We are the residents of the fastest growing economy in the world which offers a person plenty of work opportunities. With the right education, plenty of avenues open up to a person. It is true that having experience in the field you plan on applying to is something every employer looks for; a candidate with experience has the highest probability of being selected. So most of us tend to put our heart and soul into becoming the perfect candidate for an opening; preparing a perfect CV, bringing in glowing references and letters of recommendation and all the works. If one has to be honest, they will admit that these are all the things they do.
However, there is one thing that many people tend to forget. It is a matter of additional skills. Not a lot of us give special importance to additional skills. Some people tend to get caught up in preparing academically. Others tend to get caught up in gaining experience. A significant number of people ignore skill development and its importance in the course of making themselves a perfect candidate.
One must remember that India being the fastest growing economy is also extremely fast in adding the number of people to its workforce annually, making matters difficult for not just those who are fresh out of education and looking to start a career but also for those who are already working. Every employer wants to hire the best and work with the best. Employees and prospective employees need to realize that they are constantly judged on the basis of their capabilities.
The easiest way of doing this is by taking on additional skills. Here’s why you need to develop additional skills:
- Newer work opportunities: Learning additional skills can help you become eligible for newer work. No one likes to stagnate and stay in the same place and position for too long. Additional skills are one of the best ways for a person to make themselves better and eligible for a higher opportunity.
- Better payscale: A person with varied expertise and skills will be an asset to an organization. Every organization wants to work with people who are assets, not liabilities. Therefore, by taking on additional skills you make yourself a better employee to the organization, and it is only natural that an asset would be paid higher.
- Stand Out: The world is competitive. One wouldn’t be wrong if they compared it to an arena, everybody’s out to win. In such a competitive world, everybody needs to stand out from the crowd. Have a unique selling point that makes you different. To be the perfect candidate a person needs to be distinct.
- Enhanced performance: Additional skills will help you improve your performance and be more productive. It is a common fact that a person with better performance is always more appreciated by an organization.
- Make your skills be known: Once you have a skill, it is important to let your employer know that you have a certain skill set. Take up opportunities to prove your abilities and get noticed. In case you feel that your skills are not being appreciated that much, you can also get proper certification for the skills you possess.
Most people understand additional skills to be things like having an understanding of Microsoft word or knowing extra languages. A person must look into additional skills from two perspectives. The first is to take on things that are specific to your skills and will help you move forward because of your technical knowledge. The second perspective is to diversify. It is easy for a person to get confused as to how to diversify without going off track; there is a thin line between the two that many people confuse. One must understand diversifying as evolving, not branching out. Having knowledge of the latest developments in your field is one way of diversifying. Doing research on matters of relevance is another such way.
Given below are some of the easiest ways for one to develop additional skills:
- Taking certification courses.
·Reading articles, books, and journals on professional skills.
· Publishing articles and research activities.
· Spending time with stakeholders and others who are directly affected by your work so that you have an improved understanding of what they need and how to give it to them.
· Joining associations and committees that deal with skills that you want to develop.
- Internships and additional work in other fields so that you have a better understanding of how things are done.
The final segment of this article deals with how to know what skills you should be developing. It isn’t always easy to figure out what it is you should be doing. Most of us have an idea of what we want to do. However, we can’t always be sure that what we think is needed, is necessarily so.
So how do you figure out what additional skills you should pick up? Given below are some tips for figuring out the answer to this:
- Self-assessment: Taking a step back to look at yourself is one of the best ways of improving yourself. It is always a good idea to step back and take a stock of what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been performing at your work. This should give you an insight into what you need to improve.
- Talk to your superiors: A person who has worked over you, preferably your immediate boss is the best person to help you with this. This person has seen your work first hand and will, therefore, be able to tell you exactly what can make you better.
- Speak to your peers and co-workers: Speaking to those working with you is another great way. This way you can know what it is that makes them better and figure out how to make yourself better in the process.
Now that we have the basics of the importance of additional skills and how to gain them, take the time out to get additional skills and become great at what we do!