Posted: 11th of May 2017 by Chris Cox
#CareerCounsel: Do you want to broaden your career skill set?
Career skill sets are important to your daily work life…that’s a given. But while you might have a skill set that allows you to do your job well, are you feeling that you would like more opportunities to build your work skills?
It can be tricky; you have skills you want to learn, but perhaps you don’t have the time or don’t feel completely supported in your endeavours. In our latest #CareerCounsel, we discuss how you can address the desire for a growing skill set and progressing the way you want to.
How to decide what career skills you want to learn
There are a few things to think about if you feel you want your current skill set to flourish even more. Here’s a quick guide to creating a career training plan…
Start with the skills you already utilise in your job
You will want to look at your current skill set to determine why you have the desire to broaden your horizons. Are you looking for a new digital job or you simply want to take on more responsibility? In what ways can you improve on what you already know? It’s great to start simple, so look at your current responsibilities and how you can supercharge the skills you have before looking at brand new skills to learn.
What skills are in demand in your field?
Once you know your reasoning for building your skill set, look at what skills are really in demand in what you do. Speak to colleagues or attend networking events for the latest trends and how you can apply these emerging skills and tools to your career. What stands out and looks exciting? Remember that you’re growing your skill set because you want to, which bring us to…
What do YOU want to learn?
This is the most important aspect of progressing your career and training up on new skills. It is ultimately your career, so make sure you know where you want to go and what skills will help you get there. If you’re enjoying learning a skill, then you will pick it up so much quicker and dedicate yourself to learning it.
The obstacles when learning new job skills
Learning new skills takes time and you might not always get the support you need. The first thing you need to do is discuss your ambitions with your management team. Allow them to understand why you want to build your career skill set, how you want to progress and how your goals will help your work in the long term.
Time might not be on your side either…you will want to put 100% into your work but learning new skills is important to you. It might mean that you have to drill into your spare time, but is this not a small sacrifice when you’re eager to learn new things?
Perhaps you can put together a training schedule with your management team, so that if there is a course during working hours you are being transparent. Commit yourself to not allowing your work to suffer if you are out learning during work hours and show your management team what you will do to ensure this won’t happen. In the long term, they will be happy to see you so enthusiastic to progress and apply new things to your work.
A few suggestions for learning new skills
It all starts with a certain search engine! Find the right networking events, courses, and training days that appeal to you. Ask people in your industry if they have any recommendations and gather feedback on these suggestions. You will soon build a good list of potential training opportunities to browse.
Sometimes, you don’t even need to leave the office. Are there any teams within your company that are using the skills or tools that you want to learn? Why not volunteer to help with their projects in any way you can, even if it means starting small. If you have a schedule in place, this method will be much easier when it comes to managing your time. Find out what exciting projects are happening in your company and how you can get involved.
Learning a new skill, as mentioned, takes time. Make sure you have your goals in place to ensure a solid training plan. What do you want to achieve and by what date in the future? Include time for feedback or self-analysis to see how you are doing and where you can improve too, and you will soon be on your way to learning that new skill!
Good luck with learning those new skills! Always remember to stay true to what you want to learn and do so at your own pace. That new skill will be yours before you know it!