3 ways to sharpen your skill sets outside of your current job

1. Network and more networking:

Get out of your cubical comfort zone. Networking does not have to be done in a silo at work. Network horizontally to learn about other departments and projects. Cross training with other peers can make you more valuable to your current employer or future employers. In addition, be sure to attend community or industry groups. Attending professional conferences can be a great way to meet peers that can help you build your skill sets.

2. Respect the value in your day to day responsibilities:

This is easier than said and done. Looking at every role and task in your job as a learning opportunity. If you are open minded, you will see opportunities where others do not. Take calculated risks in everything you invest your time in. Don’t assume that your role at the company is limited to your position’s job description. Take time to do some metacognition (thinking about thinking) to analyze what tasks are transferable to another role either in or outside of the company.

3. Build your resume through volunteering:

Create a series of “apprenticeships” for yourself, by seeking out volunteer opportunities. Create a list of skill sets you want to build off and would like to improve. You have a set of skills consisting not only of the functional ones from your day job, but also the aggregation of your experiences, community involvement, and education. If there aren’t natural places for you to apply your talents at your organization, targeting interesting non-profits who could use an extra set of hands or eyes or clients who would pay for someone with your know-how. Don’t look at volunteering as “working for nothing”, but rather as investing in yourself. The ability to monetize these skill sets will come in due time.

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