Career Readiness: Skills, Talents, and Experience

Jan 11, 2024
Career readiness skills talents experience Edmentum article

A career is a journey, not a destination, and for everyone, it involves a variety of checkpoints, excursions, and detours along the way. However, regardless of your learners’ career goals, there are some critical skills that any career traveler must acquire.

Developing the ability to articulate how unique skills, natural talents, and work experience map to career objectives and successfully integrating the terminology of a chosen field into everyday vocabulary are key steps to solidify career readiness.

Accomplishing this objective is challenging, and it requires learners to build a thorough understanding of both the career cluster they are interested in and themselves.

How Skills, Talents, and Experience Build a Career: An Example

Sarah is an adult learner who is very interested in becoming a radiologist. She has been employed as a home healthcare worker part-time for the past few years and has been taking basic prerequisite classes in math and science.

She is ready to apply to an entry level radiology program, but to be accepted, the job requires her to complete an application form and go through an interview process. Sarah is struggling with how to express herself both on paper and in the interview—especially when it comes to defining her skill sets, talents, and experience as they relate to the field.

Highlighting Career Abilities

What is the difference between these three kinds of abilities, and how can Sarah best use her knowledge and background to show she is a great candidate for the radiology program?

It’s best to address all three to propel her career path forward. Here is a good way to break it down:

Career Skills

Skills are the things you have learned that are specific to a job or task—for example (using Sarah’s case):

• Completing a patient care report

• Knowing how to physically transport a patient from a wheelchair to a bed

• Time management

Natural Talents

These are transferable skills you have a natural gift for, such as:

• Communicating well, both verbally and in written form

• Being friendly and engaging to put people at ease, even if they’re in pain

Work Experience

Experience consists of the things you have done:

• Preparing food and medications for diabetic and heart surgery patients each day following doctors’ orders

• Measuring and recording patient vitals accurately daily

Developing a level of comfort in differentiating these terms is key to both employability and sustainability in a career. By being able to identify their own abilities within this type of framework, learners can become advocates for themselves throughout the process of navigating the job market and building a career.

Visualizing Career Abilities

This infographic explains the difference between skills, talents, and abilities while applying that understanding to careers in a variety of fields:

For more information on Edmentum’s online courses and practice programs for adult learners, read our brochure on workforce readiness solutions. You can also refer to our career development articles that cover topics such as soft skills and gaining relevant job experience through proper job preparation.

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