As we come to writing our end of year reviews with management there is always a section about improving and learning. Most of us put in some courses we would like to do and never do them. This is because we do not give this enough thought. This section is super important and is often the most overlooked but both manager and employee
Where do you learn?
When you go to fill in this section think, what do I need to learn to grow and advance my skills, maybe some hard skills and some soft skills. How should I show this?
If I want to learn to create a Scorecard, don’t put down do a Powerbi course, instead think about some project you are working on that requires this. Write as part of project X, you will create a Powerbi and work with someone that is an expert in this area or do a course along side it. This gives you something truly measurable and because this will happen as part of the project v just doing a course, you will learn and grow.
Similar with soft skills, I need to better my presentation skills. Well, build it a part of a project you are working on. I will present my findings to management or the team. In preparing for this, I will work with someone who is respected at doing this and has the experience presenting at this level to give valuable feedback to me before the presentation. You may want to build in a feedback loop after the presentation to help you improve.
It is really important that when you look at this do no just fill out the box, do good self reflection, see where you are not delivering or lacking skills. Look through previous reviews and feedback. Really think about what you need to improve and set definite plans, incorporate them into your daily work and not as standalone courses. This will allow you to really improve and will show your manager that you are serious, genuinely see your areas for improvement and are taking measurable action.
Look for a mentor in your area of weakness and set objectives with this mentor, so they can be clear on your expectations from them.
Of course there are many ways to learn, reading, online courses etc. but these are useful only if done at the right time, which is when you need to use the skill. Going and doing a C# course will be hard to learn and hard to remember if I only use the skills 1 year from now, but if you are in the middle of creating something that needs C#, then the course and the learning will be useful and will stick.
Put the time into yourself and your career by paying the right attention to this box in your review.
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