Do you remember when you were younger and you could juggle clubs or when you used be able to swim 100m faster than all the other kids? It can be easy to acquire skills in specific areas that you are good at, but to keep these skills over time can be quite difficult.
In the workplace, it can be quite easy to lose confidence in old skills you had, especially if you are not using them on a regular basis.
Following on from my confidence blog, it is important to realise what skills you are good at and to gain confidence in using them and better yourself in these areas. This is especially important if these are skills which you wish to use in a future work venture.
Below are five tips of things you can do to improve your confidence in a skill, which in turn should help you to use it and make the most of it in the future.
Use your skill
Whether be in the workplace or as an interest, try and set time aside each week to use the skill at hand. Practise does make perfect and you will only get better if you use the skill regularly and learn from your mistakes.
Get a mentor
Having a mentor who can help you hit targets with your skill, will help you leaps and bounds. Depending what skill needs mentoring, depends if you need someone experienced in the area in particular (to help with advice and ways to push yourself in that specialism) or someone who is just a good listener (and can be supportive of what you are doing) or both.
When choosing a mentor, make sure it is someone you can trust in, who will help you through your learning curve and have faith in your goals. You do not need someone who is constantly judgemental, as this will not help your confidence and could put you off of what you are trying to achieve.
Know your area of interest
Whatever your skills, there is nothing better than to keep up to date with what is happening with it in the big wide world. Whether that is reading about it in books, looking at websites, joining specific forums, you need to be on top of your game.
This can take a lot of time, especially if you have several skills you are trying to keep up to date with all at the same time. However, if you keep an eye out for areas of interest just when your doing things like reading a magazine, you will get used to finding things of interest, without actually looking for them.
I became a bit of a pro for finding exciting events and articles relating to Whisky when I was doing a Social Media job and that all came from just reading lots of things and getting use to working out the best places to look and when.
If your good at something, flaunt it. You couldn’t be in a better place at the moment, with the internet accessible to billions of people around the world. Whether this be through your own website, via social media or going a bit old skool and meeting people in person, there are so many ways to connect with people.
The other thing is, depending what skills you have to offer, meeting other like minded people could lead to a collaboration in the future. Give yourself a chance, you never know what may come of it.
Worried the skills you have aren’t up to scratch? Learn off the web or get yourself on a course in your area of interest, because it will do you the world of good.
Websites like Coursera, Future Learn and even now Open Learn offer some great free courses in all kinds of subjects, which you don’t want to miss. You can also get tips and short training sessions form individuals on You Tube or from sites like eHow (one of their original sites was called Expert Village and due to that site, I learnt how to cut my friend’s hair into a bob).
Adding to your area of expertise is never a bad thing and actually it could make you more in demand in the future, if your skill set is up to date.
As always, these are just some suggestions to get you thinking about what you want to do with your strongest skills and to be a little pro-active. Who knows, something you were good at years ago could turn out to be the skill that gets you your dream job, so don’t put those skills on hold.
Written by Nicola Smith