Outdated job skills can make or break an employee. A worker with a pertinent skill set may get promoted, receive a raise or even survive downsizing when compared to a similar employee who has outdated abilities. The easiest way to refresh your proficiency at work is to learn the latest computer technology and technical know-how of machines at the office.
Many middle-skill occupations have disappeared due to automation, advanced machinery and pay reductions for middle-class workers. Sales, administrative positions and production occupations have decreased in number and salary since the 1980s, and workers must refine their job skills to avoid the unemployment line.
One way to update job skills is to find training and education programs for relevant tasks. Ask your employer if the company provides benefits for educational opportunities. Reimbursement for outside courses usually occurs after you show your employer you passed the class.
Find on-the-job training that goes beyond the normal scope of your position. Study the technical manual of a new or unfamiliar device at work. Consult the manufacturer's website for additional tips and tricks. Talk to the person most familiar with the device to learn how to run the machine the most efficient way possible.
If you are completely unfamiliar with computer technology, then take basic computer classes. Study machinery and computer software in other departments to branch out and elevate your thinking about how things happen at your workplace. The more advanced an employee's skill set becomes, the more valuable that person is to a company.
If you are unemployed and seeking a position in a certain industry, update your job skills based on the job descriptions posted by various companies. After you obtain training, education or new skills, revise your cover letter and résumé to reflect your accomplishment. A prospective employer won't know your new proficiency unless you tell your potential supervisor. A résumé gives a brief overview of your new competency, but the cover letter expounds on why you undertook a new training program. That way, a potential employer understands you're ready for a new position, and it becomes a talking point during an interview.
Younger employees and job prospects generally have more tech-savvy job skills than their older counterparts because they started using technological devices at a younger age. This doesn't mean an old dog can't learn new tricks. Take the time to learn a new skill to edify your job, not to compete with a co-worker, but to let your supervisor know you're still valuable to the company.
Fixing outdated job skills, whether on the job or not, shows an employer you're a valued employee. Keeping up with technology, industry trends and computer software is necessary in today's work environment. Those new proficiencies may just save your career.
Photo courtesy of Highways Agency at Flickr.com
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