Unfortunately, not everyone has enough resources to afford sufficient learning and development opportunities.
And while every person should be aware that constant development needs to be a priority, one can never know if a particular profession or a skill will become obsolete tomorrow.
So, it’s best to prepare well before that kind of scenario can take place. Learning new things and developing new skills should, therefore, be a must.
To make this process easier for yourself, take a look at a few tools and tips that will help along the way.
Strong interest inventory test
Before you start looking for ways to improve your current skills and develop new ones, you should do a strong interest inventory test.
This test was created to help people match their interests with potential educational, career, and leisure activities. It uses a person’s preferences in a wide range of areas to help them discover what they are most likely to enjoy doing.
This covers both a person’s work time and their free time.
The findings are based on a person’s answers, while the test is further broken down into four distinctive categories:
- General occupational themes
- Basic interest scales
- Occupational scales
- Personal style scales
If you doubt whether your career path is the right one, you should consider doing this test.
Wasting both your time and your resources on the wrong skills during this period of your life is something you should avoid at all costs. Instead, the test will tell you what you should work on and what makes the most sense for you career-wise.
Consider taking up a course
Once you know your areas of interest, you should further explore them, so it would be wise to pick and attend a course that fits the test results.
Fortunately, there are dozens of educational courses, both online and offline, that you can choose from. Almost all subjects and skills are available!
It is up to you to figure out if it is best to choose a course that is held online (Udemy, Skillshare, etc.) or if it’s appropriate to go for the traditional offline courses (attended at various institutions).
However, keep in mind a few things if you need to take a class outside of work hours.
Determine which courses you can take at night or during the lunch hour. If there is a course you want to take that takes place during the workday, and the course relates to your current work, it would be best to inform your manager.
Explain why enrolling in the course will make you a more valuable asset at your job and how you will still manage your current workload. Every manager is glad when their employees want to improve and develop their skills at the office, but that should not harm one’s performance at the same time.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Who are the experts from the fields you are interested in?
- Do they have media channels where they share their experiences?
- Are there any experts that are also authors?
- If so, why haven’t you already started reading their books?
Well-known industry experts usually write on topics that you should learn more about. If you know few to no experts from your field that are published authors, search the Internet and try to find more experts.
Look for specific blogs and articles that revolve around the topic you are interested in. However, only read the content you find on reputable websites and platforms. For example, you will easily see the difference between articles found on Forbes.com and the ones you find on some amateur blogs or news websites.
It is also worth noting that you should do the research and all the reading at home on your personal devices since some businesses monitor the activity of their employees.
Reading this kind of content at the office may arouse suspicion among your peers and managers, and some will see it as a signal indicating that you are looking for other job opportunities.
Work-life balance is essential
Maintaining a good work-life balance is not always easy because many employees don’t have the control needed to balance this out. But it is also important to know that a healthy work-life balance can make all the difference between a good career and a great one.
Yes, an employee could stay an extra hour at the office and churn out work that isn’t due until tomorrow night. Or they could spend that time with their family, get plenty of sleep and produce even better work the next day.
Do not get lost in the hustler mantra that is very popular these days. Your life is not all about your job, and you should not spend all of your time either working or thinking about work.
Do not forget about the work-life balance. It is not possible to make any improvements on a personal level if you are always feeling dissatisfied and frustrated.
Spend more time with the ones you admire
Take a look around you. What do you think about the colleagues you spend hours and hours with at work every day?
Some of them are more pleasant to work with while some are a little less enthusiastic. Well, spend more time with the ones that you admire. Figure out who you want to see in action and spend more of your working hours with them.
Shadow those individuals for a day or half a day, see how they go on about their work and try to implement the routines you see to your own case. In other words, learn from the best to become one of the best.
Observe how a certain professional interacts with others, see how they behave during meetings and learn as much as you can from their communication with clients.
Of course, you should never copy another person’s characteristics, behaviours, and style, but you should see what they do better than you and try to improve those areas. Also, don’t involve your ego because it will only slow you down.
Your job is your career and your career is your responsibility. So, own it. If you are not happy with how things stand at the moment, do whatever you can to improve them.
If you feel frustrated and empty, it is time to move on to something that makes more sense for you. Of course, this always involves making yourself a more valuable asset in the labour market.