Take your existing job skills to the next level

By improving job skills like networking, you can bring your career to the next level ... photo by CC user 41464593@N02 on Flickr

Everyone is ambitious (or at least they should be), wanting to further their careers however they can to ensure that their talents are put to the best use and that they are in a position they deserve to be in with job titles and salaries to match.

Some people work especially hard throughout the school life, going on to college and University before finding full-time work and grafting away until they reach the top of their profession – and that’s when the real hard work starts as you’re then expected to work your socks off!

While promotions aren’t right for everyone, some people (quite rightly), enjoy a certain level of work where they feel they are suitably tested and where they enjoy what they do. However, that doesn’t stop them from wanting to be the very best they can be in that role and even having more to offer so that, if required, they can help out on other departments from time to time.

How do you do that though? Having already gone through education, however successfully, you don’t have the opportunity to go back and do it all again to pick up certain job skills. So what do you do?

The first thing you can try is to observe your co-workers whenever you can. Even those working on the same department as you will have a specific set of skills and methods which may be different to your own. You might all be striving to reach the same goal or to complete the same project, but you go about it differently. One might be more efficient or more effective, or it might be the kind of thing you never knew about.

Either way, if you get a period of relative downtime – like on a Friday afternoon – take some time to observe your colleagues. Whether you’re working in a manufacturing company in a factory or in an office doing IT sales jobs, you can always pick something up off somebody to help you to improve.

Another method is to read as much as you can about your whole industry so that you understand it as well as you possibly can. Lots of people work in agencies or factories that specialise in a particular niche but they don’t know how certain parts of the company operate.

Taking an example, those working in car manufacturing in a huge factory might not know how the different areas of the company work or how certain processes are done. Just because your job is to fit the electrics doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to fit the bumpers correctly, for instance. By knowing as much as you can about the whole industry you can prove to be a valuable asset, either earning yourself a promotion to a new department or training new staff in your own area using your expertise and experience.

Finally, you can ask your employer to send you on any training courses or to any conferences that may be of use. Most firms set aside a budget for staff development so it’s worth finding out what kind of money is available to you and then looking out for any courses that might be worthwhile attending.

This will show your employer that you’re looking to further yourself for the benefit of both yourself and the company and shows them that you are dedicated and ambitious – both of which will look good on you when it comes to promoting anyone internally or awarding any deserved pay increases.