It is true what they say, learning doesn’t end the moment you leave school. In fact, I found the opposite to be true. We are constantly evolving, especially when it comes to our careers and personal development. Navigating this in a world that is constantly evolving can be tricky. Where do you look? Where can one gain new skills to help them in their careers? Don’t worry we have your back.
Thanks to sites such as Udemy, Skillshare and Code Academy, there are many ways you can up your skills with just your laptop. They offer courses in everything from how to learn Adobe Illustrator, writing creative non-fiction, going freelance and more. You can do them in your own time when you have a couple of hours or 15 minutes. The majority are free but if you find one which costs a little bit, as long as you can show how it will be beneficial to your work, there is no harm in bringing it to your employer to see if they can help with the costs.
There are many podcasts out there which can help you navigate your way to your career.
Podcasts such as,The School of Greatness, How I built this and In Good Company, feature a wide of people discussing how they carved out their careers, the struggles they have faced along with tips and tricks they learned along the way. It is also helpful to delve a bit deeper into your podcast app and find niche podcasts dedicated to your industry. For example, if you are a writer, the writers routine is a podcast which gives you an insight into how other writers and authors develop their stories, how they plan their day and what they do when things don’t quite to plan. Often these podcasts introduce you to people you would not have access too otherwise. It is also a great way to stay up to date with any changes in your industry, particularly if you are in the tech/ digital space where things change at lightning speed.
If you know there is a skill you can improve on, go old school. See if there are books you can use as a resource to make notes from. Books like The little black book by Otegha Uwagba, and Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck, are good places to start if you are trying to navigate your own path in the working world but there are many guides and books out there from a range of industries which could prove to be useful. If you work in PR for example, you may want to read, Your press release is breaking my heart by Janet Murray. Don’t want to invest money in books? Think like a student and go to the library to see what they have.
Find a mentor
Thanks to the internet mentors can come in many forms. If there is a high profile person whose career and life you want to learn from you can follow their digital journey. Follow them on social media, see what they are sharing with the world. You can find interviews they have done where they share their story and how they got to where they are at the moment. A mentor can also be someone in your industry who you check in with on a regular basis who you can share your struggles with. This person can guide you, recommend how you proceed and give you actionable steps to help you get to where you want to be within your career. This can be someone you work with or someone you met at a networking event. A mentor – mentee relationship should be natural so make sure you gel with them. Unsure of how to go about this? Start by asking them if you can shadow them for the day. This way you get to know them and they know you and at the end of the day. Once they know you are serious about learning from them ask them if you can learn from them on a regular basis. This could mean having a coffee, chatting through your roadblocks once a month or it could be more hands on where you run ask for regular feedback on projects you are working on.
Inter department mingling
We often stay in our box rather than branching out but there is power in collaboration and learning from those who have different skills to us. Having those skills are good not just for the company you work for but you as a person. Speak to your colleagues from other departments, find out what they do and how they do it. You may find ways to work together on a project.
Something to remember, when you learn a new skill, put it into action. It may not be perfect the first time but that is the point of learning a new skill, it is there to build on and help you grow.
Nafisah is a young women living in London with a passion for writing and sharing stories. When she is not surgically attached to her laptop you can catch her wanting to make a difference in this world. She is passionate about spreading kindness in the world and hopes to be able share peoples stories with world in the hopes of making it a better place.