In the second and third week we learnt the difference between professional skills and personal skills. Personal skills are those that help you in the industry based on what your personality is like whereas professional skills are those that would help you excel in the career of your choice.
Upon learning this information, we filled out SWOT analysis sheets. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Four sections on this sheet two of which we will come back to in a future lesson, but for now we filled out the Strengths and Weaknesses. These were skills that could be pulled from other sheets we worked on from the past lessons or even new ones we find online or amongst the class as we spoke to each other. These sheets are individual to ourselves and my strengths included skills such as handling objections to my arguments, meaning I can handle constructive criticism without getting upset, instead I take the comments and use them to my advantage to improve my work to the best it can be. Another strength I wrote down was that I can make decisions and see them through, I can create ideas that I like and take them as far as I need to until I like the look of them and think that other’s may like the same; I trust my own instincts and take advice from others on how I may be able to improve my work so that it is more accessible to other people.
The second section was Weaknesses. Now, this list was a lot longer than my strengths, not because I have many weaknesses but because there are so many skills I think I can improve upon. I would like to be able to complete work to a deadline, I have the ability to do that now, but the work is not to the standard of work that I can produce if I really try and do well before the deadline. Another is that using practical, not impractical solutions to solve problems, when I start thinking I think my brain gets quite excited and does not think through problems and instead jumps to the first solution it can find rather than thinking it through, whether the solution be practical or not I start and if along the way it becomes quite an impractical task I would have to stop and start again which takes up time, time which could be valuable if I were working on many projects at once. One more weakness I have is not knowing how to use spreadsheets and designing websites etc, I have a very small understanding of how these things work but I would not be able to create a webpage.
As I mentioned earlier, there were two different SWOT Analysis sheets, one for professional and one for personal, the above strengths and weaknesses were for my professional skills. My personal skills are quite different in some aspects and others not so much. Strengths I put down for my personal skills were understanding the needs of the people I am with, this would come in handy, not only in personal settings amongst friends and family but also in a professional setting where I need understand the needs of my clients and people I will work with. I’m quite good at avoiding jargon, taking technical terms and making them easy for people not in the field to understand, terms could include Photoshop terminology or even financial terminology, either way I can simplify what I am saying to make it understandable to everyone. This skill goes hand in hand with the one before, making sure I understand the people I am with, will give me the ability to adapt what I am talking about to suit them. Another strength I put down is being able to keep calm in the face of difficulties, being able to do so would mean being able to reach out to people in different ways; and also just being able to keep myself under control so being able to keep other people calm and controlled.
Personal weaknesses of mine include setting achievable objectives, although many of my objectives are achievable, a lot of the time many of my goals are unattainable because of the situation I am in. I need to learn to set smaller achievable goals to reach that bigger goal. Another that is related to setting achievable goals, is to be able to develop the drive to achieve goals, many projects I start are put on hold because I end up loosing interest in what I’m doing, I need to train myself to not enjoy a piece of work until it is finished to a certain extent, only then would I be able to complete work to the best of my ability and not loose interest along the way. One personal skill that I put in the weakness section because it is definitely not one of my stronger points, is public speaking. The very idea of it makes me nervous, however I understand that it is one of those skills that improve, in time and in experience; and at this moment in time I do not have that much experience in public speaking, with the exception of speaking a few sentences in front of my class. Again leaving out the Opportunities and Threats sections on both personal and professional sheets.
In the same lesson we were shown a website on which we have lots of different skills we could possibly have and we would have to tick a box on the side of the skills on whether or not we believe we have this skill or if we need to improve upon it. My Skills I Have section was comprised of skills such as being able to organise and motivate others, using creativity to generate alternate solutions, accepting responsibility for my views and actions, and many others, all that can be seen on the full list below. On the other side, Skills To Improve, I have skills down such as being sensitive to body language and identifying key factors in a problem. This list was done before I completed the SWOT Analysis sheets and so there is an overlap of skills you see on this sheet and the skills I have written down that are my Strengths and Weaknesses.