10 ways to develop your competences

Graduation is not the end of our education, if only we care about the development and obtaining higher and higher degrees of our professional career. Regardless of the position, there are constantly new products – whether technological or related to e.g. sales techniques, which should be learned for better performance of duties and … own well-being.
We can acquire new knowledge and competences in many ways – depending on our commitment, wealth and the amount of time we can devote to our own development.

1. Postgraduate studies and courses

One of the methods of own development is starting studies or postgraduate courses. This decision requires both financial analysis and time availability – unfortunately, postgraduate studies cost a lot and take a lot of time – especially if they take place in the form of a weekend.
However, this type of training gives documented acquisition of new competences and, in addition, allows the extension of competences as part of performed duties or even complete re-training.
Also worth considering when you don’t feel well in your current job.

2. Industry press

The easiest and fastest way to get new information about what is happening in our own garden. Basically, there is probably no industry to which at least one specialized title would not be addressed. And luckily you don’t need a lot of time to read the trade press. Just carve out 20 minutes during the day and read one article. You don’t even have 20 minutes? Give up the next episode of “Poor”!

3. Internet

The internet is a mine of knowledge. You just need to learn to use it. Using popular search engines, such as Google, we only have access to some information that is on the Internet. To the rest, so-called deep web, we can dig in through specialized search engines. To get knowledge from the Internet, you should first learn to use it and learn how search engines work and what tools we can additionally use, in addition to the most popular Google search engine. This will also separate true and reliable information from junk. The Internet can be an inexhaustible source of knowledge and information, which you can easily and most importantly – almost for free – use.

4. Training conducted by external companies

The free market and interest in employee development meant that many companies are interested in sending companies for external training, and the selection of training companies is large. Trainings are organized in two main areas – soft competences (assertiveness, public speaking, time organization, etc.) and knowledge extension (new regulations, computer training and all other industry-related training). They can be open trainings (the group comes from different companies, and one or two employees from the company are sent for the training itself) or closed (only company employees take part in the training)
Training is expensive. It is not uncommon to send one person for training costs several thousand naira. However, you can also use subsidized trainings that will be on the market until at least 2022.

5. Coaching, or development workshops

One of the most effective development methods is coaching.
Coaching is individual meetings of a trainer (coach) with an employee, focusing on his professional development and competences used at work. Coaching is usually addressed to managerial staff. Starting the coaching process is to set goals that the employee wants to achieve in the development process. The coach’s task is to support and direct the person whom he is coaching in undertaking new challenges and development of competences. An important aspect of coaching is the employee’s personal relationship with the trainer and mutual trust. The manager can tell his personal trainer about the difficulties experienced at work during the session and by skilfully asking questions, the trainer’s task is to help the client find a solution to these difficulties and develop new methods to deal with them.
Coaching is quite expensive, but at the same time the most effective method of development. In some companies – especially large corporations – the most outstanding managers have a company-funded coach.

6. Public / company library

You can broaden your knowledge – especially technical and substantive – you can also use public libraries. Sometimes, your own library is created by the company – providing employees the opportunity to use books purchased for their needs. If your company does not have a library, you can always suggest it to your boss. The cost is relatively low, and for employees the company’s library provides access to the latest industry literature.

7. Audiobooks

The invention of audiobooks is simply perfect for people who commute to work for a long time. Whether in the car or on the bus, simply load the file to the player and you can expand your knowledge. Language courses are popular and effective in the version of audiobooks. You can also find guides on sales or soft competences issued in the form of audio.
Listeners use audiobooks the fastest and more effectively (people for whom hearing sense is the most important source of information).

8. Trade fairs

Meetings, conferences and trade fairs are a good idea to enrich knowledge on all news related to the industry in which we operate. It is worth using such additional development methods, especially since apart from knowledge, conferences and fairs are also an opportunity to establish new business relationships and new relationships with specialists from the same or related industry.

9. Internet discussion groups

The Internet mentioned above is not only websites with information and articles, but also discussion groups and social networking services bringing together people interested in the same topics. Therefore, your development can also be deepened by contacting other specialists, exchanging opinions, sharing doubts, and exchanging views. All you need to do is find the right discussion group with thousands on the Web, or join one of the professional communities.

10. Volunteering

Volunteering is an interesting idea for development, both in the area of ​​”hard” knowledge and soft skills. The variety of projects you can volunteer for is huge. Volunteering not only allows you to acquire new skills and sensitize yourself to the problems of others, but can also be an important point in your CV. It is usually believed that young people work as volunteers, but more and more middle-aged people also see the benefits of volunteering, and even some companies engage and encourage their own employees to participate in various, non-profitable projects.

There are a lot of methods thanks to which you can take care of your own development. And nothing justifies stagnation – not even the finances or time. You can always adapt the development method to your own capabilities.

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