Developing yourself is an ongoing journey. Something you need to do throughout your career. You can always be better. Continually developing your skills is essential in developing and advancing your career.
So, how do you develop these new skills? Here’s an 8 step process that will help you take stock, identify skills to learn and develop, and continually move forward.
The starting point is understanding your strengths. Get yourself a pen and paper. Create a heading ‘Strengths’. Then add your answers to following questions:
- What are you good at?
- What do you really enjoy doing?
- When are you doing something that you forget all about time, known as being in the ‘flow’?
- What do others say you’re good at?
2. Understanding your Weaknesses
Now let’s turn those questions around and look at weaknesses. Again create a heading ‘Weaknesses’. Add your answers underneath:
- What are you not so good at?
- What do you not really enjoy doing?
- When are those times when you look at the clock wishing the time away? What are you doing?
- What do others say you’re not so good at?
3. Understanding Skills & Qualifications
The final question set is all about your current skills and the skills you’ll need in your career. Again create a heading and add your answers:
- What skills or qualifications do you have or don’t have?
- What do you need, if anything, for the roles/career you’re looking for?
- What skills do others doing a similar role or career have?
4. The Review
Once you’ve written your list, give each of those a score, as follows:
- 1 = No current ability
- 2 = Basic ability
- 3 = Competent
- 4 = Advanced
- 5 = Expert
Be honest with yourself. This is about you developing yourself to be the best you can be. This stage is about taking stock. This is your baseline from which to work from.
By now you’ve seen that you have some gaps in your personal development.
Now take a few moments to prioritise those skills that are key to your current and next role. These are the areas to focus upon. They will advance you quicker. Highlight only 5 of them. Now choose 2 to focus on in the next month.
6. The Development
Developing yourself can be inexpensive and expensive. Here are 5 ways to get access to information to help you develop yourself:
- Blogs – search for the skills you want to develop. You’ll get access to great training tips and techniques.
- Podcasts – search for podcasts on your skill areas. Look for an expert who will give you actionable tips.
- Books – research on Amazon. Read the reviews. Learn what others say of the book before buying.
- Training courses – a great way of getting lots of information quickly. Check that the course agenda is right for you.
- Mentor/Coach – probably one of the best investments you can make. You want someone who will challenge you to help your personal development journey. Career Circus can help you with this.
7. Into Practice
Whatever route(s) you decided in 6, it’s important to take action. Trial the tips and techniques recommended. Some areas will work for you, some won’t. That’s part of the learning process. Keep the ones that work and discard the ones that don’t.
At the end of the month review what you’ve achieved and learnt. What do you need to work on in the next month?
Developing yourself never stops. Keep learning. Keep improving. Just take the next step. It will help your career development, guaranteed.
Jonathan Burston is the creator and founder of the Interview Expert Academy (IEA). IEA helps individuals with insider knowledge, tips, techniques and resources to stand out at interviews and increase their chances of success.
Jonathan’s background in senior sales, marketing, general management roles has meant that not only has he interviewed hundreds of candidates during the course of his career but also been on the other side of the fence interviewing for roles. He knows what works and what doesn’t at interviews.