Career Advice Column
I am a so called Administrative Assistant, but really lack the exceptional skills to qualify for a job. My last job was at a software company doing the usual clerical functions. I have basic computer skills and also went to a well known college where I learnt Word, Excel, Lotus, Access and PowerPoint with the help of tapes and ear phones.
This is making my job search very diffcult. Almost every job description I read requires some new program. I am a slow learner no doubt, but I can make it. What job do you think I can do at this point? I am now 50 and soon will be 51 I have asked for a career change but there is no help from the HRDC as they don't seem to think people like me require help.
Please suggest some career where I can combine my transferrable office skills. I also could use the help of a resume writer so that I can update to the required standards.
As you probably already know, Canjobs has partnered up with a Career Coach to help individuals like you in their quest for a job suiting their skill-sets. We have contacted Jamie Pritchard, Career Coach for Aspire Higher to handle your questions.
Ann: Thanks for your request.
Your question is a common one for plenty of individuals who are on a career search.
The key question you are asking is:
What jobs do I qualify for with the skill sets I have?
Before I answer that question, it is important to understand what a "skill" is.
First there are "hard" skills. These are the necessary skills required before you will be considered for a job. For example statements in a job posting like, must be bilingual, able to type 60 words/minute or be an expert with Excel, Powerpoint and Word indicate that these are must have skills. In your note you identified skills that you have been trained for, these are your hard skills.
The second type of skill is the "soft skills". These are skills that are typically unique to you that can be transferred across many career opportunities. For example, I am a good listener, I am able to handle multiple projects/tasks I always meet deadlines, I work well under pressure are key phrases. From your note it was unclear what you consider your soft skills to be.
From an employer point of view simply identifying these skills is not enough. To really separate yourself from other candidates you should take the soft skills you have and relate them to the job you are being interviewed for. For example "I am a good listener which means for ABC Company that I get things right the first time. This will ensure quality work when I am representing your company."
You asked the question what job can I get with the skills I have? In general I could tell you that Secretarial, Administrative Positions, Data Entry Positions, Executive Assistants, Law Clerk positions are a few examples that you would be qualified for. However, you have only identified your hard skills.
To really have an impact on your job search I would suggest the following:
1) Get a Self Assessment Completed- A self assessment will provide you with a good background of the hard and soft skills you possess. A good resource for conducting this would be the website Mazemaster. While this site targets the youth employment market, they have plenty of good resources for anyone on a career search.
The following URL will connect you directly to their free self assessment tool:
You will also find this site a rich resource of services on labor market information. Once you have completed this it will give you a good basis to understand what jobs you might be best suited for.
2) Consider a Coaching Alliance: A career coach will help hold you accountable to specific goals in your career search. Coaching helps expand the options available to you and bring together the various tools you may be using to determine the "ideal job"for you. Aspire Higher offers coaching to individuals like yourself that are in a career transition and are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers or may need some direction on resume writing, job search strategies to meet your specific needs.
Very shortly we will be providing a special offer to Canjobs users that will provide short and long term coaching engagements depending upon YOUR needs. I would be glad to extend this offer to you now.
To help give you flavor for how this tool might be of assistance I would like to personally offer a FREE 15 MINUTE LASER COACHING SESSION to you. This will help you focus your job search and allow you to assess if coaching will work for you.
To take advantage of this you can contact me directly at 1-866-889-0008 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to speaking with you directly. Good luck in your search!
Jamie Pritchard President Aspire Higher
E-mail Jamie today! email@example.com