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Exploring New Horizons: 8 Ways to Expand Your Current Skillset

Exploring New Horizons: 8 Ways to Expand Your Current Skillset

 
Managing and advancing your career
How taking time to consider some basic questions makes learning skills that benefit your career much more manageable.
 
Article author: Kerry Watts
      Written by Kerry Watts
       (3-minute read)
In today's highly volatile and unpredictable job market, employees and business owners must continuously develop and expand their expertise. Given the current speed of technological and economic progress, stagnating in one's current role without extending your ability could eventually lead to job displacement or lost opportunities for career growth. Therefore, developing and using them to explore new possibilities is now something we must all prepare to do.

While acquiring new skills isn't always easy for people who have to balance full-time jobs with personal responsibilities, it's completely doable -- provided you take a systematic approach. And with places like Singapore, there is an abundance of educational resources where you can acquire new skills that enable you to keep up to date. Here are eight ways to sustainably expand your current skillset:



Identify Your Intent

Why do you want to have new skills? What do you hope to achieve with them? Answering these and other questions gives you a better picture of what you want to accomplish by upskilling. Taking time to consider these questions also makes learning skills most beneficial to your career much more manageable.

Research Learning Opportunities

After you've defined your goals and requirements, research the opportunities that will help you to cultivate the expertise you need. Thankfully we live in an age with broad access to valuable online courses, which are a great starting option. However, you will also want to consider joining in-person workshops and industry conferences to get a hands-on feel for the new disciplines you're studying.

If you have access to special upskilling programs, consider taking them. In Singapore, SkillsFuture courses are gaining popularity due to the sheer variety of subjects and certifications available. These courses are especially attractive for Singaporeans due to the low fees and reasonable availability of slots for in-demand classes.

Create an Individualised Learning Plan

Having a sensible plan makes it simpler to recognize success as you continue. Your plan should clearly outline your goals, the skills you want to acquire, and the steps you need to take to grow them to the degree you need. Your plan should also have a realistic timetable, including time allocated for maintaining your health and spending with your loved ones. Additionally, account for your work schedule, personal responsibilities, living situation, and preferred learning style.



By personalizing your learning plan, you'll be better placed to develop your expertise within the context of other challenges you face. This will not only help you avoid frustration, but it should also help make your learning more sustainable.

Attend Industry Events

Seminars and conferences are valuable opportunities to draw knowledge from experts with real-world experience. These events can also be great ways to expand your network and connect with industry and market leaders, particularly on social media.



While you probably won't learn much right away, they should help you find mentors, collaborators, and other people who can help you further develop your skills and knowledge.

Join Clubs and Professional Associations

Joining groups related to your field or the abilities you want may help you gain exclusive access to resources, opportunities to network, and educational events. Additionally, these groups can provide a sounding board for questions and concerns that may not always be addressed elsewhere.

Volunteer

You can volunteer for projects or initiatives related to your field to gain practical experience. You often hear about volunteer opportunities through professional associations and special interest clubs. Occasionally, volunteer opportunities may come up through work or your local community. So long as you keep your eyes open, opportunities to volunteer should come along, eventually.

Take on New Challenges at Work

It's arguable if it's a good thing to willingly take on tasks that aren't in your job description. However, taking on these challenges will allow you to grow your skills and knowledge that might be otherwise unobtainable. If the opportunity to do this presents itself at work, consider it thoroughly.

Seek Mentorship

Mentors are valuable as they help accelerate your progress in your desired field. A mentor can teach you the essential minutiae of your new skills and labor-saving techniques that will prevent frustration and speed up your learning. Significantly, they can help you avoid mistakes you would have made had you learned everything by yourself.

Expanding your skillset is crucial for staying competitive in today's volatile job market and instilling a sense of confidence in yourself. By taking a strategic approach to this and following our tips, you can take your professional advancement to the next level and begin exploring new horizons. Fortunately, places like the US, Europe and Singapore not only have diverse job markets that offer numerous opportunities for advancement and career changes, but it also offers programs like the example we mentioned at SkillsFuture. And with consistent effort, you should eventually make headway into whatever career you desire.

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