also know when you’ve closed a skill gap.

And of course, step 7 is to put your plan into action.

Learning is a life skill.  So in 2016 learn to love learning and all the amazing opportunities your new learnings will bring you.

About the Author

Michelle Gibbings is known for making the complex, simple.  She helps people to think more deliberately, act with greater purpose and accelerate progress by understanding the art and science of human behaviour.  

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