Rebecca Horton, International Training Programme Assistant
Skills Development and Assessment
The museum is a competitive and changeable environment to work in. More than ever museums professionals are expected to take on a variety of responsibilities and work under multiple job titles.
To ensure you keep up to date with the trends and are aware of the skills you need to develop, have a go at the skills assessment exercise below…
3 different colours of ‘post- it’ notes, a flip-chart and marker pens are advisable (and much more fun!!) but of course a pen and paper will do the same job.
Assuming you have post-it notes, take a pack of one colour and write down your career path- one phase of your career per post it. This will be the basis for your Technical/ Hard Skills-
- Certificates or degrees in specific disciplines
- Mastery of a foreign language
- Operation of specific machinery
- Use of software programmes
Now think about the skills you need to gain before moving on to the next phase in your career. Qualifications and keeping up with the latest trends are important but also think about what else enables you to progress, for example qualities based on your character, personality and experience. These qualities are your Interpersonal/Soft Skills-
- Effective communication
- Time management
- Flexibility / Adaptability
- Problem solving
Use another post it to note down the soft skills which enable you to do the hard skills.
Once you have completed these tasks, you can begin to think about where you see yourself in the future and what skills – both technical and interpersonal – you will need to get yourself there. This approach will be the same whether you aspire to a new job, are adding another strand to your current job, or simply being better at what you currently do. Think about whether you have these skills already? If not, how can you achieve them? With your third pack of post-it notes, you will need to ‘fill in the gaps’ within your career.
I have put together a quick example of how this might look on your piece of paper. But, you should take your time, and really separate the technical from the interpersonal skills, and also think about more personal aspects of your life. How have these experiences moulded you as a person? Besides any part-time jobs and volunteering you have done, there are hobbies, parenthood, living in another country, learning to drive…
Should you feel ready to take the next steps in your career, this activity enables you to think logically and carefully about the direction you could take yourself in.
Please find below the PowerPoint which Claire and Emma presented at the Learning, Engagement, Museums Workshop in Armenia last month. This will provide you with more information about the exercise.