How To Acquire New Skills (With Examples of Skills To Learn)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Learning new skills can help professionals qualify for new job roles and succeed in their careers. Candidates can acquire skills by pursuing certifications, joining internships or learning from a mentor. If you are planning to expand your career opportunities, then gaining new skills can be good for your professional growth. In this article, we learn how to acquire new skills and list some skills that are relevant in various industries.

How To Acquire New Skills

Learning how to acquire new skills can help both professionals who are planning to pursue other career options and who want to advance their careers in the same industry. Acquired skills can show employers your dedication to professional growth and improvement. Follow these steps if you want to learn new skills:

1. Find skills you want to learn

Identify the skills you want to learn depending on your career goals. You can ask your seniors about what skills you may require to advance in your career. If you want to make a career change, consider finding out what skills are relevant to that industry. Study the job description and see what skills are necessary for the new career. You can also identify the skills where you require improvement. Becoming aware of your strengths and weaknesses can help you get an idea of your potential to learn a new skill.

Read more: 13 Essential Skills For Students To Learn For Career Growth

2. Manage your time

Working professionals may find it a little difficult to make time for acquiring new skills. Tracking and managing time efficiently can provide you with enough time to learn other skills without affecting your current responsibilities. Set a time period for practicing new skills every day. Time management can be helpful in developing a regular routine and keeping you accountable. Determine the appropriate time to allocate to new skills you want to acquire.

3. Set achievable goals

Setting achievable goals is a significant part of acquiring new skills. Make sure the goals you set are specific and attainable, as it can help you eliminate distractions and move forward. Divide your goal into milestones and try to achieve them one by one. Set a deadline for each milestone and track your progress.

Read more: How To Set And Achieve Long-Term Goals (With Examples)

4. Practice daily

Once you find the skills you wish to acquire, practice them regularly. With regular practice, you can also improve your knowledge and skill level. Find an effective way to practice new skills, depending on your industry or career field. For example, a web developer can practice coding and programming skills by pursuing online courses and earning relevant certifications.

Many professionals provide free services to clients after learning a new skill. It can help them practice the skill daily and become better. For example, if you completed a web development course, you can highlight your skills on your social media page, explaining the services you provide along with an offer of a free trial.

5. Ask for feedback

Feedback can be a significant factor in learning skills and progress in your career. You can ask for feedback from your seniors at any time during your progress journey. It may help you identify the areas for improvement so you can make adjustments accordingly. Take help from your colleagues in evaluating and discussing your performance. After receiving constructive information, find a specific area where you require improvement.

Examples Of Soft Skills For Career Growth

While candidates may learn specific skills depending on their job role and industry, there can be some skills common to all fields. Here are a few examples of skills that you can acquire regardless of the industry:

Communication skills

Good communication can benefit both the personal and professional life of a candidate. Whether you are trying to advance in your career or making a career change, communication skills are important for you. Developing communication skills can allow professionals to receive and provide the necessary information in the workplace. Practice active listening and paraphrasing before responding. While communicating, consider your audience and adjust your speaking style accordingly. You can work on your speaking, writing, observational and listening skills to become a good communicator.

Read more: What Are Essential Oratory Skills? (And How To Improve Them)

Adaptability

Whether you are acquiring a new skill or changing a job role, the ability to adapt can make you better at handling challenges. Many employers hire professionals with flexibility and who are able to adapt to new technology and philosophies. Stay updated with the significant changes in operational processes or policies at your workplace. Adaptability can also provide willingness and motivation to acquire new skills. Prepare yourself for different circumstances. Adaptability can benefit professionals while developing strategies and working on projects.

Leadership

Leadership can be a great skill to inspire and manage team members. You can use leadership skills to improve the overall performance of your team. Acquire leadership skills to reach the goals of your team and advance your career. Timely communication and team building can help you become a good leader. With leadership skills, you can make the right decisions and solve issues arising on the job.

Read more: How To Become A Leader: A Guide (With Leadership Styles)

Self-management

You can improve your self-management skills and maximise your productivity and work performance. With strong self-management skills, candidates can set their goals and achieve them on time. Self-management can help professionals direct the trajectory of their careers. To improve your self-management skills, focus on organisation, accountability, self-motivation and stress management. Prioritising your responsibilities and creating strict deadlines can help you enhance your self-management skills.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking is helpful in finding effective solutions to problems in the workplace. Professionals such as writers and designers can use their creative thinking to improve their work. You can learn how to apply creative thinking to your day-to-day responsibilities and develop new and innovative strategies for challenges. You can also do creativity exercises like building blocks, questioning assumptions and free writing.

Hard Skills To Acquire For Career Growth

Here are some hard skills that you may want to acquire depending on your job role:

Digital marketing

Professionals selling their services or products online can benefit from learning digital marketing. By enhancing your digital marketing skills, you can help companies reach a wider audience. Many companies hire individuals skilled in digital marketing to scale their businesses. You can learn digital marketing through online workshops and certification courses. If you are applying for a marketing role, then this skill can help you advertise the products to a larger audience.

Project management

Professionals working in a leadership position often use project management skills. Project management can allow you to oversee project resources and organise tasks for team members. You can use project management software and tools to organise tasks. Professionals often use this skill to track their progress and analyse the success of projects. Professionals who oversee all the aspects of a project can benefit from taking a project management course.

Read more: A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Manage Projects (With Tips)

Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a helpful skill for improving the search engine ranking of websites. Professionals like SEO analysts and SEO managers can benefit from learning this skill. Learn using keywords and optimising content to increase rankings. You can gain certifications related to SEO and learn the basic concepts. You can create and optimise your own website. Many SEO professionals improve their skills by providing free services to non-profit organisations.

Data analysis

Many companies hire individuals with expertise in data analysis to promote their services or products to specific markets. With the help of this skill, you can devise a logical conclusion and convey it to other professionals. Data analysis can help companies improve their operations and meet the requirements of customers.

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