As an employee, it is always important to consistently ask yourself if you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of you even as you progress on your job. Most times this is stated in the job description but it can be really hard to decipher which is which.

At other times, it is equally essential for you to determine if you need improvement. There are some expectations that may not necessarily be stated in your job description but will affect your performance.

The knowledge, skills and abilities required for a job may appear difficult to distinguish and most times these words are used interchangeably. This confusion is what will be addressed in this post. These factors are so important and play key roles in determining your performance appraisal, talent review, and promotion.

It is also of interest to note that your previous experiences where you have one, and how you have applied it to your job is also considered. It is important to further explain what these terms really mean so that you can eventually decide on areas you should improve on to give you that boost you desire in your chosen career.


This includes facts or information acquired over time through experience or studies. It involves more of theoretical understanding and may include practice. In this case, your educational qualifications and history may be sufficient to have the right amount of knowledge required in your job.

To determine whether you need to improve your knowledge, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How can I apply theories I have learned to my job?
  2. Do I need to learn more?
  3. What kind of knowledge do I use on my job?
  4. Are there set rules or procedures to apply?
  5. Do I need guidelines to accomplish my tasks and do I have/know them?

Depending on the outcome of these questions, you can now take measures to address any issue.


This is the level of proficiency or the expertise you have on your job and have exhibited over time. It most likely comes from training or practice. For example, if you studied massage therapy and can adequately apply your theories while helping people on a high degree of personal contact, then you are displaying your skills.

If you have mastered the art of communication, then that may be termed a skill acquired through practice and which is equally required for any job. You can also train yourself to acquire this skill in various ways.

Ask yourself these questions to determine if you need to improve your skills as you carry on your job.

  1. How original is my work?
  2. Am I regularly sought after for advice on certain areas of my job/field?
  3. What areas do I need to improve on?
  4. How complex is my job?


These are acquired/ natural talent or the level of capacity needed to make you successful on the job. Abilities are the quality of being able to do something. To really understand what abilities entail, you need to understand the “Can do” and “Will do” spirit.

Can do– You need to ascertain whether you can carry out your tasks effectively, depending on your job duties.

To be more productive and to exhibit the “Can do” spirit ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the nature of the job I do?
  2. Can I do this task?
  3. Is my training sufficient to make me successful on the job?
  4. Do I need more training?
  5. How independent are my actions?

Depending on your answers, you can decide on necessary steps to take.

Will do– Determine if you really want to carry out your duties on the job.

Ask yourself based on your job duties, the following questions:

  1. Can I do this task but would rather not do it?
  2. Am I lazy on the job?
  3. Do I delay sending out my reports?
  4. Do I get to work late, so much that it affects my productivity?

If your answers to these questions are in the affirmative then you may need to realign yourself with your objectives and goals.

Abilities are often used interchangeably with skills. There is a thin line between both terms but hopefully these terms have been clarified. Determination and persistence which is needed in every job within an organization may be termed an ability needed for success on your job.

It is of benefit to note that knowledge, skills, and abilities play unique roles in determining increased success on your job. They determine your performance and potential within your organization. It is, therefore, important that you continuously re-evaluate yourself and make improvements where necessary. It is your duty. Remember that it is important to learn and grow every day.

Self-development is paramount!

If you have questions, suggestions or need clarifications please feel free to comment and I will respond as soon as possible. Enjoy your job and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive exclusive information. I promise, no spams!