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Skilling Up? Do it with Intention!

Trying to develop new skills or sharpen old ones but don't know where to start? As professionals, we're often told we need to invest in our professional development, but what does that really mean?

Taking the time to invest in your own development means seeking out opportunities for growth. The type of growth is up to you. Where do you need to develop? Hard-skills tend to require formal training. While soft skills can be a mix of things including training, taking on new projects, coaching, etc.

If you're struggling to figure out what you want to grow or develop. Here are a few steps to help you get started.

  • Figure out what’s needed from you. Some of this could be found in regular feedback from your supervisor, performance evaluations, etc. If you have a less vocal supervisor, take charge by scheduling time with them to ask them the following questions:

  • In what areas does the department/company want to see me grow?

  • How will you know I've been successful? What behaviors would you see?

  • As yourself "what would I like to be able to do that you I'm not able to do right now? Or, what do I have a hard time doing right now?"

  • Seek alignment between those things. There is usually some place where you can align your goals with your company's expectations. If there isn’t, you can explore ways of accomplishing your personal development goals and alongside the goals your employer has for you. A coach can be helpful in partnering with you to align your goals.

  • Determine the timing - when would you like to complete this by?

  • Finally, ask yourself how are you going to achieve it? Do you need formal training? Do you need to hire a coach? Do you need to take on special projects?

Write your plan down! It goes a long way toward helping you hold yourself accountable. If you're thinking of hiring that coach, I can help!

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