I heard it said that a job application is like a love letter. You want to tell them about all the wonderful things you shall do together – not a whole lot about what you did with your last boyfriend. And your resume should reek of all the things you can do – again, not what you have done. Your COMPETENCIES.

And you can take any given thing and deduct your competencies from it. Just as an exercise, I took a look at my cooking skills in a competence-light. And I was so amazed at what came forth that I thought I’d share it.

If you are in any way inspired to think about your own competencies in a new light, I shall be very thankful and happy.

Here goes:

Cooking!

I love cooking and am good at it, meaning I achieve flow in the process and – most often (but not always) a satisfactory and tasty result comes out of it. Now, my approach to cooking tells a lot about me as a person; – amongst other things my temper, my problem solving skills and my creativity.

Competences I use when cooking:

Organizational Talent
If the potatoes need to boil for 20 minutes and the steak needs 4 minutes, the potatoes go on first. Then there is time to make a salad and set the table before the streaks go on. When the steaks are cooked they need to rest for 5 minutes and that is just the amount of time it takes for the kids to turn off the TV and come down.

Overview/ Multitasking
I am good at keeping the overview of several parallel processes – like cooking on all five burners at a time while having something in the blender, oven, setting the table, sipping wine and listening to jazz while kissing an occasional boo-boo on any crying kid that enters my kitchen.

Creativity
Out of an ingredient? Well, I never shy away from using something else then. And that is also what I love about cooking – you can vary the same recipe endlessly. So its the same – but different! And I so do love finding new ways of producing yumminess.

Care
To me, food is a way of showing people that I love them. So I remember that C. likes spinach, M. likes hot tomatoes, I. likes mushrooms stuffed with goats cheese, D. doesn’t like nuts, J. is allergic to sesame and A. doesn’t like corn unless it is on the cob and he prefers it with salt and butter. It isn’t a thoughtfulness I put a lot of thought into, I just seem to remember and aim to serve something to people that I know they will like.

Sense of Aesthetics
We eat with our eyes and I thus make sure to wipe the edge of the bowl or tray with a paper towel before I set it out; I was raised to believe that one NEVER sets the pan or pot directly on the table РALWAYS serve the food on a beautiful  plate, bowl or dish! And I love to add that sprinkling of something that makes the dish look inviting and delicious. I am currently in a flower-phase РI put flowers in all the food I can get away with. Ah, it looks so pretty.

Leadership Skills/ Delegating
If there are 25 people coming over and I am doing the cooking, I delegate. YOU set the table, YOU go pick me some basil, YOU go buy the eggs I forgot to buy and YOU just sit completely still over in the corner and stay out of the kitchen.

Efficiency
I am fast. We are talking thunder and lightning. Chop, chop, chop!

Calm
I don’t stress over cooking. If something burns, deflates, is too dry or too wet – it’s just a meal. I’ll do it differently next time and it will probably be better. ‘S okay.

[Oh, I might add that I also identified some less desirable competencies/traits while doing this exercise.

Sometimes Hubby and I try to cook together (it looks like so much romantic fun in the movies!) but it always ends up in misery. I am too confident and he too inexperienced in a kitchen and I then prove myself to be impatient, bossy, anarchistic, not a team player, borderline hostile, patronizing and generally bitchy. (Traits, I also apply in traffic. Damn.)]

The other night, I watched a documentary of Danish chef Rasmus Kofoed and his way towards winning the prestigious Bocuse D’Or – a very fancy competition for the world’s best chefs. It was quickly very apparent that his approach to cooking was very different from mine (apart from the obvious fact that he is a professional and I am merely an amateur). That’s what I like about this little exercise: The theme might be the same (Here: Cooking). But Rasmus Kofoed’s list of competencies would look VERY different from mine. He was all about measuring the grams and timing everything and making sure it reached 67,5 degrees exactly – his attention to detail was extreme. Nowhere on any of my lists would you find “perfectionist” but he sure is and he approaches his cooking with it. Also, I would guess his list contained competencies such as determination, patience and will power. Sadly, none of those are very high on my list.

Look how beautiful his winning dish was:

I invite you to think about what you enjoy doing and to identify the competencies you apply while doing it – you might be surprised, as I was.

Enjoy!

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