New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals: No. 2-Evaluate Your Skills

Whether you are happy with your career or looking for a new job, running a lucrative business or building your client base, it is imperative to periodically evaluate your skills. Otherwise you risk limiting your future options. Here are a few things you should consider. 

In the past year have you acquired a new skill or advanced a current one? Technology has given us new tools to use, new ways to communicate and fast ways to get information. As such, business climates are changing and more is expected of each employee and/or business partner. By adding new skills regularly you lessen the chance of becoming stagnant and being unable to handle new tasks. 

Is your skill set marketable? I find the easiest way to measure this is to use a job-hunting website. Look for positions that are either similar to yours or positions that you aspire to reach. Do your qualifications match up? If not, you have a great list of things you need to add to your resume. Look for courses, work assignments and volunteer efforts that can provide you with experience.  

If you are a business owner, research RFPs (Request For Proposals) for companies that you would like to supply with your product or service. You can also use courses and volunteer efforts to get experience. 

What makes you unique? Think about what makes you different from your colleagues or competition and expand on that. For instance, if you are the go-to person for a particular area, market yourself as “the expert.” Consider getting certifications in that area, writing articles (even if it’s for the internal newsletter), or volunteering that skill for a civic organization. If you’re known as a team player, use that to get placed on large projects or to mentor others.  

Remember, one of the easiest ways to make sure you stay relevant is to take what is naturally you and continue developing that trait. 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady


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