Skills to Win: Getting Started

Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

When it comes to getting a good job, it’s important to ask yourself two questions: 1) what do I want to do, and 2) what do I need to do to get there? I say that it’s still important to ask yourself what you want because it makes a difference long term, even in the new normal we live in today. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself realizing that what you want to do lends itself better to self-employment than working for someone else. So, go ahead. Take a moment right now, and ask yourself what it is that you enjoy. What do you want to do? What is something that you may already be doing that you can turn into gainful employment – self or otherwise?

A lot of us are still in the position though to either be or need to be working for someone else right now in order to bring in a steady paycheck. But I still ask, what do you want to do, and what do you need to do to get there? What skills do you need to have to accomplish your goal? Are you interested in one day becoming a nurse? What can you start doing now to get there? What books can you read? What classes do you need to take? What degree(s) or certifications do you need? Do some research! How can you expose yourself to other nurses? Who can you talk to? Where can you volunteer? Let’s switch gears, and look at something else. Let’s say you want to one day own your own garage? What skills do you need for this? You’ll likely need to consider a mix of business management, personnel management and vehicle repair exposure. So, what do you do? How can you start getting the skills you need? What other jobs can you work at for a while that are in line with where you want to go until you learn what you need to launch out on your own? Where can you volunteer? Or do you want to be a teacher? What skills do you need? What environment(s) do you need to expose yourself to? Do you like children? (That’s probably the FIRST question you need to ask yourself in this scenario – please make sure you like being around children first!) For now, can you work as an after-care group leader or in a summer camp? Can you tutor? Where can you volunteer?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You’ll notice that in each scenario, I’m also asking ‘where can you volunteer’. Don’t forget that unpaid experience is still experience! Put that on your resume! There have absolutely been moments where at the end of the interview process, the only thing that made one candidate stand out from another was volunteer experience, and that was the candidate that I hired. As hiring managers, we want to see that you know what you’re doing, and that you’ve proactively taken steps to get the skills you need to perform well on the job. It’s a bonus for the hiring manager AND for you if you enjoy what you’re doing. That will help keep you motivated to do the job well, even when it gets difficult, which bodes well toward positively building up your performance evaluation package for your end of the year review (better chance of a raise or promotion for you) and gives good quality labor or a good quality product to your company throughout the year (helps to keep them in business and keep you employed).

You can absolutely focus your job search on positions that will help you build or learn new skills. If you aren’t able to do that, and maybe need to work at a job you aren’t as crazy about, get creative with other things that you can do to learn something new. There are incredible resources available today to help you get started – blogs, masterclasses, YouTube, the library, higher education, people within your own community, and again, do not disregard volunteer work. Also, consider if there are other jobs available near your ideal position. Let’s take the nursing example for instance. If you don’t have everything you need yet to start working as a nurse, can you start with phlebotomy first? You can get that certification in a shorter amount of time so that you can start working and bringing in an income sooner, and it may give you good exposure to other nurses. Learn from them! Ask questions! Where did they go to nursing school? What do they wish they knew when they first got started? You’ll be building seniority and good performance history with your employer at the same time that you’re working on learning new skills or learning the best places to go to get the training you need to get to where you want to go.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

So, what do you want to do? What can you start doing now to help you get there? To help you get started, Kindle Unlimited is offering 2 months of free unlimited reading for a rotation of popular magazines and over 1 million books – thousands with Audible narration. Click here to get your 2 months free. Don’t waste any more time. Think about what you want to do to, then go on and get started!

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