You have heard that professional development is important, but that can be expensive and time-consuming; great in theory, but tough to achieve in reality. Fortunately, there are many informal ways to pick up new skills and knowledge while you are employed full time and set yourself up for career advancement.
Take the time to read through our seven ways to learn new skills while you work, and if you are looking for new employment in California, get started and submit your application with ICR Staffing Services today.
Check In With Company Leadership
There are two potential benefits to meeting with leaders of your company. First, you make yourself known. They cannot promote you if they do not know who you are, but if you introduce yourself and share your history and goals, they can learn about your skills, qualifications, and passion. Second, you can get free career advice. Ask for just 15 minutes of their time, prepare thoughtful questions, and see if they are open to meeting with you on a regular basis to offer tips and insights.
Take on Problems Elsewhere in the Company
If you have the opportunity expose yourself to other departments or roles in the company, you will be able to learn new skills and perspectives. This will prevent you from becoming stagnant, doing the same repetitive tasks every day. Over time, your fresh perspective as an outsider will be more valuable – you might come up with a solution that no one has thought of yet. Not only will you be developing and expanding your skill set, you will be making yourself indispensible to the company. You will work on a team, meeting and networking with other supervisors who will quickly notice and appreciate your skills.
Look for Local Events
Seek out classes, lectures, networking events or panel discussions in your industry. If you live near a university or community college, you will probably find a lot. Keep an eye out on social media, joining professional Facebook groups to learn new skills or follow important thought leaders on Twitter.
Ask your friends or search social media for relevant book recommendations. You can either check them out of your library for free or buy them used on Amazon or other online sellers.
Enroll in Online Courses
Online courses are available for free or for a reasonable fee compared to a college or university. Some of the free ones might charge a fee for you to submit assignments or receive a completion certificate. Check out listings on Coursera, MIT Open Courseware, Udemy, Codecademy, Lynda or HubSpot Inbound Certification.
Subscribe to Industry Newsletters and Blogs
You can always stay up-to-date on your industry through your email. Keep it at a reasonable number, perhaps three to five, so you do not get overwhelmed. The key with this process is to get the most useful information for your industry. Unsubscribe to the ones that end up being irrelevant and replace them with ones that are more useful.
Look for Outside Projects
Volunteer for a side project, maybe for a nonprofit or startup, that can help develop new skills. If you are having trouble finding an assignment, look into creating a project for yourself.
Finding creative ways to learn new skills can open new doors in your job search or help you step into a new role in your current position. Professional development initiatives and advances in technology have made it easier than ever to learn new skills – without having to make huge life adjustments. For more tips on advancing your career, contact the ICR Staffing Services team today.
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