A skill set is a combination of abilities, qualities and experiences you can apply to perform tasks well. These can include soft skills such as interpersonal skills, organization and leadership as well as technical skills such as research, computer programming, accounting writing and more.
Spending time on improving your skills can help you achieve personal career goals such as earning a promotion or becoming an expert on a certain topic. Your skill set can be applied to progress in your current career or expanded to earn a job in a different field or industry.
You can gain and improve skills with education and experience. The more advanced you are in performing certain skills, the more likely you are to get or progress in a job.
While employers are struggling with a skills shortage, this means that professionals who have the right skill sets will find many opportunities in the job market. However, the practice of actually keeping your skills up-to-date is often easier said than done. Between full-time work and personal responsibilities, many professionals wonder how one finds the time to continue working toward their next career goal. As a result, finding new ways to continue learning on the job is crucial to not just staying up-to-date with current industry trends, but also keeping yourself marketable for future opportunities.
To continue working to develop your skills on the job, start with these steps:
Think about your career goals
As you consider how you can expand your skill set at work, start by thinking about your career goals. What kind of position do you want to have in the long-term? Once you answer that question, you can better determine where your current skill set is lacking. To do so, start by searching for relevant jobs that match your career goals. Once you see a job description of a role that interests you, you can begin to piece together where you need to improve. For example, perhaps you would like to manage a team of your own in the future, but you lack the leadership experience.
Look for more problems to solve
While it’s easy to get stuck in day-to-day operations, looking for ways to improve your (or your team’s) workflow or goals can give you more opportunities to learn new skills. This could mean that you identify and research how you can simplify a process, or help a colleague work through an issue. When you find a problem to solve, you could end up learning new software or even a new technique that improves everyone’s performance.