Degree of job competence

3 min readJan 30, 2021


Mehdi Estavi

Usually, when we realize that we do not know an important topic in our field (design and implementation of portals, web systems, websites), we are motivated to learn it. But if we do not know exactly what we do not know, this is where the work will be difficult. One of the first steps in acquiring new skills is to become aware of what you do not know. The conscious competency tool is one of the methods that help to better understand our individual learning process.

Introducing the tool

According to this tool, awareness is the first step to learning. To learn new knowledge and skills, you need to be aware of what you know and what you do not know. Then you need to know what you are good at. In some cases, you may be eligible to do a job and in other places, you may not be eligible, depending on the type of job you are assigned. In using the learning levels to reach competency, you have to move from the first step (unconscious competence) to the second step (conscious competence) and then to the third step (unconscious competence), and finally to the last step (conscious competence).

Step 1 — Unconscious inadequacy (you do not know you do not know); at this stage, you are completely unaware of the competencies required in your field of work (portal design, implementation, web systems, website) and almost no knowledge and You have no skills about it and you only gain your confidence from your individual ability.

Step # 2- Discovering Your Purpose There is a level of self-awareness (you know you do not know); at this level, you realize what skills you need to learn and you may be shocked to see how many people are more qualified than you to do the related work. You will notice your limited ability, your self-confidence may also drop a little, but do not worry!

Step 3 — Unconscious competence (you do not know you know); at this stage, you have acquired the skills and knowledge you need. You have what you have learned, practiced, and have the confidence to do things. You are well aware of the new skills you have learned and are constantly working to improve them. At this stage, the focus is still on getting things done; But you are also automatically training and gaining experience.

Step 4 — Conscious Competence (You Know You Know); At this level, your skills become a habit and things are done automatically with minimal effort. This is the pinnacle of your ability and confidence.

This competency ladder helps us in two ways, first for ourselves, to be able to climb it to achieve competence in a particular task. Second is to be able to help others as a coach to achieve the necessary competence in the job.

When we use this tool as a trainer for others, we must pay attention to points in each step.

Unconscious inadequacy
In the beginning, the person being coached may not be aware of their incompetence. Therefore, he should be informed about this issue with delicacy and calmness.

Conscious inadequacy
During this stage, you should try as much as you can to encourage the person under your coaching, to tolerate his mistakes, and to help him if necessary.

Unconscious competence
At this stage, try to focus on effective performance and create repetitive opportunities to practice what you have learned.

Conscious competence
Although this point is an ideal situation, you should be careful when reaching it to not forget what others have endured to get to this point and to consider themselves responsible for reaching the rest of the incompetent people.

You can now check at which stage of this hierarchy you stand for the tasks you have in your field of work (portal design and implementation, web systems, websites); But it is more important to go to the last step of this series or help others to go through it!

Mehdi Estavi




CEO and Member of the Board of directors of Dadehpardaz Pooyaye Sharif Knowledge-Based Company