In this module, we’re going to look at the other parts of your vocational identity: skills and strengths.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module you should…

  • understand what skills are and how they can help you plan for your career
  • start to work out what your skills are and where you might need to learn some new skills
  • learn about character strengths, what they are and how to identify them
  • know what your character strengths are

    In this module, you need to…

    • Watch the video on ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’
    • Complete the ‘Figure out your skills’ activity
    • Add your skills in your Career Central profile
    • Watch the video on character strengths
    • Complete the VIA Character Institute quiz to find your strengths

      You could also…

      • Research different career profiles on FutureForce Careers Hub to find what kind of skills are needed in different careers

        What are skills?

        Skills are defined as “an ability to perform a taskor activity effectively and efficiently” – basically, a skill is something you’ve learned to do well.

        There are two different types of skills:

        1. Technical skills
        2. Transferrable/personal skills

        Sometimes, people call technical skills “hard skills” and transferrable skills “soft skills”. Employers look for mix of both types.

        Knowing what skills you have can help you work out what kind of career you’re suited to, or what you might enjoy doing. It can also help you see what skills you might need to learn more about or get support with. It’s important to start thinking about this now so that you’ve got time to work on new skills that you might need. Plus, skills are a great thing to list on your CV – so working this out now will save you time later on. Watch the video below to learn more about skills.

        Technical (Hard) Skills

        Technical skills are specific abilities or knowledge needed to do a particular job or task. These skills are can be specific to certain jobs and they’re usually learnt through education or training.

        Technical skills are things like…

        • Basic first aid
        • Being able to drive a car
        • Knowing how to use different tools and equipment (e.g., lawn mower, bike)
        • Computer skills
        • Understanding the rules of a sports game
        • Being able to play an instrument
        • Cooking a meal

        Transferrable (Soft) Skills 

        Transferrable skills are general abilities that you can use across different jobs or places. These skills are usually learnt through experience, practise and personal development.

        Some examples of transferrable skills are..

        • Time management – being able to show up on time and manage yourself so you can complete tasks on time
        • Positive attitude – being friendly and optimistic
        • Leadership – the ability to lead and motivate others towards a common goal
        • Teamwork – being able to work with others to complete tasks

        How do I know what skills I have?

        One of the best ways to identify our own skills is to think about all of the life roles you have right now and what skills you need to successfully fulfil that role. A life role can be lots of things like…

        • A job you do (paid or unpaid)
        • A role you have in your whānau like being an sibling, an aunty or uncle, or a parent
        • A hobby or an interest you have
        • A team or a club you’re a part of

        Activity 1

        1. Click the image of the worksheet on the right. This will open a PDF in a new tab. Look for the download button.

        2. Download this PDF and save it into your Career Hauora Drive.

        3. Follow steps 1 – 3 to figure out what your skills are.

        4. Then go to the activity below to record your skills in Career Central.


        Activity 2

        1. Log in to Career Central by clicking this link and selecting “Blue Light NZ” from the list. Then enter your username and your password (hint: your username is just your first name)

        2. Click on the tab that says “About Me” at the top of the page.

        3. Then click on the “Skills and Subject Strengths” button on the left of the page.

        4. Look for the box that says “Add another skill”

        5. Select at least three skills that you have from the dropdown list. Click “add this skill” to add it to your Career Central profile.

        6. Then come back here to complete the rest of the module.

        Research Activity

        This is an optional activity if you have some spare time or are interested in doing some extra learning.

        Head to and find the Career Profiles page

        Have a read of the profiles that interest you. Look for questions like…

        • “what type of person would be good at this type of work”
        • “what skills are helpful in this role”
        • “what have you learnt on the job”
        • “what do you look for when hiring a young person”

        See if you can pick out what skills are needed in that type of career. Are these skills that you have? You might enjoy a similar career. Or is a career you like the sound of? There might be some new skills in there you’d like to learn.

        Character Strengths

        What are character strengths?

        Character strengths are the positive qualities that make you who you are. They can impact how you think, feel and behave. Character strengths include things like creativity, honesty, kindness or perseverance.

        Watch the video below to find out more:

        Activity 3

        1. Go to the VIA Institute on Character website

        2. Read through the 24 character strengths – which ones sound like you?

        3. Take the free survey to find out what your character strengths are. You’ll need to create a free account with your email address.

        4. When you’ve finished the survey, come back here and complete the end of the module.

        Click below to download a copy of the 24 Character Strengths. Have read through the different strengths – which do you think sound like you? You might find it helpful to save a copy of this list to you Career Hauora Google Drive so you can find it again later.

        Nearly there! Have you…

        • Watched the video on ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’
        • Completed the ‘Figure out your skills’ activity
        • Added your skills in your Career Central profile
        • Watched the video on character strengths
        • Completed the VIA Character Institute quiz to find your strengths

        All done?

        Just answer the quiz question below and you’re good to go!

          This quiz is for logged in users only.

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