“Iron rusts from disuse, water loses its purity from stagnation, even so, does inaction sap the vigor of the mind” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Being an ambitious employee, skills development is your primary goal. You don’t want your professional life to be stagnant. You aspire to add more feathers to your cap and soar high in professional success.
However, as a working professional, you find it hard to sustain your skills development journey. You find it challenging to devise realistic ways to carry on with your skills development endeavors.
As a result, you feel worried about your professional growth. But, relax! This blog is there to act as a beacon for you and help you sustain your skills development journey. It presents 5 realistic ways for you to go ahead with professional development despite your busy schedule.
These ways are effective, yet easy to practice. They’ll help you enhance your caliber and become capable of achieving a job promotion as well as any other professional goals you have. So, here you go:
5 Effective Ways to Sustain Your Skill Development Journey
1. Keep Reading About the Area of Your Interest
‘Reading’ is a simple term, yet it holds the secret to sustain your skills development journey. You can grow by leaps and bounds in the area of your interest just by spending some time reading about it every day.
It depends on you how you devote your time to reading, after getting back home or during work breaks or before going to the office in the morning.
Whatever your choice be, but make sure to keep reading! Given below is a brief description of different reading materials you can consult for your skill development initiative:
Books are the number one resource to enhance your skills in the field of your interest. So, you should create a list of some great books related to your field of interest. For this, you can consult your mentors, experts in the respective field, or you can simply search on Google.
Further, you can make a choice whether you wish to get the respective books from the market or download e-books from the internet. Both are equally good but reading e-books is an environmentally friendly option.
You can find a number of blogs related to your field of interest on the internet. For example, if you are an automobile engineer, you can follow blogs such as Auto Blogs, The truth about cars, and Green Car Reports. By following the blogs related to your field of interest, you can keep yourself updated about the recent advancements in the respective field.
This is extremely important to stay ahead in the competition you should know about the recent advancements in your field of interest. If you do, you’ll definitely get an advantage over your competitors.
Research papers are a great read to enhance your skills. They help you take a plunge into innovative ideas about your field of interest. Many times, you don’t even find such ideas in books.
So, you should take some time to read some research papers related to your selected field. You can find plenty of research papers on different topics on the internet. You just have to list the ones which attract you the most, sit and relish reading them.
2. Attend Different Seminars and Conferences Related to Your Field
Seminars and Conferences constitute professional development workshops. To sustain your skill development journey you should try to attend as many seminars and conferences as possible.
Although it might be difficult for you to make time for these professional development workshops, amidst your busy schedule, you can try and convince your managers to allow you to attend at least one workshop every fifteen days.
Further, if you convince your managers that the workshops you are going to attend will benefit the organization in the form of your enhanced skills, they’ll definitely not stop you.
So, muster some courage and discuss it with your managers. Now, let’s discuss the benefits of attending professional development workshops in detail:
Development of professional relationships
When you attend professional development workshops, you get the opportunity to interact with experts and professionals from different industries. As a result, you get to develop good professional relationships with them, which is a good thing both for you and your organization.
Enhancement of skills
Professional Development workshops are really instrumental in the enhancement of your skills. As you hear the speakers, you get to know about many new things, which you don’t even have an idea about. This gives you a new direction to work in and learn new skills.
Getting a dose of motivation
Guest speakers are experts who know how to cheer up the audience. They present everything in such an exciting manner that you get even more motivated to pursue your skills development journey. So, professional development workshops enhance your knowledge and also motivate you to keep learning.
3. Look for Different Skills Development Opportunities
“If you feel that there is something you have got to do right now, just get up and start finding ways to do it right now.” This is true wisdom! If you apply it in your life, nothing can stop you from success.
So, regarding your skills development initiative, you have to start looking for the different opportunities available to you right now. Online courses and employee benefits are the two most suitable examples of such opportunities.
Let us discuss them one by one:
The internet has revolutionized the world. You can easily sustain your skills development journey while pursuing your job, with the help of online courses.
For this, you just have to search the internet and create a list of the respective courses which can help you inculcate the desired skills. Then, you can select the one which suits you the best and sustain your skills development journey.
Many organizations offer different employee benefits to their employees. So, you can go to your human resource manager and enquire if there is a provision of skills development benefits in your organization. If yes, you can share with your HR manager about the kind of skills you wish to inculcate and seek their support in the same.
4. Learn From Your Associates
You may currently be playing a job role, which you plan to switch. For example, nowadays, there are engineers who pursue management degrees and land into management roles.
So, if this is the case with you, one simple thing you can do to advance your skillset in the desired direction is to learn from your associates.
For this, you have to first make friends with your colleagues working in the respective department which you wish to work in the future.
Then, you can have regular interactions with them to know more about their field of work and skills which you need to inculcate. Now, let us discuss some tips to help you make friends with your associates easily:
Break the ice with a smile
Whenever you meet your colleagues from different departments, greet them with a smile. When you smile at the other person, the air between you naturally starts becoming friendly. As a result, you get the opportunity to connect with them. So, whenever you meet your colleagues whether you know them or not, don’t forget to smile.
As the other person smiles back at you, take a brief pause and then, introduce yourself. Keep the introduction brief, tell your name, department and that’s it. Then, following you, the other person will also naturally introduce himself to you. This way, you can easily start a conversation with them.
Be the conversation starter
After the introduction, if you have some more time together, start a conversation. Ask your colleagues about their job responsibilities, hobbies, and other similar things like that. This will help you know more about each other and establish friendly relationships with them.
But, remember don’t get personal. Avoid asking any questions about your colleagues’ personal life right in the beginning. Let things proceed slowly, and as you become friends you’ll ultimately get to know all about each other.
Have lunch together
During the lunch break, you can just go to the office canteen, sit with your colleagues, and have lunch together. This gives you a good opportunity to talk with them and develop good relationships with them.
‘Positivity’ attracts people towards you. These days most people are already so stressed in their life that they don’t want any negative additions to it. So, radiate positivity. Speak positive words, portray an open and positive body language. Moreover, you should not engage in the slightest of backbiting.
5. Work on Stress Management
Sustaining your skill development journey while shouldering your job responsibilities is a really challenging task. So, it is quite natural to feel stressed. But, too much stress can ruin your physical as well as mental well-being and disrupt your skill development journey.
This makes it important for you to work on stress management. Given below are effective ways through which you can manage your stress level and keep your skill development journey uninterrupted:
Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is a technique of stress management that you can practice anywhere and at anytime. You can practice it even while working and keep your stress level in control. When you breathe deeply, your brain receives an enhanced supply of oxygen.
It makes you feel calm and also proves beneficial in relieving tension headaches. This way, deep breathing is extremely beneficial in stress management. So, you should practice inhaling long deep breaths.
Have fun with your colleagues
Having fun is an excellent way of stress management. When you have fun, you laugh and feel good. Your body gets flooded with happy hormones that enhance your happiness. As a result, your stress level decreases and you don’t feel overwhelmed. As your brain stays relaxed, you stay energetic and focus which is a good thing to sustain your skill development journey.
Spend some time under the sunshine
Do you know the sun is a stress-relieving therapist? You can experience a significant reduction in your stress level just by spending some time in the sun. Even 10 minutes are sufficient. This happens because spending some time in the sun triggers the production of serotonin in your body.
It is a happy hormone that has stress-relieving effects. So, you should try to spend around 10 minutes in the sunshine every day. But, take care not to spend more than 15 minutes under the blazing sunshine as it may cause sunburn.
Meditation is an ancient practice that has been scientifically proven to have stress-relieving effects. As you meditate, you give your mind the freedom to wander in any direction it wishes to.
You don’t prevent thoughts from arising. Rather, you inhale long deep breaths and let your thoughts just be. As you do so, you eventually enter into a deep state of peace which reduces your stress level.
So, you should make some time for meditation every day. Just 10 to 15 minutes will be enough. Further, if you wish to learn meditation, you can follow different guided meditation videos available on YouTube.
Talk to a friend
It is always good to have a friend who has endeavors similar to yours. Whenever you feel stressed you can have a word with your friend and vent your stress out.
As you release your stress out, you start feeling light and relieved. Even if you don’t have a friend who has similar endeavors of sustaining a skill development journey, you can have a word with any of your friends and share your feelings.
Skill development is one of your biggest endeavors. No doubt, it is hard to sustain your skill development initiative while shouldering your job responsibilities, but if you are determined nothing can stop you.
There are some realistic and effective practices that you can follow to sustain your skills development journey.
The best five out of them have been mentioned above for your help.