Types of Skills – Job and Work Skills

The Foundation Skills

Foundation skills are the ones every worker needs. There are four groups: Basic, People, Thinking, and Personal Qualities. They are marketable and transferable.

Marketable Skills

Marketable skills are those an employer will pay you to perform, which include:

  • All the Foundation Skills,
  • Skills listed in job opening announcements;

Unmarketable skills include things like riding a bike or a unique skill that only your current employer uses... who will pay you to ride a bike? Not many.

Use the O*NET Code Connector to see the skills required for an occupation that interests you. Click on the occupation and to the right, look at the skills called "Detailed Work Activities."

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are ones you can transfer from one occupation to another. For example, if you look up Architect at the O*NET Code Connector, you will see a number of related occupations, like "Logistics Managers" and "Civil Engineers." An architect could transfer skills to these careers.

You can also use the U.S. Department of Labor's My Skills My Future website to find career matches based on transferable skills.

Motivated Skills

Motivated skills are those you enjoy using. You want to work at something you enjoy doing. Think of an achievement, accomplishment, or "good experience" you have had – whether related to work or not. Then, write down or tell someone,

  • What you did,
  • How you did it, and
  • What happened.

You will be describing your motivated skills. These are especially important in thinking about your career direction34doing what you enjoy doing.

Research shows that a good career-interest/personality match predicts job success and satisfaction. Our career test will help you in doing this.

Next, let's make a skills list.