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Friday, September 29, 2017

How to To Overcome The Skills Gap And Advance Your Career

It is frustrating when you are trying to advance your career and see a particular skill or experience you don’t think you have. What do you do? Do you dismiss the opportunity thinking you are unqualified or won’t be taken seriously? If you are a woman, the likely answer is yes, according to a Hewlett Packard report.

If you want to be considered for a new assignment or job, it is your responsibility to communicate what you bring to it. Be confident in what you know, and have the courage to figure out the rest. Here are six steps to help you overcome the skills gap:

1. Write out what you know.

Put pen to paper, and identify the skills and expertise that you have. Look at your resume. Start with your most recent experience, and work backwards. Think about what you have accomplished. Write it down.

The simple act of writing down this information will allow you to see what you know. Seeing is believing. Externalizing your expertise is powerful and will build your confidence.

2. Write out what you believe you don’t know.

There is a difference between what you don’t know and what you believe you don’t know. Sometimes what you believe you don’t know stems from being scared or having a bad experience. You know more than you think.

3. Identify skills and experience related to what you believe you don’t know.
Look at what you listed out as the areas you believe you don’t know. Ask yourself, “Is there something similar to this skill?” You may not have experience in one thing, but you probably have done something comparable.

You have to identify and communicate related skills. Realizing that you have equivalent skills will give you the confidence you need to make others feel confident in your ability.

4. Enhance your skill set.

For the skills and areas that you lack sufficient knowledge, fill the gap with education or sideline experiences. Take a course or moonlight. You are in charge of your career. Do what you need to do, and learn what you need to fill your skills gap and increase your confidence in your ability.
5. Tell yourself that you can learn it.

Being challenged is part of the career advancement process. If you don’t stretch yourself, you won’t move. Have the courage to know that you will learn what you don’t know. Identifying skills similar to what you thought you didn’t know will help you realize the gap is smaller than you think.

6. Tell people that you can do it.

You don’t have to know everything to be able to do something. You need to know enough and have the problem-solving skills to figure out the rest. Tell people you can do it.

The rate at which the world and workforce is changing makes it difficult to continue doing the same thing. Leaders and leading companies depend on people who can apply their skills and learn on the job to innovate. Leaders value people who have the confidence and courage to move into uncharted territory.

If you want to advance, you need confidence and courage. Have faith in what you have and faith in knowing you can achieve what you don’t yet have. The next time you consider an opportunity don’t ask, “Am I ready to do it now?” Ask yourself, “Am I ready to figure it out?”

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