How to Develop Your Skills on the Job

Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2021 by The Career GuideNo comments

There’s no escaping the fact that today’s job market is a competitive place. Those with the most developed skills get the furthest. However, how do you really develop your skills if you’re stuck at work the whole time? 

Well that’s the key: you use your work life to develop your skills as much as possible. Those in temporary jobs in London are used to doing this and as such, they boost their skillset regularly. But it’s possible for those in permanent roles to develop their skills on the job too.

  1. Fire up mentoring relationships

    There are two ways that mentorship can help you.

    Firstly, being mentored by someone more experienced, or someone who has skills that you lack, can nurture growth in you. An excellent mentor can really transform your career. They can offer useful advice and guidance applicable to you, but they can also impart their own wisdom and skills. The very best mentors will gently help you examine and overcome your weaknesses too.

    Secondly, being a mentor can actually help you develop your own skills. It teaches you leadership and communication, and helps you develop motivational skills. Indeed, in order to teach others, you need to have an excellent understanding of work and skills yourself, so it can highlight where you still need to grow. 

  2. Be first in line for new challenges

    It’s nice in your comfort zone, isn’t it? But it’s boring and you’ll never develop. If you’ve ever wondered why others are zooming ahead in their career, it will largely be down to this. They seek out new challenges and they put themselves forward for them.

    With every new challenge comes the opportunity to learn new skills. So the next time a new project comes along, grab it with both hands.

  3. Solve problems through research

    The workplace and its systems are always going to be full of problems. What problems can you identify? Why not think about how to solve that problem by doing some research and proposing a solution. Yes, it may not be in your job description, but the process could propel your career upwards. 

  4. Network outside your department

    Particularly with Covid having recreated the silo, we’re out of practice when working with a broad range of people from other areas of the business and exposing ourselves to the work they do.

    Internal networking—getting to know others in different roles and teams—can open your mind to different skills, opportunities, and ways of doing things. 

  5. Use your downtime

    Ok, so not many of us get much downtime on the job, but occasionally you’ll have snippets of time here and there. Increasingly, L&D departments have various bitesize learning opportunities on the internal learning platform that you can simply sign up for. These gamified learning opportunities are great for fitting into the gaps you have in your day—especially if they can be accessed on your smartphone. If your organisation doesn’t have them, what about an app like Duolingo? You can be learning a language with just a few minutes here and there!

There are lots of possibilities to gain skills all around you, every day, on the job. With the right approach, you can learn or develop them within the workplace, without having to consciously sign up for a training course. And then, those skills will serve you well in supporting your career.

 

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