a year its a good idea to do an assessment of your skills. If
you had to reinvent yourself tomorrow because there were no longer any
jobs in your field, what would you become? Knowing what your skills
are and keeping them current is the first place to start.
Theres no doubt that computer skills rank the highest on your
list, no matter what your job. Basic word processing is mandatory for
even receptionist positions. Can you do mail merges? Write effective
e-mail messages? Good spelling and punctuation are always key skills.
Brush up on them if you need to. There are plenty of classes given by
vendors and local schools to get you up to speed.
Are you Internet savvy? This means that you can navigate easily around
the web to find information. You know how to use the advanced features
on search engines to quickly get what you need. With billions of web
sites you could take hours looking for important information about clients,
competitors, trends, etc. Being efficient is important. Why not take
a webinar on this topic?
Of course, if you need to know database software or keep track of budgets
on accounting software, be sure you know how to use many of the features
of those programs. They, too, can save you time and put your skills
ahead of someone who just knows the basics. Computer schools and community
colleges are good sources for these classes.
Are you a savvy networker? Being able to meet and greet prospects and
clients is an important skill for everyone. Knowing what to say to break
the ice and how to close a conversation are the basics. The more you
practice, the better you get, so put your best foot forward and get
out there and network. For pointers, try seminars given by Chambers
of Commerce or adult education groups.
How are your negotiating skills? Need to ask for a raise? Trying to
get the best price on equipment you need to purchase? If you never learned
the ins and outs of negotiation, theres no time like the present
to brush up on your skills. You can use this one when youre buying
a car, negotiating a lease on an apartment the uses are endless.
Again, check the adult ed catalogs.
Know a foreign language? As the global community shrinks with the use
of the Internet you can be a real asset to a company with your language
skills. Cultural understanding is also critical for doing business with
other countries. Get your feet wet by attending international festivals
and taking foreign language and culture classes through community education.
Of course, if you have any credentials that need updating, keeping them
current is important, too. Learn from professional associations what
the latest skills are for your particular industry and be sure
you meet the specs.
Youll be pleasantly surprised at how much you know and what you
can do after this little self-assessment. Update your résumé
and youre ready to reinvent yourself if the need arises.