Jobs and/or volunteer placements are great places for skill building. Just because your job may not be your “career job” (eg. It’s a part-time job with basic tasks that provide you with extra income while you’re studying) there are still opportunities for growth.
Try this skills identification exercise to help you identify your strengths and areas of development!
You may be able to ask for specific opportunities at your job or volunteer placement based on this assessment. Here are a few suggestions:
- Ask for a brief meeting with your supervisor to indicate your interest in developing specific skills. Ask for their feedback in determining which skills you are already strong in and which could use some strengthening. Let your supervisor know which skills you are most interested in developing and ask if they would be willing to support you in developing these skills.
- Ask if you can get involved in any tasks or projects that might not be part of your usual work routine but would help you develop the skills you’re seeking to develop or improve.
- Remember that skilled employees benefit the organization, so frame your requests as an opportunity for the organization or your department, not just yourself. Turn your request into a win-win situation by showing how your skill development will help to advance the goals of your department or the organization.
- If your supervisor is not open to the idea of changing your job routine to help you enhance your skills, look for growth opportunities you can engage in on your own. Volunteer to help other team members or serve on committees. Attend professional development events outside of the workplace or get involved in co-curricular activities on campus where you can develop skills you can later transfer to a work environment.