Your Talents and Skills – Do you know the difference?

Talents and Skills

I had a conversation with a friend last week about her talents and skills. This friend has a masters degree in Education and has been a training professional for many years.  She went huh.

If she struggles differentiating between talents and skills then well…. this is worth discussing.


Talents and gives the definition of Talent special natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing.

A talent is something that comes naturally to you.

What are your talents?

I am in the Leadership Austin Essentials Class  for 2013 and in our opening retreat we were asked to tell the group what was special about ourselves. I had to think about this.

I am a story teller. I can tell stories anytime. I have an incredible knack to craft stories. I have naturally weaved this throughout my technical training and speaking career.

A talent is something that you look forward to doing.

What is special about you?


Talents and gives the definition of skillsthe ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well: Carpentry was one of his many skills.

I have lots of technical skills. I am planning to create an audible version of my book, Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers. I developed the skill for recording and editing high quality audio in my last corporate gig. In fact, I recorded and edited well over 20 hours of online curriculum. Was it a talent that came naturally?


I had to learn a lot about:

  • Positioning of the microphone
  • Preparing my voice for recording
  • Techniques for marking and then editing the audio
  • and much more

This was a most definitely a skill.

I have acquired most of my skills in my career at the bequest of my employer. I most often acquired a skill because my job required it. It was not because I wanted to acquire the skill!

Your Talents and Skills

Take a moment to write down all of your talents. These are the things you look forward to doing.

Is this difficult?

Now create a list of all of your skills.

On that same list, write down why you acquired each skill.

Many of us have acquired a lot of skills in our careers. Are there any you do not want to use anymore?

For most of you who are over 50 years old, the answer is probably YES!

What skills do you want to bring forward in your career?

What skills would you like to leave behind?


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Check out my new book!

Repurpose Your Career by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey

“If you’re deciding what to do for act two of your career, read this book.” ~ Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers

Available on

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist


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