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Strengths, abilities and interests

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Strengths, abilities and interests play an important role when students are looking at future experiences, including jobs and careers. It is equally important to identify the students' difficulties and weaknesses and to plan how these can be overcome.

Identifying and matching the students' ability and interest areas can assist in determining their strengths.

Ability + Interest = Strength

Ability

  • An ability is something the student is good at or does well. This might be competency or a talent or skill.
    Not every ability will necessarily be supported by an interest.

Interest

  • An interest is something that the student is intrigued by or is motivated by.
    Not every interest is supported by a skill or ability. Skills and abilities can be worked on over a period of time particularly if motivated by an interest.

Strength

  • In some cases the abilities match the areas of interest. These are the students' strengths.

The Australian Blueprint for Career Development is a framework that identifies the skills, attitudes and knowledge that individuals need to make sound choices and to effectively manage their careers. The blueprint will help the student capture their abilities and interests.

Helping students to gain an understanding of their abilities, whilst acknowledging their limitations or restrictions, can help ensure students are not defined by their disability, but instead encouraged to embrace and celebrate their strengths leading to a more positive and successful post-school outcome.

Encouraging students to record their strengths, barriers, goals, dreams and aspirations helps the student and school staff to see a clear picture of what the student is capable of and where their interests are.

Developing a template to use with students (DOC, 170KB) to capture this information may assist the student to reflect on a range of elements they may not have previously considered. This template works to capture the bigger picture of the students' goals and aspirations. It is designed to assist students to develop a greater awareness of their abilities and interests and to make appropriate, well-informed and realistic career decisions.

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Last updated 02 October 2018