Posts From Julie

Building on foundations for the future

In a previous post, I was talking about imagining how you would like to see yourself in five years. There was to be no thought about how you would achieve this, only what you would like to accomplish in the future. This week we will look at the first ‘what’ aspect. That is, what do I have, not what do I need?

Organisations do this using a training needs analysis. They evaluate what skills and knowledge a person has and what skills and knowledge they need for the role or another role within the organisation. When they have completed this, they work out what is required and how they can fill the gap

I have attached a worksheet (Part A) that you can use to look at what your foundations are, as we start a plan to work towards ‘future you’. That is, discovering the skills and knowledge you have now.

There is a blank sheet for you to fill in and a sample one so that you can see how you can fill it.

Draw arrows, use coloured pens and highlighters and be creative. Leave it for a day and then go back to it and add some more, or tick off things you have corrected or worked on since you wrote them down.


Step 1

Print out the worksheet and gather some pens and pencils

Step 2

Fill in the skills and knowledge you have now.
It’s not limited to completing Year 12; many people did not complete Year 12 but have gone on to have successful careers. Don’t compare your dreams and abilities to your friend’s they may be quite different.


🎭 🎺 🎬 🎨 🎤 You may be very creative – write that down.

✅ You may be able to sew and make clothes or toys and other items.
✅ You may be able to make things out of timber or metal.
✅ Do you take photographs? Even photos taken on the iPhone can be sold online.
✅ Do you like cooking?
✅ Do you like helping people or working with animals?
✅ Do you like working with machines, cars, computers?

✅ Do you speak another language or languages?
✅ Do you write another language or languages?

How are your IT skills?

Can you use the Office Software Tools – Word, PowerPoint and Excel? By the way, please have a look at my essential Word skills checklist to determine whether you have the basics that can be useful in a workplace or further education.

I have a series of YouTubes starting 1 July 2020 that take you through the basics of Word and help you to develop these skills. If you do not have Internet and a computer at home, book a computer at your local library. They’re free to use, and you can start there. Subscribe to my newsletter and be kept up to date as each video is added to my new channel.

Do you have a passport and current driver's licence?

A passport and current driver’s licence are two great forms of identification, and may even be necessary when applying for jobs. If you’re planning a dream holiday overseas, then a passport is essential.

Are you good at planning? Do you like organising parties, events, group-work?

Do you enjoy finding information/researching?
Researching includes looking for information on the Internet, reading books, visiting libraries, museums, galleries. Do you like sharing information with others?

Are you involved or have you been involved with a youth group?

Did you attend a youth group, such as Scouts, Guides, Navy, Army or Airforce cadets?

What did you learn there?

Often these associations teach you skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership, or more hands-on skills such as sailing, navigating, cooking, sewing, and marching. Yes, even marching:) This can show that you can follow instructions, work with others, be persistent and not give up.

Do you like working as part of a team or by yourself? Some positions require a lot of collaboration and teamwork; others require a lot of time by yourself. If you like being with people, then living on a remote island, or being a caretaker on a pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef may not be the best job for you.

How are your verbal presentation skills?

Can you get up in front of someone and speak, or are you too shy? If you are too shy or feel uncomfortable getting up in front of people, try joining Toastmasters or a Rostrum Club. I’ve added links to these organisations. Working with others to improve your presentation skills can make a huge difference. Keep in mind that even at university, many assessments require a verbal presentation in front of a group or class, but practice makes perfect. The first time I had to do this was terrifying, but with practice, it gets easier.

What qualifications, certificates, or completed units do you have?

Many people complete first aid courses, but they forget to keep them current. Place a reminder in your calendar to ensure that you know when to book your next update.

Qualifications need to be completed to be considered a qualification. It is common for employers to check that these are complete by contacting the provider. Being enrolled or completing most of the units/subjects is not considered complete. It’s best to write what you have done and how much is needed to complete the qualification.

★★★★ Tips
   🟢 Make sure you have the codes for each qualification or unit completed.
   🟢 Get certified copies of the transcripts and certificates – Never send original documents!!!

Do you have a resumé, and is it up-to-date?

Be prepared, always have an up-to-date resumé ready to go. You never know when it might be needed.
One of the major problems with a resumé is poor presentation. Presentation is related to the overall layout, spelling and grammar. There are many templates available on the Internet to assist you in preparing a quality resumé. I will be adding a series of videos about this very topic shortly, so do subscribe to my newsletter to be kept updated.

On the worksheet, write down as many things as you can think of that could be considered skills. I have given some ideas, but there’s many more. This task can help you to see how much you have to offer and what can be considered a skill or knowledge.

Sometimes we don’t see what others see in us, so ask a few people what they would consider to be your skills or abilities. They might surprise you and say things like you have patience, you don’t give up, you’re organised, you’re honest, and other positive things. Be prepared; they might tell you something you don’t want to hear, including: 

  • you’re impatient
  • you need to focus
  • you procrastinate 
  • it would help if you were more organised
  • you give up too quickly. 

Take this as feedback, because when you know what you need to improve on, you can work on this. You only know what you know, after all.

I haven’t added work skills that you may have gained through employment or volunteer work, but you could add this too. If you are struggling to find employment because you don’t have the required skills, consider volunteering. We will talk about the value of volunteering in another forum.

We will look at ways to fill the gap between now and future you. In the meantime, let’s look at what we do have to build on. That way, we have a starting point.

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