Assessing Your Skills and Talents: What Brings You Joy?

skills and talents

If you are looking ahead to what’s next in your life, start by assessing your skills and talents. There are dozens of tests that can help.

But here’s an interesting angle. It’s possible you no longer enjoy using some of your gifts. After racking up decades of experience, you may have a sense of ennui — maybe even burnout — in areas where you have mastery.

The choice is yours. Prime women have earned the right to re-invent. Going forward, which skills and talents do you want to apply?

A question to ask yourself: “What brings you joy?”

  • You might be an outstanding marketeer — but at this point in life just can’t bear to do one more product rollout.
  • Perhaps you are a superlative team leader but have had your fill of all-hands meetings, performance reviews and dashboard metrics of employee engagement.
  • Maybe you are an excellent writer. You now have the time to pursue a creative project — a book or screenplay. But that requires sitting in isolation for long stretches of time — every day for months or years on end. If you are an extrovert, you might not be willing to make that tradeoff.
  • Or…maybe you have a special talent or hobby you enjoyed in childhood, but have not applied in adulthood since you have been busy earning money, securing your nest egg, maximizing your career or raising a family. This may merit consideration for a new area of concentration.

It all comes down to what brings you joy — the criteria that organizational guru Marie Kondo popularized in her approach to tidying/purging your home. Take it to the next level: how you decide what to toss or keep in your life. It’s about the expenditure of your most valuable asset — your time.

Check MarkHere are three assessment exercises to consider. For Prime women, your results will likely be different than an earlier stage of life when you were in the achieving realm of a career ascent.


This is an excellent resource that helps you inventory your skills, rank your competency level and — here’s the best part — prioritize the skills you delight in using. Or not. The Career Driver Online product is ideal for mature adults who are in the transition or reinvention mode. You’ve earned the right to choose — and focus on doing what brings you joy!

Values Card Sort

This exercise goes to the heart and soul of who you are. It prioritizes what is meaningful and important to you from a personal values standpoint. You rank what is most important to least important.

Focus on money and security were likely more important in your younger, climbing years. Now that you have secured a financial baseline, you may find that other aspects, such as spirituality, relationships and social concerns are more highly valued as you look ahead to what’s next in your life.

Both tools are available in an online format, and as hard copy decks of re-usable cards.

Resume Review

Pull together copies of your resume, past and current, as well as a printout of your LinkedIn profile. Get three highlighter markers, green, orange and pink.

  • Going forward, what type of initiatives and responsibilities do you see yourself continuing? Highlight those in green. This probably answers the question of what brings you joy!
  • What roles and outcomes are you ready to leave behind? Highlight those in orange. This identifies areas of competency that you prefer not using in the future.
  • Take one more look at the resume entries highlighted in orange. If you had a paid opportunity — as opposed to a volunteer or non-profit situation — would you be willing to apply any of these skills and talents? Highlight these areas in pink.

Celebrating SuccessVoila! You now have a lens through which to view and screen initiatives and commitments that will comprise the next stage of your life as a Prime woman.

You’ve earned the right to re-define and re-design your life. The challenge is to stay disciplined. In fact, setting boundaries, i.e., saying no, is more important than what you say yes to. This is the key to maximizing enjoyment and minimizing the harness of old habits, priorities and obligations that you may now give yourself permission to shed.



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