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How to Take Stock of Your Career Capital for Growth



In our career life we have accepted a lot of tags, for example, an accountant, a lawyer, a salesperson. And once we accept these tags, it becomes very hard to think beyond them.


I have been a salesperson/accountant for last 8 years, what jobs can I do other than sales?

Well, depends on how you look at it. What if your sales role spends a lot of time drafting and managing commercial contract? There’s a profession called Contract management too. And what if the accountant has done a lot of work in Finance System implementation? There are roles specialized in system implementation, project management as well.

Here Accountant, Salesperson are the tags, the job titles. Contract management, project management, system implementation are the building blocks. Understanding what building blocks you currently have, is the first step to discovering new possibilities. It is because, when you focus on the building blocks, the job titles will no longer restrict your imagination like before.



The Building Blocks: Your Career Capital

The good things you gathered in your career journey, have a name: Career Capital.

Career capital is what people will hire you and pay you for.

We categorized career capital into 4 components, based on an HR framework.


Career Capital Framework - Copyright: YoYo's career channel
Career Capital Framework - Copyright: YoYo's career channel

When we talk about career capital, we usually think of No.4 KNOW WHAT (Industry experience) and No.3 KNOW HOW (Skills) as the most important, but research has shown that, across all industries, the key factor for a successful career, is actually No.1 KNOW WHY (Motivation) and then No.2 KNOW WHOM (People relations).


Why I Made A Worksheet for You to Coach Yourself


Here is what I do in my coaching sessions: inquire into the client’s past experience, break down into building blocks, and expand the mind for possibilities. It always works well and gives good outcome, but I felt that, to get more benefit from it, we need more time and space for thinking.

This is why I created a worksheet, which you can download for free at my website: With this, people can do a self-discovery first, and come to my coaching sessions with a much better understanding of their career capital. Building on top of such understanding will give us a much more productive session.

This also means, use this worksheet, you can now kind of coach yourself. Of course, it’s not exactly the same as working with a coach, and this is the part of work you can do better than a coach - Self Discovery. But whether or not you eventually meet a coach, this will offer you a lot of benefits.



Benefits of Taking Stock of Your Career Capital


The worksheet consists of more than 40 questions. And the questions are designed in a way that you will unbundle your experience into building blocks. A lot of mind expansion and self-discovery. New ideas and thoughts will come up, and that’s how you will start to see other possibilities that you never thought of before.

Clarity of career capital brings various benefits
Clarity of career capital brings various benefits

You will have More confidence: because you will have a new respect for yourself. And this Confidence definitely helps you in the everyday life of your career.

You will Know how to grow your career: When you know where you are, you can build bridge to where you want to be.

You can Stand out in Job Search: Having good awareness is the first step for writing a real good resume. And when you have a wealth of bullet points at your disposal, you will also perform much better in interviews.


What You Need to Know About the Worksheet


The complete worksheet can be downloaded for free at my website, yoyochannel.com, Free Resources section, so I will not go line by line here, but really just highlight the most important things when you use it.


The worksheet is designed in reverse order, starting from #4 KNOW WHAT, because it’s the easiest to get to.


#4. KNOW WHAT

This section is about your technical understandings, skills, domain knowledge in an industry context.


Even a hobby project can count too! If you make it count...
Even a hobby project can count too! If you make it count...

Industries: Don’t be limited to the industries your company was in. Think about the industries you collaborated with.


Let’s say you are an accountant working for an accounting firm, and your industry is then accounting. But if you have served a load of logistics clients, you should include Logistics as an industry. Pay attention to this and you will notice there are plenty of questions to get you start thinking in the same way. Also check out my article on How to have an awesome resume after job hopping.

Next, on your Skills & knowledge in these industries, don’t dismiss the general domain knowledge you have. As long as you know more than someone outside that industry, that knowledge will be valuable for your career, because general domain knowledge is valued in many ways. Also see my article on Unobvious career options in Fintech.

#3. KNOW HOW

This section is about the Know-how of delivering work needed. It includes skills, knowledge and competencies, but most importantly the evidence of their existence.


Function: Try not be limited to your job title, but think about the building blocks your work related to. For example, if your function was product management, but when you break down your work component, there were a lot of internal selling and you also supported client meetings. In such case, sales can be a competency for you too.

Of course, you may say that by this standard, anything will become a skill. Yes it can become a skill but only the skills that give results are valuable. This is why in this section, the most important element is evidence, to prove that these skills exist.

Interestingly, most people fail to include enough evidence in their resumes. This is because they think evidence has to be measurable business impact in dollars and numbers. Of course, if you have measurable numbers, it will be the best. But a lot of times, we don’t have that. And in the worksheet, You will see another 8 ways to come up with evidence to prove that you have the KNOW-HOW to do the job.

#2. KNOW WHOM

This section is not only about whom you know, but also how you work with them.


How you work with people is an important part of career capital
How you work with people is an important part of career capital

WHOM - Firstly, you need to identify the type of people you know. This really can be a wild card - You never know what is useful as career capital. e.g. If you know many expat wives, then you might be the best candidate to sell high-end furniture or do student recruitment for an international school.

Then it’s about how you work with people, how you are positioned in any given group. Our ability to work with others, be liked by others, influence or motivate others, which all contribute to capability to lead others, determines how we as a piece of puzzle fit into the bigger picture and generate more value for organizations.


Organization culture is one thing people tend to ignore but very important. It takes different types of skills or personality to work in SME or large corporate. If you were able to thrive in a rather rigid large MNC, or a chaotic start-up, both of those should be counted as career capital.


Do take note there are definitely different types of organization cultures, such as risk-avoiding financial services companies, vs. fast-expanding conglomerates that encourage failures. Have a good thought of the companies you have worked in and define their characteristics, as well as the part of you that made you thrive/suffer in those environments.

1. KNOW WHY:

Lastly, know why we want to do something, understand our motivation and passion.


It’s about knowing WHY we want to do it. Our motivation. Our energy. Our drive. How much of these we choose to bring to the career, eventually becomes the most important factor of success in it.

EQ, or rather, being aware of self is the other part of it. It helps us to identify our drive and understand our own motives.

Knowing ourselves, and knowing why we want to do it, form the most important part of career capital: an internal compass.

Motivation is an important part of career capital - what makes you hold on
Motivation is an important part of career capital - what makes you hold on

At the end of the worksheet, there are also a section on how you can use your career capital for career planning and career transition. Check it out. :)

The Benefits of Great Awareness of Your Career Capital

  1. Inspires confidence as you recognize your skills accumulated so far

  2. Improves self-awareness which is vital in having a successful career

  3. Helps to strategize your next steps in the career planning process

  4. Indicates where your gaps are, towards your dream career, whether in the immediate term or a longer term

  5. Generate new ideas of career possibilities and move to industries / type of work you did not imagine

  6. Provides visibility in transferable skills if you aspire to move into a new industry

  7. Allows you to write a solid resume and perform well at interviews

You can download it here at the Free Resources section.


You can always book a 1:1 coaching session with me to discuss your findings and connect these insights to the job market.


Watch the video here:




Yolanda Yu, Career Coach, Career Strategist, Award-winning author


Follow YoYo's Career Channel at YouTube

Book a 1:1 coaching session with YoYo

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