Skills can be polished and refined but when you fail to do so, you will become a dinosaur at work and in your career.
There was a time during the Mesozoic era when Dinosaurs were the largest reptiles on earth. But at the end of the Cretaceous period, they became extinct. It is interesting to know that they existed for a period of 165 million years. But they don’t exist anymore today. As the earth environment changed, some reptiles and other species of creatures evolved to suit the new conditions but those who refused to change like the Dinosaurs became extinct. The story about this wonderful and gigantic creature is quite amazing. It is a good analogy to explain that it doesn’t matter how long you are good at a skill, you would need to update it as time goes on or else you would lose relevance.
The process of losing relevance usually takes a period of time and often goes unnoticed. Not investing in one’s personal and career development is one quick way to get there.
You can apply the tips below to add value to your skills and to remain relevant throughout your career:
Start by taking an inventory of all your skills: List them out from your core skills to the least competent ones.
Categorise your skills into these 3 basic areas: Transferable skills, Job Skills, Personal Management Skills.
Identify which skills are relevant for work or for the next job or position you want: This is also important if you would like to switch to a new career. You would need to identify if you have both the core and transferable skills that the new job or career requires.
Identify skill gaps and deal with it: The only way to deal with a skill gap is by learning. You could attend courses, conferences and workshops; read books, newspapers and journals; do job placements or on-the-job training, enrol in a professional association or network and complete your ‘continuing professional development’ (CPD) requirements annually. There are so many institutions that provide online and classroom training. Identify a few that suit your schedule and attend them. It will be good to make a goal of how you would like to update or acquire new skills and act on it immediately. Your goals should be SMART.
Bear in mind that in today’s dynamic world, nothing ever is static so your skills shouldn’t be. There will always be better ways of doing things; improved technology and processes that enable cheaper or more efficient production of goods and services delivering better results to the end users. For example, in the Technology industry, new products come out every 3 – 6 months. Consumers are faced with all sorts of choices and they are demanding for more. New gadgets are becoming more obsolete faster than before. So remember, don’t be like the Dinosaur, make deliberate efforts to add value to your skills. Best wishes as you try.
The Knowledge Exchange Centre provides training on employability skills for fresh and newly employed graduates. Some courses are also suitable for management staff. Check out our website for courses that may be suitable for you and your organisation. www.knowledgeexchangecentre.org