It’s a trap so many of us fall into. Scoring that first job out of school or university and thinking “Great, no more education for me. I can relax.” But to move up the career ladder we need to keep working on our skillset — whether it’s learning new ones or improving existing ones.
Here are seven ways to do it:
1. Courses and training
Perhaps you’re a designer who wants to move over to digital. Or a programmer who’d like to get into management. Or perhaps you just want to make your CV stand out from the competition. Whatever your career goal, taking a short course or even studying part-time is a great way to learn new skills and give you the professional edge.
There’s a huge range of online courses available these days, from long-distance, university-accredited business degrees to short and sweet coding tutorials. They are often far cheaper than on-campus courses and some are even free. Just doing a couple of hours a week from the comfort of your sofa could reap big career benefits down the line.
3. Seminars and conferences
Depending on the industry you’re working in, there’s likely a good selection of seminars or conferences available to attend. These are the perfect way to learn new skills, keep up with industry trends and build you professional network.
4. Learn from your colleagues
Look around you. Do any of your coworkers have a skill you would like to learn? If so, this is your chance to get some inside knowledge. Ask them how they gained it and if they have any tips for you. You never know, they might just offer to help you master it for yourself.
5. Get a mentor
Early in your career, it’s well worth finding a mentor — someone who you admire or who has a position you aspire to. They’ll be able to recommend the right courses for your future or suggest which skills to develop in order to progress in your chosen career. Plus, you can learn soft skills, such as leadership and communication directly from them.
Few things offer as much value as volunteering. It gives you the chance to nail a new skill, learn about a different area and give something back to the community. Plus, it will look great on your CV or Resume.
7. Take a secondment
A lot of companies encourage secondments — short-term placements in different departments or organizations. They are invaluable opportunities for enhancing or adding to your skillset whilst also broadening your professional experience. By the end, you should have some great new skills and have upped your employability no end.
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