In today’s economy, professionals need to keep their skills sharp. This means that as employers struggle with skill shortages, professionals with the right skills will find many opportunities in the job market. However, keeping your skills up to date is easier than it sounds. Between full-time work and personal responsibilities, many professionals wonder how they will find the time to continue working towards their next career goals.
As a result, finding new ways to continue learning at work is important not only to keep up to date with current business trends but also to keep you marketable for future opportunities. To continue to work on developing your skills at work, start with these steps.
Think about your career goals
When you consider how you can expand your skills in the workplace, start thinking about your career goals. What kind of position do you want for the long haul? Once you answer that question, you can better determine where your current capacity package is. To do so, start by looking for suitable jobs that match your career goals. Once you’ve found a job description of a character you like, you can start putting it together where you need to improve.
For example, you may want to manage your own team in the future, but you have no leadership experience. As a result, you will want to find opportunities to lead a project or initiative in your current role.
Discover the natural extensions of your role
Once you have decided what skills you want to develop, think about how you can gain that experience by expanding your current role. For example, if you are looking for additional project management experience, you may propose a new project that is not far from the scope of your current responsibilities. You need to make sure that your supervisor sees your request as a natural extension of your responsibilities and one that you can easily learn.
Look for additional problems to solve
While it is easy to get caught up in everyday activities, looking for ways to improve your (or your team’s) workflow or goals will give you more opportunities to learn new skills. You can find and research how it can simplify a process, or help a co-worker with a problem. If you find a problem to solve, you can learn a new software or even a new technique that improves everyone’s performance.
Aside from finding new projects or expanded responsibilities on your own, it is important to ask your supervisor for help. Even if you do not know how to acquire new skills, your supervisor can guide you to learn new skills that you did not expect. When you are open-minded about creating your skills package, your manager can often identify new areas that make sense for your career development.
Find a guide
One of the most effective, yet unused-strategies for continuing to develop your skills on the job is to approach a professional consultant on the job. When you are aiming for a future career goal, there is no one else to listen to other than someone who has already done it successfully. Your mentor can help guide you in the right direction and suggest new and effective ways to approach your work to further enhance your career goals.
Inquire what else you would like to learn
If you are interested in learning a particular skill and you do not know how you can get this experience on the job, consult with your manager or human resources department about how they can help you acquire this skill outside of the office. Many companies will invest to keep their employees’ skills up to date until they see a clear benefit to the company as well. As a result, if you can find a way to make it useful to the company, you can get the help you need.
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