By Dale Isip
The best of us may think we have a handle on our jobs, and in many cases, this is true, but when it comes to work, there is always room for improvement. Besides this, studies show that employees can spend up to 2.5 hours of each business day wasting time online during work hours.
Apart from the clear obligation to get back to work, wouldn’t this time be better spent improving the quality of your skills? This could help you excel in your occupation, get work done in more practical ways, and maybe even help you discover new abilities. Here are some ways to build your best skills at work.
When it comes to skills, you might not always realize which ones you use at work. If you are a trained helpdesk technician, for example, you might be well-qualified to fix computer problems, but most of your time may be spent on the phone speaking with end-users.
This should not be viewed as a waste of your skills – on the contrary, being able to listen to your clients is a large part of your job and itself a skill. Try to notice patterns in your work tasks, and which tasks you perform most frequently. What skills do you use most? Can you improve them with training? Are they hard or soft skills? Answering these questions can help you ascertain which of your abilities you could improve.
Once you have an idea of which skills you would like to improve, it is your chance to start learning. This, however, does not always translate immediately to expensive training courses or certifications. It could be as simple as observing others and noticing what works for them.
Observations are a great way to improve soft skills, for example. The dependability, patience, and work ethic you see in others could inspire you to try things a little differently. See what you think you can improve, and give it a try, if only for a little bit at a time. If successful, you could be on your way to solidly developing skills you may have once thought were beyond your capabilities.
If you want to improve your hard skills, you might want to speak with others at your job to see what trainings or certifications you would need, and how they could benefit you if you have them. Try to search for answers on your own and strive for self-education when necessary.
Of course, trainings and certifications are helpful, but actual experience can be quite helpful too. You might be better off helping a co-worker with a project that requires you to use a new-to-you software, rather than learning the theoretical uses of that same software in a certification.
Despite how you learn a new skill, make sure you practice it gradually but continually. With a sense of patterns, regular practice, and an open mind, you can build your best skills at work to levels greater than ever before.