In today’s workplace, the only thing that remains constant is change. The pace of change, whether in business or technology, has been more relentless than ever. Changes may come in the form of a new system, shifting preferences in customer demand, new legislation or new directions issued by the management in your organisation.
With this reality, it has become imperative for both young and seasoned professionals to actively chart their own career growth through skills upgrading.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Upgrading Your Skills
Where am I now?
Inventory your current skill sets. Evaluate your behavioural and technical competencies. What gaps can you address?
Look at past performance reviews, recall learning experiences or speak with your manager, colleagues or a HR specialist. Seek advice from people whose skills or performance you wish to emulate.
Where do I want to be?
Review the job market, and assess if you possess the current skills and competencies needed in similar positions or in positions higher up the career leader that you are aspiring for.
Then, write down your long-term career goals: where do you want to be in two, five and ten years’ time?
What do I have to do to get there?
Write down three specific short-term goals that you plan to attain in pursuit of your long-term goals.
Discuss with your manager the possibility of being assigned a new task or recommend an academic programme or professional certification course that can address your skills gap. You could also request for mentoring or work shadowing.
When should I review progress?
Periodically assess your performance. You may evaluate your progress once every three, six or twelve months. Log your thoughts in a diary.
Strategies to Reinvent Your Career
How relevant will our present jobs be a decade from now? Here are some tips to keep your skills and competencies up to date in these ever-changing times:
- Develop a five-year learning plan to acquire strategic skills, knowledge and education.
- Keep your technical skills up to date even if they might not seem directly applicable at your current job, so that you can easily adapt to market changes.
- Transferrable skills such as effective presentation, handling conflicts, leadership, leading group meetings and stress management are always sought after by any employer.
- Keep abreast of the latest trends in your industry by reading professional publications; attending industry events, conferences and workshops; and accessing webinars, e-newsletters and online forums.
- Inventory your work accomplishments, trainings and commendations. Employers want to know what you can offer them.
- Develop a professional network within and outside your organisation. Stay in touch with former supervisors and colleagues, and join professional associations in your industry.
- Find opportunities to collaborate with people from diverse cultures and nationalities. Keep a lookout for assignments that require international exposure (eg. audience surveying, overseas training) or learn a new language.
- Seek employment in an organisation that emphasises on staff training and skills development, with a track record in long-term sustainability.
With constant awareness and careful planning, you can navigate your career path and capitalise on opportunities amidst changes in the global marketplace. The secret lies not so much in anticipating shifts but how perceptive you are to the early indications of change.
Adopting a continuous learning mindset will extend your career longevity, help you to manage risks and enhance your employability.
With over 500 academic programmes for higher learning and professional certification courses for skills development, we provide opportunities for you to always stay relevant. To speak to one of our consultants, please call 8613 8989 or email us at [email protected]