A Day in the Life of Stress: Updating Skills
It’s not always easy to confront change but if you have the courage to stretch your mind you may find that it opens up a world of new possibilities.
If your job is in a fast-moving industry or one where precise regulations have to adhere to, then keeping your skills set up-to-date is very important. But the pressures of keeping informed and qualified can place huge demands on you, mentally and physically. You will need to find time outside the working day to study unless your workplace offers day release or onsite training.
Of course, you could choose to plod along as you are, but by not embracing new challenges life can become static. You may feel hemmed in because your choices are limited.
Learning new skills isn’t limited to the workplace, and studying for further qualifications isn’t the only reason for you to improve your skills. Learning for self-development is a growing area with opportunities. You might discover that an interest, hobby or unfulfilled ambition could turn into a potential job prospect.
Choosing a Course of Study
Learning new skills can help you to achieve the kind of lifestyle you want, and there are many ways of doing this. Your local library and newspapers will have information on courses in your area. Adult learning centres can give you practical advice about courses, from basic literacy to whether you are better suited to a home correspondence course as opposed to attending college full-time.
The internet offers many online courses so you can study whenever you have time. Online courses tend to offer a wider variety of classes. However, as there is generally no set class to attend you need to be more self-motivated and disciplined. Often you will have an online tutor who you can contact for support and advice about your course.
Finding your direction
Whether you want to take the next step up on the career ladder or change the entire direction of your life, do so without stress by following the tips below.
What do you want?
- Identifying the skills you think you need is a difficult task. Do you want a hobby that will take up some of your spare time or do you want to learn something that will progress or kick-start a career? Perhaps you could adapt a hobby into an occupation.
- Communication skills, both verbal and written, are often seen as being quite obvious but they should never be underrated. Brushing up on these skills can increase your value as a marketable employee.
- Learning how to use email and use it competently is a very easy skill to acquire. Not only can you keep in touch with friends and family, you’ll have a new tool at your disposal at work. As with anything new, practice makes perfect. You’ll find you improve vastly when you use of perform an action every day.
- If you have an idea about what you would like to do, then volunteering can be a useful way to acquire knowledge about that job. Many places offer a facility where you can shadow someone for a period of time. This way you can see what the job is like before you commit to a long-term course or a career path.
- Networking is about communicating with people with a view to professional or personal development. It expands the sources of information and support that you already have, and may reveal career possibilities that will give you the chance to go for promotion.
- If there is a course that you think will be beneficial to your company, try talking to your HR department as they will be able to give you guidance. Many companies will offer in-house training to suitable candidates and HR will advise on whether the company can fund you in part or in full. After all, it makes you a more versatile and informed worker, which can only be an advantage for your employer.
- Many companies do business on an international platform. The world has become a smaller place and communicating with people abroad brings its own set of challenges that require a particular set of skills. Different cultures will have different approaches to work. Even in countries where English is the spoken language, there can be differences in the way people express themselves or in the use of terminology. Trying to be patient and understanding in these situations is a good skill to learn.