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How to Grow Your Skills In Your Current Job

By: Michelle Metzger, Staffing Specialist

You hit it off with the hiring manager in the interview.  You thought the job would be a perfect fit for advancement in your career.  After several weeks of eagerly waiting for a job offer, you discover someone else was hired.  The wind flows out of your sails…

Have you missed out on a great job opportunity recently?  Why?  Could it be because your skills were lacking?

Skills Inventory

Now is a perfect time to inventory your skill levels and determine if you can add new skills, or upgrade existing skills, to be more competitive in the job market.  Start by determining the kind of position you are shooting for.  What do solid performers in that particular kind of work know how to do?  What are the basic skills needed, and what is the level of skills that makes someone highly successful in their work?

If you determine you do not possess the right skills or right skill level, is there a way to gain those skills?

Skills Expansion

Whether you are employed, or between jobs, resourceful action can go a long way toward helping you expand your knowledge and skills.

  • Practice: Perhaps you would like to become more proficient with Excel or working with databases.  It might be as simple as setting up practice time on your own or finding an online tutorial.  Can someone you know help you?  Maybe one of your friends, family members or co-workers would be willing to give you one-on-one instruction outside of work hours.  Don’t hold back from asking.  Remember how great you feel when someone lets you help them out.
  • Volunteer: Take on a special project that comes along.  It might be a team project or something you can handle on your own.  This is an excellent way to grow your skills and showcase your “can-do” attitude.
  • In-house Training Opportunities: Talk to your supervisor about enrolling in one of the company training courses.  Many of these are now offered online so you can work them in around your work load.
  • Community Colleges: These are an excellent low-cost resource of training and education.  Community colleges offer many credit and non-credit offerings.  Perhaps you can acquire the skill you need by taking a short-term, non-credit class.
  • Coursera:  Visit their web site www.coursera.org and note the hundreds of classes they make available to you free of charge.
  • Temp Work: When you are between jobs, temporary assignments are an excellent way to keep existing skills well-oiled and to acquire a few new skills.  Here at Integrity Staffing & Solutions, we have heard more than once how skills acquired by working temporary assignments helped people to land positions that they love.

What was the outcome of your self-assessment?  Are you just a skill or two away from your dream job?  Be proactive and position yourself for success.  Now is the time to invest in yourself by going the extra mile to acquire new skills.