Expanding your skills to get or keep a job

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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So you have a job. But you are nervous….

The Irish economy has recovered but it’s still tough out there, particularly in certain industries. Being a charming, charismatic and friendly soul will get you plenty of places during boom years. But in difficult times, it’s just as important to illustrate how your skills and qualifications add to the bottom line. Conversely, you could have enough skills and qualification parchments to paper your office but if you are not a nice person or a team player, you may well be a target.

Don’t underestimate the importance of people skills

There is a balance to be struck. And it’s up to you to examine skills or qualifications you should be gain to bolster your chances of keeping your job, or finding a new one.

Fortunately, learning ‘people skills’ isn’t hard. With some training, you could well be in that coveted position of being well qualified and well liked in a relatively short space of time. It is also a less expensive. Some good books are available on changing your behaviour. With some discipline you could save yourself time and money by reading and practising.

Consider your existing qualifications

On the topic of upskilling or reskilling, the options are many and varied. But before looking at those, consider your existing qualifications and how you might enhance them. You could, for example, become chartered in your field or align yourself with the professional body for that field.

Have a look at what you need to do to improve your profile in terms of what you have contributed or can contribute to your industry. If you feel you need a qualification, make sure you search thoroughly and compare curricula and prices.

The old rules still apply

Don’t forget: the old rules still apply. Look busy. Be busy. Be on time. Don’t be late coming back from lunch. Respect management and behave according to the company rule book.

In other words, don’t draw attention to yourself for anything less than exemplary, innovative performance. If you are going to stand out, make sure it is for all the right reasons.

Monica Murphy

Anne Sexton

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