Are you looking for opportunities to develop your career skills while working fulltime? Learning while on-the-job might sound time-consuming, yet it’s undoubtedly one of the simplest ways to grow your skillset.
Here are our tips for continuing to learn in the workplace.
Find the right challenge.
Ask yourself what skills, behaviours or actions you need to develop to be more effective. What do you need to learn for future responsibilities and opportunities? What are your strengths and gaps? Before you jump into a new role or task, define what you want to learn from this new challenge – this is a chance to take yourself out of your comfort zone and make you think harder about your work.
Be part of short assignments outside your role description or department.
Be social and active within the workplace, and talk to people outside of your department, find out if any teams need your practical expertise. Are there staff events or group activities that you could lead, assist with or organise? Our advice is to look for assignments that broaden your knowledge of the business, or industry or make you feel more passionate about coming to the workplace.
Reshape your current role.
If you feel there are gaps or missed opportunities in your current position, map out your ideas, keep track of what you’re currently doing day-to-day and quantify your suggestions and take them to management. Suggest modifying your tasks’ boundaries by taking on more or fewer responsibilities or changing how you perform them. Alternatively, you might offer to take on a task commonly assigned to a more experienced coworker to test your capability. This is your opportunity to build out your ideal role – so don’t be afraid to ask!
Communicate openly with team leaders.
If you have a manager who’s open and interested in your growth, find an opportunity to speak to them about why you want to take on new challenges. Be transparent about the skills you want to learn or improve. Pitch several suggestions about the tasks that interest you and ask them for their input. Work together to analyse which responsibilities have the most promise, are mutually beneficial, less disruptive to others and develop a plan.