Created: March 2017
Last Updated: April 2020
This learning experience is part of a playlist — two or more learning experiences focused on specific areas of the digital world. You can find this playlist, Crafting a Successful Resume, here. This particular learning experience is the second in a sequence of six. Learning experiences in a playlist build off of each other, but they were designed so that they can also be completed on their own!
|Group or individual activity:||Individual|
|Ages:||13-18 years old|
|Online / offline elements:||This learning experience contains an offline activity and challenge.|
Main area: Digital Economy
Additional areas: Identity Exploration and Formation
|License:||This learning experience has been created by Youth and Media and is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 4.0 International license. For more information, please visit http://dcrp.berkman.harvard.edu/about|
Identify three types of skills that you possess — transferable, knowledge / domain, and personal trait skills — and consider how you may combine these skills and apply them towards opportunities in the future.
Computer or mobile device with Internet access
[Optional] Pen or pencil
Blog post: How to Get into Stanford with B’s on Your Transcript: Failed Simulations and the Surprising Psychology of Impressiveness - by Cal Newport
Article: Skills as Verbs, Nouns or Adjectives - by Dick Bolles
In this learning experience, you will explore your skills and strengths and how you can use these skills to pursue opportunities you’re excited about. Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out how to translate your interests and hobbies into skills that you can showcase for different opportunities — whether that might be a volunteering opportunity, an internship, a university, or a career pathway. However, with some practice, doing so is within reach!
First, it is important to identify the skills you have developed in and out of school. Check out the Assessing Your (Noun, Verb, and Adjective) Skills! Worksheet. On the worksheet, there are lists of two different types of skills: 1) transferable skills, and 2) knowledge or domain skills. You can think of transferable skills as those skills that you could easily transfer from one opportunity to the next. For example, adapting to new situations and collaborating with others can help you thrive no matter where you are — in school, or whatever career you ultimately choose, from being a nurse to a school teacher, or a computer programmer. You can also think of these skills as verbs — like “researching,” “planning,” or “negotiating.”
Knowledge or domain skills are those skills that are specific to a certain knowledge area, like visual arts (e.g., graphic design) or science (e.g., chemistry). Some examples of these skills could be knowing how to create a web page or conducting a chemistry experiment in a lab. You may have learned these skills in school, in an afterschool program, from books, a mentor, or simply on your own. You can think of these skills as nouns, like “biology,” “theatre,” or “statistics.”
There are also skills that you feel describe how you go about doing things in your day-to-day life. These skills are called personal trait skills and can be thought of as adjectives. For example, you might be very caring towards others and always try hard to make situations as inclusive and equitable as possible. Or you may be strong-minded, which can help you persevere even as you hit obstacles.
Looking at your Assessing Your (Verb, Noun, and Adjective) Skills! worksheet, take a few minutes to rate how good you think you are for each transferable and knowledge / domain skill. For now, ignore the last column — the personal trait skills.
Now, pick at least five skills (across both the transferable and knowledge / domain skills) that you rated highly in (i.e., marked as a four or five). Consider how you engage in those skills. Maybe it’s “kindly,” or “creatively,” or perhaps “flexibly” — your personal trait skills. To identify these skills, you might consider, “How do your family or friends describe you?” and “How do you approach new tasks or activities?” Take a few minutes to write down some adjectives under the “Personal Trait Skill / Adjective” column on your handout.
When you’re thinking about future opportunities that you’re excited about, what makes you unique is not having several nouns or verbs or adjectives in isolation. It’s how you ultimately bring them together that can help you understand what you uniquely offer to the world!
After completing the worksheet, write down the 10 skills that you rated most highly. Try to pick a mixture of transferable skills and knowledge / domain skills (and add in a few personal trait skills you wrote down) — that is, verb, noun, and adjective skills.
For each of the 10 skills, provide a SPECIFIC example of a time when you used this ability. Finally, from your list, choose at least five and think about how you could combine these skills to pursue and succeed in opportunities you’re excited about. Explain how you would combine these skills in a paragraph below your list.
For example, let’s say I’m a student who wants to be a mental health counselor one day. I’m doing really well in my psychology and art classes (i.e., knowledge / domain skills), and I’m also really good at planning group meetings and public speaking (i.e., transferable skills). Additionally, I feel that I approach new projects in a very creative way (i.e., a personal trait skill). I could use these skills in the future, after I get my counseling license, to hold group-based art therapy sessions, bringing my imagination to creative and therapeutic activities that I organize each week for group members.
Great job on completing this challenge! We bet that others are excited to see what you learned! We encourage you to share your write-up with an educator, mentor, or advisor, or a family member or friend. Feel free to also share your write-up with the Youth and Media team through email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please indicate the title of the learning experience in the subject line of the email.