A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have” Steve Jobs.
Effective career management is a must do, if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. In today’s competitive job market,  it is really important that you keep learning and growing. So, if your career is a priority,it is quite critical to find ways to learn and grow so that you can continue to advance your career and develop your skills. And if you’re looking for a promotion or raise, you’re going to have to prove you can add more value. The best way to do this is developing on- the – job skills and continually feed your career with skills and knowledge that show you are worth the raise or promotion.



Here’s how:
1. Seek a mentor. Having a mentor at work is really important to attaining new skills and knowledge. A good mentor will help you solve some of the challenges and roadblocks you may come across. Mentors are important agents of career advancement. They can expose you to new experiences and points of view. In addition, having an amazing mentor will provide you with someone who will tell you need to hear and not what you want to hear. They will give you the real feedback you need to fill in your blind spots that can put you in a position to advance. Your mentor will help you acknowledge your strengths and highly developed skills and also help you to identify your weaknesses. During your career, your mentor will teach you a myriad of leadership skills which are critical for your survival in your career life.

2. Extra curricular activities. You can develop and refine your leadership skills, whether you work in the corner office or the mailroom. It really doesn’t matter, no matter what position you hold, leadership skills are valuable for moving you through your career and into a leadership role. You need to be creative, find out what processes can be improved, how can you make things easier for customers? A larger percentage of your development should come from on- the- job activities and action learning, while the smaller percentage of your development should come from your interactions with others. This includes, having a mentor, being a mentor, coaching, participating in extra curricular activities, serving as a leader in a staff organisation and so on. To effectively develop on – the – job skills, you could try out involving yourself in extra curricular activities, like may be writing, team work( in a sports team, organising a society event etc)

3. Solve problems. Personal energy and creativity is contagious, and so is the lack of it. No matter what the job is, you should be able to find ways of successfully completing it, and doing it with a sense of urgency. Your ability to solve problems is what setus up apart from your colleagues at work. Decision making and problem solving is a skill that is high in demand. The ability to identify complex problems and review related information in order to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions can distinguish one employee from another. The ability to use critical thinking to rationalise a decision will St an individual apart. When you see new opportunities to learn new skills, go for it. Know the company’s goals and unique points of your company like the back of your hand. Become an expert in these things and be able to talk about it. Think about some solutions to the company’s chief challenges. Anytime you’re able to come up with a solution to an attending problem, you stand out.

4. Be a mentor. Developing your skills begin with determine which skills are important for your desired career development. Another excellent way of developing your on – the – job skills is by becoming a mentor. Mentors are important agents in the advancement of one’s career, and can expose one to new experiences and points of view. So, in addition to finding yourself a good mentor, consider recruiting a good mentee as well. In many cases as it is, taking that next major step in your career means you have to manage lots of people. So, the best way to practice for that role is to become a mentor to someone else. You put your knowledge and learning forward to others to help them develop their careers and advance as well. You will also get to learn a lot about motivating people and teaching them new skills when you can also act as a mentor.

5. Accept challenges. Whenever opportunities arise in your company to learn new skills, go for it. Do a little extra when it’s required to learn this new skills that you need to advance. Remember, it’s not aggressive to reach for a new opportunity. It is helpful, useful and valuable. If you have to be progress in your career, you’ve got to find ways possible to elegantly make grabs for new opportunities and learning. Whenever a new projects comes up and it aligns with the skill you’re looking to obtain, raise your hand for it. Let your manager or the HR team know that you want to learn some new skills or gain new, more advanced experience. So, anytime there is something in the company you want to learn and to do and you see such an opportunity to learn those skills in a special project, or new assignment, make the grab. Never shy away from challenges.

6. Be flexible. When most employees think about their careers, they mostly don’t think beyond their current job or the next promotion they’d like to receive. In such cases such persons need to broaden their short term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet you need to make your skill development and experience a major priority for adding value to your career. You can continue to experience career growth by taking the lead on your career development and progress by adapting flexibility. You can’t survive in your career today while resisting change. Demonstrate tolerance for change by being open minded and flexible. Show you can handle change by volunteering for a new project or by helping others with change.

7. Develop an action plan for developing your skills. Creating a job skills development plan is a useful strategy for achieving professional growth. The ideal plan should identify long term goals and outline a detailed approach for developing job skills. The following steps could be implemented to create a job skills development action plan.

– outline your goals. First, think about where you see yourself professionally in 3 to 5 years. This may involve earning a promotion or to start your own company or switching to a different career. You need to be clear and specific with your long term goals including every detail about the type of job you ultimately want.

– Access your current situation. Next, determine how far you are from where you want to be. If you want to become the manager of your own company, for example, think about the steps and skills necessary for achieving your goals.

– Acknowledge strengths. Strong computer skills, analytical ability and marketing knowledge are examples of strengths and abilities. List out all your highly developed skills, even if you do not utilize them at work.

– Identifying weaknesses. Find out areas in which you will need to improve on. Write them as positive statements, for example, “develop people skills” “develop organizational skills”.

– The plan. Next, come up with a plan for developing your skills. Review your list of weaknesses and identify the areas that are critical components of achieving your long term goals. If your goal is to manage a team, for example, and you find it difficult to deal with conflicts and stress, focus on strengthening this skill.

– Assign a timeline. Assign a timeline for the development of each skill highlighted. Be realistic. Understand that some skills require extensive study and practice before they become strengths. Consult with your mentor or supervisor or co- workers who may have insights about a reasonable timeline for developing each skill.

– Regular check – in. Check in with yourself regularly to access your progress. Ask others whose observation you trust for  feedback on your skills development and progress. You will need to also stay focused on your goals by keeping reminders on your calendar, display inspiring images on your work space or desk or refrigerator that will keep you focused and going

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