Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What Are Your Skills?

Identify and leverage your skills for your career as a cancer survivor. 

Everyone is good at something (we happen to be good at surviving cancer - knock on wood - and knowing every day is a gift). Most people are too modest to promote and leverage what they are good at OR they are too full of self doubt to admit they have a skill at all.

Consider your skills as the things that come “easy” to you or what have you worked hard at to be able to do it “easily”. I understand if you doubt these skills given the trauma your body and mind has gone through - I get that so much. Have some faith in your abilities and think about 6 months after treatment or 2 years after treatment or if you are going to be in treatment for the duration of your life then just think about what you LOVE to do and see if those skills tie in to some work-related items. (Remember to always get your medical team's approval about working.) 

List at least 3-5 skills that you have – this is not the skills section of your resume which should be full of actionable skills such as your computer, social media, technical skills – this is instead the things that should be DEMONSTRATED on your resume – so if you are a great project manager, you would have things on your resume demonstrating your prowess as a project manager (such as key accomplishments in successful projects you have run,etc).

What skills should you be demonstrating on your resume? What skills should jump off the page by reading your job descriptions and accomplishments?

Skills for you to print and fill out - just 5 to ease into it but if you have more than 5, write away!

  1. _______________________________________________
  2. _______________________________________________
  3. _______________________________________________
  4. _______________________________________________
  5. _______________________________________________

Now look at your resume; do those skills jump out at you through the page? Underline or highlight the pieces of your resume that map back to these skills – are there skills not showing through on the resume? How can you address that?

What about your LinkedIn profile? Can it be understood by your profile that you have these skills? If not, how can you make these skills “pop” via your descriptive content about who you are and what you bring to the table.

Get comfortable promoting yourself because if you do not do it, no one else will. Get comfortable highlighting the skills you have for your career after cancer.

In case you wanted to know, mine are:

  1. Writing
  2. Presenting
  3. Teaching
  4. Project Management
  5. Entrepreneurship

If you like this article, check out for more information and resources for getting back to normal after cancer.

Follow us on Twitter @balancecancer or Instagram @balance_after_cancer or by clicking here.

Disclaimer: Writer of this article makes no guarantees about the content and everything should be cleared with you medical team and doctors. The information provided in this article is written by the writer for general information and the information should not be used without consulting with your own medical / legal team. This information is strictly for educational purposes and the author is not responsible for the outcomes if you follow aforementioned advice of the author. 

Lisa Vento Nielsen, MBA, PMP is an author, speaker, cancer survivor and career expert. Find out more at

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