After completing our education we tend to think that learning and exams are a thing of the past – but very soon we realize that the workplace can also be a very competitive learning environment. In the workplace employees are constantly being assessed and judged on their knowledge, capabilities and skills. Further they are compared and bench marked against their peers.
We are normally so caught up in our daily responsibilities that we don’t have time for anything else. But in this age of rapid technological advancement, where both the tools we use and the methods we employ develop and change quickly, it’s imperative that we keep our skills and knowledge up to date.
Further there maybe legislation changes, technology advances, and many other external factors which play a role in our jobs changing requirements and we need to be aware of and cater to these.
Some organizations provide learning opportunities when they require it for the job but that may not always be in line with what you really want or need for your career. So, in order to enhance your employability, you need to take charge of your personal development as well. Employees who show that they are conscientious about personal development are likely to be seen as highly motivated and engaged by an employer.
Keeping the above in mind, what can we do for our own learning and development ?
Performance – self assessment
Do a critical review of areas you need to develop. You can talk to your manager, or seek input from colleagues. Then if required you may attend a course or workshop, or find that just reading up on the subject is sufficient.
In some professions a certain amount of professional development is required every year to retain your status. It is therefore essential that you’re up-to-date with what’s happening in your field or you could lose credibility and potentially expose your company to risks. You can keep updated by reading professional journals, attending industry events, conferences, etc.
These are essential in every role to some degree, whether it’s communication skills or conflict resolution in the workplace. Further if you want to move to a managerial position then developing people management skills is essential. Developing ones soft skills through on the job training and coaching are most effective.
Awareness of changing market needs
We tend to be busy at work and lose sight of the changing needs of the job market. So its also necessary to check what changing job specifications are required for roles that are similar to yours. Further if you want to move up the ladder you should also assess what skills are required for the higher role.
Develop the habit of Learning and Development throughout your career in order to improve your employability. You will have to devote time and energy towards doing so but will obtain long term benefits. It will be well worth the effort, since as your knowledge expands, so do your professional abilities and correspondingly, your career prospects.