HOW TO: develop your skills on the job

Like an intricate plate-spinning act, you’ll be doing chores for your boss, negotiating with new clients, appeasing the wants of the old ones and, on top of all that, just trying to get the daily gears of your job to grind along.

That may make the very idea of training or further education, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right type of “on the job” training, you can build upon your current skillset and do so without compromising your working week.

More than this, there’s a load of options available to you that will make your resume more impressive and your career prospects more fulfilling. But, what options are out there?

Take up a course online

Distance learning has evolved far past the times when you’d wait for aeons to receive your course materials in the post. Now, with the internet reeling at hyper-fast speeds, gaining an online degree has become a much more efficient task.

With places like Google Books, JSTOR and university library sites, everyone has the world of learning at their fingertips 24/7, and it’ll allow you to study whenever you like. It’s the perfect way to gain a university education without having to visit a campus.

Every course document you need will be available to you online, and you’ll even be able to converse with tutors in real time via email and Skype, just as though you’re in a seminar. So, give it a go for a degree that could further your career.

Find a workplace mentor

Dotted around your office, there are probably a few people with better qualifications and life skills than you. Those are the right people to make friends with.

To learn more about your job, gleam as much information as you can from your colleague’s teeming brains and let them be something akin to your mentor, guiding you through any problems you have and developing your skills.

Rotate your job with someone else

There’s a concept in certain workforces called “job rotation”, in which people swap positions every now and again to accrue new skills and develop old ones. If your workplace isn’t doing something like this, then maybe it’s about time they did.

Not only will this give you on the job training, it’ll also let you find new skills you like and dislike, allowing you to focus on your ideal career path.

Take on a few little extras

Every workplace is always willing to give you more to do and, if you’re happy to pile on the work, then make those extra tasks count. Take on new roles that will help you discover skills and you’ll see your reputation in the workplace elevate exponentially.