Gain a New Skill

by Waller Jamison

Would you like to gain a new skill? Looking for a new job can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you aren't sure what you'd like to do. But you can take a first step towards your goal by gaining a new skill now.

Take some time to consider what you would like to do and the major skills related to your ideal new career. This can help you to become more proficient in your present job, boost your confidence and increase your chances of promotion or getting hired by another company.

How to Gain a New Skill

There are many ways in which you can learn new skills, including in house training with your current employer, professional training at college or university, evening classes at your local community college

Or distance learning in the form of online courses, which can be anything from short courses in it skills to an online degree or postgraduate qualification. 

Evening classes are a good option if you want a change of scene and the chance to interact with the teacher and other students and it can also be a good way to make new friends with similar interests.

However, it can be difficult to make a commitment to go to class every week for a full academic year or more, especially when the dark nights and snow and rain kick in.

However, online learning is now a great option if you want to gain a new skill at home and in your own time. With the introduction of audio and video, it is possible to study many subjects which would have been difficult in the past, for example learning a foreign language.

In fact it is also possible to have lessons via the internet, using Skype, which means you can work with a native speaker in just about any part of the world with no phone costs.

So you can listen to audios online to get the pronunciation right and then test your ability with a native speaker, who can correct you and with whom you can develop your French (Spanish, Chinese or whatever your preferred language ) conversation.

 Videos and audios in all subjects are extremely helpful for students who don't learn well by reading books. In addition, they can provide another tool to help explain difficult concepts in many subjects.

The first step is to decide exactly what you want to do in terms of a career change or new job and then do some research to discover the skills and qualifications which would benefit you best. If you aren't sure what you want to do, or how to do your background research, take a look at Design Your Ideal Career.

Once you know which direction your professional life is heading in, spend some time getting as much information as you can on the most important skills related to your goals. You can do this by getting application forms - no-one needs to know you won't actually be filling the form in and sending it off!

The description which comes with the form should give you a comprehensive list of duties and abilities needed for the type of post you are aiming at. If you can, try talking to employers, or people already in positions similar to the one you are working towards. You can do this by by attending open days or job fairs.

You may already know which areas you need to develop - do you need to improve your negotiating skills or perhaps it's your presentation skills which let you down and are stopping you get the promotion you'd really like.?

Make sure you gain a new skill in demand.