Continuous learning has been called a critical competency for the 21st century. Keeping skills current helps people to stay relevant in the world of work, and to prepare for appealing future opportunities. Think about this: your skills represent much of what you market in your resume and in job interviews.
As your goals change with time or experience, it’s likely that new or enhanced skills will be important in helping you reach those goals. Some skillsets are quite specific, like the engineering knowledge required to design a bridge. Other skills are applicable across a broad range of activities, projects and jobs. For example, the skill of project management applies as much to building a bridge as to holding a conference. It can be intriguing and exciting to acquire new skills.
It can also be a little daunting at times. Many people are accustomed to doing things well, and it can be challenging to adjust to the temporary state of being a beginner again. But that experience of practicing a new skill is important. In fact, research indicates that in adulthood, 70% of skill development happens through doing. That makes on-the-job activities, projects, volunteering and other action-learning vehicles especially important. But these don’t and shouldn’t occur in a vacuum. About 20% of skill development should come from interacting with other people. The support of significant others who are invested in your success is often important to satisfying, effective practice. And don’t forget formal training (classes, books, seminars, etc.). It often provides a critical foundation on which to build that new skill.
Skill development acts as an important bridge between where you are today and where you’d like to be tomorrow. Explore the Skill Development section of the online Career Development resources (http://hrweb.berkeley.edu/learning/career-development/skill-development) to learn more about the 70/20/10 rule and a variety of learning and development avenues on and off campus, as well as suggestions for considering where you’d like to put your skill development energy. You will also find information about the workshop Identifying Your Vital Skills; other career development workshops; and individual career counseling.
Interested in a career development orientation for your staff work-group or team? We’d like to hear from you. Contact us at 510-642-2367, or email@example.com