Keep improving your professional skills for success

Written by Kiran Madan | Updated: Jan 25 2011, 04:39am hrs
In todays competitive and evolving market, where technology is changing at a very fast pace, one has to be on ones toes to meet the market dynamics. From the HR perspective, one has to keep certain criteria and parameters in mind before initiating the recruitment process. Every selection has its pros and cons. The freshers might have the desired qualification but not the required skills, although he/she may have certain brilliant ideas. On the other hand, picking up an experienced person has its own advantages.

Still there are some common skills that are looked for into by the companies. Hiring teams often use electronic scanners to rank candidates using keywords to search resumes from their own database and job portals. The terms employers generally use for the search are: problem-solving and decision-making skills; oral and written communications; customer service or retention; productivity improvement; leadership; technology awareness; team-building; and project management. Certain weightage is assigned against each point depending on the type of industry and type of profile.

Regardless of your position, enhancing your skill-set will give your career a boost. Here are some ways you can do so.

1. Reading professional journals, books, Websites or blogs related to the industry you want to move in always gives the insight and knowledge that will keep you ahead during the discussions and interview.

2. Taking classes and attending seminars in areas you need to improve on.

3. Making yourself available to assist with projects or other tasks will help you gain skills.

4. Opportunities to develop leadership skills may not always be available at work, but there are other ways to gain them. Look to your community for volunteer positions. Become involved in clubs, non-profit organisations, etc. Not only do these activities offer opportunities to build your leadership skills, they can be personally gratifying as well.

5. Do not forget your technical skills, as building these can qualify you for new positions and opportunities. While returning to classes or reading new literature may be hard (in a work-life balance), the benefits are satisfactory. Doing part-time courses can support your stagnant position in the organisation. Upgradation on the latest technology will also be helpful if one had done a particular course long back and never used the same.

And not to forget the other desired skills such as:

1. Enthusiasm: You need to be able to not only motivate yourself, but motivate others as well. This is important in team building and leads to increased morale and productivity.

2. Team work: The ability to work with others on a combined task, make contributions to the task and share the responsibility of the outcome.

3. Confidence: When you are assured of your own ability, it shows you have the nerves to handle the tough situations that can arise. The last thing you want to start doing is second guessing yourself.

4. Commitment: It is needed to see an assignment or task from start to finish. Showing that you are a hard worker and committed to your job and improving yourself shows you can take on something and finish it.

5. Time management: The ability to prioritise several tasks and keep them running simultaneously (multi-tasking) is much valued, and it also helps in meeting deadlines.

6. Initiative: Being able to demonstrate that you can handle problems on your own, i.e., not waiting to be told what to do when you see a problem.

Promotions and positions rarely fall into your lap, you have to dedicate yourself to improving your professional and technical skills to be successful.

The author is senior manager, HR, Intex Technologies