Career advancement is a top priority for many people, as we live in a society that doesn’t view jobs as a means to an end any more.

Developing a successful career allows you to make more money, travel and get more fulfilment out of your life.

The key to career development is building your skills and setting goals for improvement.

In general, you should focus on three types of skill areas: functional, self-management and special knowledge skills.

In this post, we’ll explore why these skills are so important and reveal how they can benefit your career.

Three Skills You Should Know About

As we mentioned, there are three major skills you should know about, including functional, self-management and special knowledge skills.

You might need one or all of them for particular jobs, but if you want more opportunities, it’s best to focus on your weaker areas.

Functional Skills

Functional skills are the technical abilities that you need to do your job. For example, a web developer’s functional skills include coding languages and designing software.

Most people learn these skills through formal education or training programs, but many entry-level jobs will also allow people to learn and develop their abilities.

Self-Management Skills

Self-management skills are the abilities that help you manage yourself both professionally and personally.

Examples of self-management skills include time management, stress management and conflict resolution.

While some people may be born with these abilities, many learn them through experience or training.

Special Knowledge Skills

Special knowledge skills refer to the extra set of skills that make you unique and valuable to your company or organisation.

For instance, if you speak multiple languages fluently, have in-depth knowledge about a particular industry or have a rare skill set, these would be classed as special knowledge skills.

These skills are often harder to learn and develop, but they can give you a significant competitive advantage in your career.

Why Skill Development Is Important

There’s no doubt that skill development is essential for many reasons. Some include improving at your current job, career progression and career changes.

Let’s take a look at each in more detail.

Improve At Your Current Job

The first reason skill development is important is that it can help you improve at your current job. By improving your skills, you can become more efficient and productive in your role.

Management always notices employees that go the extra mile, and shine within their career, which can lead to promotions, pay rises and more job satisfaction.

While many companies don’t recognise the importance of helping their employees develop, others do.

The STG training development Scotland team works with businesses of all sizes, ensuring they have the proper support to get the best out of each employee.

It’s a proven fact that businesses that focus on employee development generate higher levels of engagement and loyalty with acquisition and onboarding costing more than retention (Forbes), investing in skills training is a proven method to encourage your employees.

Career Progression

Skill development is also vital for career progression because more skills mean better opportunities.

Many employees love their current jobs but leave because they feel they’re not getting the right opportunities to take on new challenges.

As you develop new skills, you’ll be able to progress onto higher-level roles with more responsibility, which can lead to better career fulfilment.

When you’re happy with your career, you’re more likely to have a better home life and healthier relationships.

The Mental Health Foundation states that businesses lose around 70 million workdays yearly due to mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety.

These numbers show that if a person is unhappy in their career, they’re more likely to develop a mental illness, which can impact the daily operations of the business they work for.

Skills training is the best way for a business to protect itself – and give every employee the opportunities they deserve.

Career Changes

Skill development isn’t just for a specific job role; once you have these essential skills, you can apply them to numerous areas of your life.

According to Aviva, 60% of workers wanted to change their career in 2020, which is a 7% increase from the 53% average.

While some want to turn their hobbies into full-time jobs, others decide to dedicate their lives to helping others, but these career changes require the skills to make a positive transition.

Developing these skills is essential because you’ll struggle to adapt to a new job role without them or display your commitment to potential employers.

How to Develop Your Skills

You can develop your skills in many ways, depending on what type of skill you want to learn.

Here are some of the most common methods:

On-The-Job Training

Many employers offer on-the-job training, which is where you’re allowed to learn new skills while working.

This type of training is often informal and can be a great way to develop your skills without taking time out of your busy schedule.

Skills Workshops

Many businesses understand the importance of workplace training and offer their employees access to skills-building opportunities.

Whether paying for online courses or inviting trainers into the office, these methods can be highly successful.

Formal Courses and Qualifications

If you want an in-depth understanding of a specific topic or to gain a qualification to back up your experience, formal courses are the way to go.

These can be expensive and time-consuming, but they’re worth it if you’re dedicated to developing your skills.

Self-Directed Learning

If you’re not getting the opportunities you deserve, you can take the initiative to learn new skills without formal training.

Many people do this through reading books or taking courses, but platforms such as YouTube and Udemy are highly successful.

It’s a great way to learn at your own pace, and you can often fit this learning around your busy lifestyle.

The Bottom Line

Skills training will always be vital because it helps businesses retain employees and gives people more opportunities.

With so many companies embracing the idea of employee development, it’s clear that forward-thinking businesses will survive longer than those that don’t invest in the company.

If you’re looking for skill development opportunities, contact STG today. We offer a range of services designed to give your employees the best training to perform their jobs better and climb the career ladder.

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