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The Career Key By Lawrence K. Jones, Ph.D., NCC
Your Personality
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Identify Your Skills - Know the Different Types of Skills

The Foundation Skills

The Foundation Skills are the ones every worker needs. They are organized into four groups: Basic, People, Thinking, and Personal Qualities. They are marketable and transferable skills.

Marketable Skills

Marketable skills are those that an employer will pay you to perform:

  • All of the Foundation Skills,
  • The skills listed in "Want to Hire" advertisements.
  • Examples of unmarketable skills are, Riding a bike . . . who will pay you to use that skill? Not many. Learning a skill unique to your company that other companies do not use.

Go to the O*NET Code Connector to see the skills that are required for an occupation that interests you. The skills are called "Detailed Work Activities".

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are ones that you can transfer from one occupation to another. For example, if you look up Architect at the O*NET Code Connector you will see a number of "Related Occupations," like "Civil Engineer" and "Electrical Drafter." These are the occupations that an architect can transfer his or her skills.

Your transferable skills are valuable because they enable you to work in a variety of occupations.

Motivated Skills

Motivated skills are those skills that you enjoy using. If at all possible, you want to work at something you enjoy doing. Think of an achievement, accomplishment, or "good experience" you have had - whether related to work or not. Then, write down or tell someone,

  • What you did,
  • How you did it, and
  • What happened.

You will be describing your motivated skills. These are especially important in think about your career direction . . . doing what you enjoy doing.


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Your Personality
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  Take the Career Key test
  Learn More about Yourself
  Holland's Theory of Career Choice and You
  Beware of Harmful Career Tests
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