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5 Tips on How to Update Your Professional Skills

Updated on September 25, 2013

Staying competitive in these tough times.

Learning a new skill can be your best option to keep pace in these highly technological times and most importantly provide for your needs and that of your family too. The skills that you currently have may no longer provide you with the benefits it once gave to you. Or those skills may no longer provide you with a lucrative pay as it previously did, say, 10 years ago.

Take for example, professionals specializing in mainframes or COBOL were in-demand 15 or 20 years ago. Today, those skills may prove to be challenging to utilize in the age of Web 2.0, HTML5 or CSS. Or a door-to-door salesman may no longer be needed as people these days have various options on where to get information on what, where, how and when to buy. Experts call this phenomenon as a change in buyer behaviour. Thus, a career as a personal financial adviser can be a better option as this will also involve selling not a product but yourself as a service provider. A personal financial adviser helps people manage their finances by telling them how best to save, invest and generally grow their money.

So how do we make ourselves relevant in these times? Listed below are 5 tips on how to update your skills:

1. Determine what you really like to do.

As they say, if you enjoy what you are doing you don’t need to work a single day in your life. Enjoying what you do precedes everything even the aspect of compensation and choice of pay rates. Focus on what you really want to do, a hobby perhaps can be a start. You will never be good at doing something if you hate doing that something. You need to love your work.

2. Visualize your future.

In most questionnaires given to us by hiring managers, they require us to answer this rather deceptively simple question, “What will you be doing 5 or 10 years from now?” Your answer of course, will provide inputs to the hiring manager on what type of a person you are, your plans and how you organize yourself to achieve your goals. The same is true if you want to remain relevant today and in the future. One way to do this is to research on jobs that are currently in-demand and will still be needed 10 or 20 years from now. Align your personal and professional goals with these realities.

3. Make an inventory of your skills-set that needs updating.

You must remember that you also need to consider where you are weak at and not just where you are good at. For example, your passion for writing may make you a good writer but a career in advertising copywriting which is in-demand these days is an altogether different field which requires different training.

4. Search for experts or enroll in on-line classes.

Your passion for accounting especially if you haven’t used this skill in your current job may require you to learn basic MS Excel or later on advanced accounting softwares. Determining what you need will lead you to find the right person or organization to teach you this skill. Local colleges or universities may have classes suitable to your schedule or you can try on-line classes or e-learning tools for more convenience and affordability.

5. Learning never ends.

The need for continuous learning is a necessity not only yesterday but more importantly today and in the near future. After leaving school, it does not mean we have to stop reading and learning too. In fact, we grow as a person and as a professional if we continue to believe that learning never ends. What we have learned in the past may no longer work today so we have the responsibility to constantly update our knowledge and skills.

Keeping pace with the times requires hard work and may involve lots of sacrifices. But with the prospect of becoming irrelevant and unable to provide for the needs of our families, we need to have a clear direction on where to go ASAP. After, setting our overall directions we now need to consider how to achieve those goals given our strengths and limitations. The how part involves learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge.

Start MicroCoaching @ now. This newest e-learning website can be your one-stop solution to becoming relevant in these technological times. Mentors and coaches are available to teach you the skills that you need to know in a convenient and affordable manner thru e-learning. The more you are equipped with what you need to know the better are your chances to provide for the needs of your family. Visit and learn about your other options for self-development.


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    • Roberto Belda profile image

      Roberto I. Belda 4 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Impressive article on Professional Skills. Voted up and useful.