Hobbit Business Review

How (And Why) You Should Acquire New Skill Sets During The Slower Winter Months

Key Takeaways

  • Instead of unsuccessfully searching for opportunities when there is little to no hiring, many look to expand their arsenal of skill sets, which can propel their pursuit of better, bigger opportunities in the few months to come.

Here’s a harsh truth: unemployed people are having a hard time finding a new job because many companies halt their recruiting efforts during the last quarter of the year. This is not new – it is a well-known fact that big companies often do a headcount at the end of the year, and they often significantly slow down their hiring process.

Instead of unsuccessfully searching for opportunities when there is little to no hiring, many look to expand their arsenal of skill sets, which can propel their pursuit of better, bigger opportunities in the few months to come.

For those looking to embark on the journey of acquiring new skill sets during the slower pace that winter months often offer, I’d like to delve into five unique avenues to discover inspiration for skill sets that can benefit your life and career in the near future.

Exploring LinkedIn job applications

One valuable resource for finding inspiration for new skill sets is right at your fingertips: LinkedIn job applications. Start by identifying professionals with positions similar to your current role, your desired career path, or roles with the title of the person you used to report to in your last job. Take a closer look at the job description for those roles, paying close attention to the skills and qualifications they require.

For example, if you’re in marketing and aspire to move into a leadership role, analyze profiles of Marketing Managers or Directors. Note the skills they require or those with that job title have honed over the years, such as data analysis, digital marketing or project management. These insights can guide your skill acquisition journey, helping you align your skill set with your career aspirations.

Mentorship and networking

Seek out mentors who can offer guidance on skill acquisition. If you are still close or have a great relationship with the last person you reported to, you may seek them for advice, asking which skill sets would be valuable for you to acquire if you intend to continue to pursue growth in your current career path.

Conversations with mentors and industry peers can provide valuable insights into skill sets that have contributed to their success. These personal anecdotes and recommendations can steer you toward acquiring skills that align with your goals and aspirations.

If you’re not in touch with them anymore or would rather avoid contact with them, engage in mentorship and networking activities to discover skill sets that have proved valuable for others. Attend industry events, webinars, or virtual conferences where you can connect with experienced professionals who may have a similar career path to the one you’re pursuing.

In my experience, I found people I highly admire and invited them to step into a virtual group call once every other month. In our one-hour meetings, we discuss what’s been working for each of us and provide valuable guidance for everyone in the group. I like to call this exercise “Business Therapy,” in which we often discuss our past experiences and challenges and how we overcame them.

Learning from the experiences of others may end up saving you years of continuous hustle. Never rely solely on your experiences when you can learn from the experiences of others.

Personal interests and hobbies

Sometimes, inspiration for new skill sets can emerge from your personal interests and hobbies. Consider activities you’re passionate about outside of your professional life. These interests can be a foundation for acquiring skills that bring joy and fulfillment.

Fun fact: that’s how my journey in the technology industry began. I am an Architect by profession, but I am such a tech nerd that I always sought to acquire technical skills, which is how I came up with the business idea that ended up becoming Replay Listings, the company I’ve led for over seven years now.

Tapping into industry trends

As industries evolve, new demands arise, creating opportunities for individuals to acquire relevant skills. For instance, if you’re in the technology sector, consider the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning. These cutting-edge technologies are shaping various industries, from healthcare to finance.

By understanding industry trends, you can pinpoint relevant skill sets and future-proof your career. Stay updated with the latest industry trends and advancements. Explore industry-specific publications, blogs, or podcasts to gain insights into emerging skills in your field.

Online learning platforms and courses

Online learning platforms offer various courses on various subjects, making skill acquisition more accessible than ever. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning provide various courses, from technical skills to soft skills like leadership and communication.

Browse these platforms to discover courses that align with your career goals or personal development objectives. The flexibility of online learning allows you to acquire new skills at your own pace, making it a convenient option for the winter months.

The bottom line is the slow winter months often present a unique opportunity to embark on a skill-acquisition journey. Whether you draw inspiration from LinkedIn profiles, industry trends, mentors, personal interests, or online courses, acquiring new skill sets can enrich your life and open doors to exciting possibilities. Embrace the season as a time of growth and discovery, and you’ll emerge with valuable skills that can shape your future success.

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