There are many ways that you can gain new skills and experiences. You can sign up for a workshop, attend a formal training class, or read a book. Doing an activity in the community or voluntary work is also a really good way to gain work skills and contacts. For example, you might volunteer in the office of a non-profit organization or work, local advertising agency, assist at design shop or more. While executing a Career Roadmap, you will alter learning and development techniques as needed, evaluate future personal development needs, and reflect on issues that arise during the process.
You will need to refer back to your Roadmap to work through this section. Begin by looking at your Roadmap to get a feel for all of the learning activities that need to be implemented over the next few weeks, months and years. You need this document because we will use it to research sources, sign-up for courses, identify mentors, etc. In our Example 1 Career Roadmap, you will refer to the “Year One” column. In this column, you will see that we need to make the following preparations:
- Identify a college, determine whether to attend online, during the day or at night, register and pay for the course, and complete the class
- Identify a training organization, register and pay for the seminar, make arrangements with work (if employed), and attend the seminar
- Identify specific books by visiting a book store or browsing online and read the book
- Identify and select a mentor with skills in a specific area, schedule meeting times, develop questions, attend the actual meetings, and reflect on discussion
- Identify areas to gain new skills on-the-job, either at your current work location or a new location, secure the opportunity, gain the experience and continue to build on new skills
As you can see, acquiring new competencies requires a lot of effort and a tremendous amount of persistence. We didn’t say that change would be easy or quick. A few months or even a year is not really a long-time to wait for something that could change your life. Now, let us talk about how to break down each step so that it is manageable.