Career in Your Suitcase
A practical guide to creating meaningful work... anywhere

What Can You Do?

This is a preview to the chapter What Can You Do? from the book Career in Your Suitcase by Jo Parfitt.
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What Can You Do?

So far in this book we have talked about finding your passion and working out what really matters to you. Along the way you may have come to realise not only your passions but also the things you can do. For some readers, you may have reached this stage clearer about what you love and how you like to feel, but less sure about what you can actually do.

In this chapter we look inside ourselves again to analyse our skills and find out what we are good at. In the chapters that follow we will think creatively about the best kind of portable career for us and finally we need to adapt that ‘dream’ to the market. We then look at our context, the location and environment where we’re living, whether temporarily or permanently, and consider whether we want to work locally with the people and resources in our community, or beyond our community with the use of technology. We will also take into account all the factors important to our choice, including family responsibilities. We want to notice and investigate all the opportunities immediately around us, while also exploring the possibilities that lie beyond that. Let’s begin by taking a look at what you can do.

Review your experience

Start with your own activities from previous jobs and experiences. You can also use significant school, community and volunteer experiences. Using the form below, extra copies of which can be downloaded from, answer the following:

Describe the responsibilities and tasks you performed

• Which of these did you perform the best and enjoy the most? Which gave you energy?
• Which tasks and responsibilities did you like the least? Which were the most difficult to carry out? Which sapped your energy?
• What aspects of the work environment were conducive to doing your best work?
• What aspects of the work environment were unpleasant or de-motivating?

Position Company

What aspects of the work environment were conducive to doing your best work?

What aspects of the environment were unpleasant or de-motivating?

What I found difficult
What I disliked about this
How well I
performed this
What I enjoyed about this
Tasks /

What are your skills?

Now is the time to make an inventory of your skills. These are things you do that make up the tasks or responsibilities you have performed. They are practical things, like delegating, managing people; even woodwork or cooking are all skills. You have developed skills through work, learning, leisure and life experiences. Most of us take many of our skills for granted; we use them often and easily without thinking. If you look more closely at all the tasks and activities you do you will see just how many skills they contain. When considering your career options, it’s important to take a closer look at all the activities you do, not only work-related ones, because they all hold a great deal of information about you and can help generate ideas for your portable career.


Here is an example of a skill many people have, even took lessons in order to learn, but now take for granted because they can do this complicated task without thinking. It involves:

1. Getting the equipment ready for use.
2. Ensuring everyone is safe.
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What else is in the chapter 'What Can You Do?'?

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Putting It All Together

All the exercises and activities you have completed to this point have generated a multitude of information for you. Now what do you do with it? As mentioned before, we ...

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