By Rahul R. – Improving your skill set is one of the best things you can do to develop your career. Getting that promotion, finding a new job, or just feeling more confident and capable at work; all of this can be achieved by improving your existing skills and learning some new ones. Indeed, it’s almost impossible to do any of those things without improving your skill set!

A lot of people want to do this, and a lot of people fail. But don’t worry! Failing to improve your skill set is almost always a result of poor planning. Now that you’re here, putting in a bit of time to find what you can do right (and what you can do wrong) you are way more likely to make a good plan that will improve your skills quickly.

So, here’s a list of quick steps you can take to enhance your skills and improve your career.

Research what skills you really need

Many people hear about a skill that sounds interesting, or cool, and think “I’d love to be able to do that”. The problem is, improving your skill set takes time and you really need that time to be spent well. Before you choose a skill to improve, identify exactly what skills are helpful in your career. Alison’s Career Guide is a really helpful tool for this. It points you to the exact courses that are right for improving the skills you need in your career. Use this tool first, then make a plan.

Talk things out with others

Before you launch into things, talk about your plan with some close friends or colleagues. Communicating well can be a great source of new ideas. You never know what advice you might get from other people, so have that conversation and see if you learn something.

Take a time management course

Before you start any skills course, take a time management course. There is just no point in making a study plan if you can’t manage your time well. A lot of people think they are great at time management, but you would be surprised what you can learn from a time management course designed by real experts.

Learn tricks for staying motivated

Motivation is crucial for improving your skills. You’re motivated now: you’re here, reading this post, trying to figure out how you can improve your abilities, and you should be proud of that. To keep up that motivation, learn some quick motivational tricks, they can really help.

Get certified

When you have these new skills, you want to be able to show it. Just saying you took a course is not nearly as impressive as being able to email your boss a digital certificate that shows what training you completed. You want the time you put into improving your skill set to be worth it, so go that extra mile and get the certificate that gets you recognised.

Follow these skill-building steps, and you’ll be well on your way towards thriving in your career. So now that you know what to do, why wait?! There’s no time like the present.

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