Regardless of the industry you’re in and whether you work for yourself or for someone else, there are certain key professional skills you need to have if you want to be successful. They can mean the difference between an investor choosing to support you or not, or your boss choosing you for a promotion over your colleague.
Looking to improve yours? Here are seven methods to try.
- Take a college course
Studying a formal college course is a tried and tested way of leveling up your skills, and these days there are more professional qualifications to choose from than ever before. From the prestigious MBA to programs that focus on specific areas of business such as marketing and finance, you’re sure to find an option that meets your needs. The best part is that the availability of part-time and online courses means you can study alongside your day job.
- Create your own self-study program
If you’d rather not splash out on expensive college tuition fees, you can always set up your own at-home study program instead. This does require you to find your own resources (for example, books, blogs, podcasts, and videos), but means you can work at your own pace and focus on the exact skills you wish to improve.
- Find a mentor
For those who are searching for some more personal guidance, finding a mentor could be just what you’re after. Reach out to some people who work in the sort of job you’d like to have in the future, and ask if you can buy them a coffee in return for some advice. With any luck, it’ll be the beginning of a productive long-term relationship.
- Work with an executive coach
Approaching potential mentors can be daunting, so another option is to try coaching. An executive coach can provide guidance tailored specifically for you and your needs, helping you to reshape your mindset and boost your business performance. It’s a fantastic option if you want an outside perspective, accountability, and support in achieving your goals.
- Attend industry events
To be a successful professional, you need to stay up to date with all the latest news and developments in your industry at the same time as improving your skills. Attending conferences and workshops is one of the best ways to do this, and also provides valuable opportunities for networking.
- Ask for extra responsibilities
For many people, the most effective way to learn is by doing. That’s why asking for greater responsibility at work can be a wonderfully hands-on way to boost your professional skills. For example, depending on what you want to work on, you could ask to complete the induction for your company’s next new staff member or give a presentation at the next client meeting.
- Volunteer outside of work
If there are no opportunities to boost your skills in the office, you could try looking externally. Charities and other nonprofit organizations are always on the look-out for talented and passionate people to help out by donating their time. Doing so doesn’t only help you level up your abilities and look great on your résumé, it also makes a meaningful difference in your local community.