Taking inventory of your skills

skills word cloud concept on blackboard
Photo credit: cacaroot by

For those of you engaged in career reflection, thought I would share this excellent (and entirely open) skills inventory resource created by Beth Duckles from her book Leaving the Academy: Resources from Open Post Academics

Skills Inventory


The purpose of this worksheet is for people with a PhD to start to think about their skills in new ways and to move beyond the CV mindset. Our goal is to mine the academic experience for skills you have but may not have thought of as marketable. It’s also a chance to consider what you truly enjoy doing and what you most want to spend your time doing in the future.

One very important note: Don’t omit anything in this inventory because you think the skill is not “serious” enough. You might find that the things that you previously considered fun hobbies, side projects or thought experiments will help you discover what you are good at and want to do more of.

No question is required. If it doesn’t make sense for you, skip it or change it so that it does make sense. At the end, there will be some summary questions that are best done once you’ve gone through each section.

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