If you’ve been following along with our Flower Exercise blog series, available in part 1 , part 2, and part 3, you’ve already done more than half the work needed. The “What Color Is Your Parachute?” Flower Exercise continues to the Fifth Petal by looking at the knowledge skills you have in your professional and personal life and encourages you to think big about all the information stored in your brain.
Knowledge skills on your petal are identifying the subjects most passionate and interesting to you. They are tangible and easily understood skills such as photography, cooking, analytical research, mechanical repair, or operational management. It is very important to only organize those subjects you are interested in – you may have the expertise as an accountant but if you have no interest in it, you shouldn’t keep it on your petal. On the other hand, if you spend your personal time doing a skill you really enjoy you should include it. Many of those hobbies or interests have the potential to become a career and are worth looking at more closely.
There are a couple of strategies that will help you think through all of your skills. Consider all of the subjects you spend a lot of time on. Your list should include those skills you’ve obtained in your professional life, from hobbies or activities outside of work and career fields that sound appealing. Those skills and subjects you choose to develop on your own time are just as important to look at as those in your work life.
In addition to ranking your skills list, you should segment them by those in which you have high expertise and those in which you have little expertise. If something is a high-interest subject, but your expertise is limited you may want to spend time researching how to increase your expertise. This could be as simple as a few books, a local community education course, or even enrolling in a college program. Training programs combined with purpose in your life can give you a whole new vocation that you find rewarding and fulfilling.
With the completion of the first five of the seven petals in the Flower Exercise, you’ve looked at your knowledge skills, your purpose in life, the people and work conditions which bring you success, and the transferrable skills that translate across industries. Evaluating yourself across these areas, you gain the ability to market and sell your experience to potential employers and can go into networking meetings and interviews with confidence.