If you’re anything like me, you want to constantly improve your job skills so you can do a better job at work, get noticed and hopefully advance your career faster. To do that, I want to share my top 10 tips to improve your Army job skills. These are little things you can do each day, month and year that will make you a better worker and better boss. They are listed in no particular order.
1. Take a typing class – Just about everyone in the Army has a responsibility to prepare correspondence at some point or another. If you can’t type at least 60 words per minute, you should take a class on how to type. This will be time well invested, especially if you type with one or two fingers at a time. Learning to type fast will free up some of your time to do other more important things.
2. Join an Association – Most serious professionals belong to several different associations. You should do the same thing. Join the National Guard Association, the Army Reserve Association or Army Association. Consider joining your Division’s Association or your Branch’s Association, too. Or, you could join the VFW, American Legion or another association. You will learn new cutting edge information and meet some great people in the process.
3. Improve Your Public Speaking Skills – All leaders need to be proficient public speakers. For most people, public speaking is a huge fear. I think it would be in your best interest to learn how to speak in front of others effectively. Sign up for a local Toastmaster’s Program or take a public speaking class at a local community college.
4. Take a Class – You should enroll in the life-long learning program or continuing education program. Make a commitment to take 1-3 college classes each year, for the rest of your life. Strive to constantly sharpen your skills and learn new skills. Take classes that interest you or will help you be better at your job. Your tuition assistance and GI Bill should cover most of the cost.
5. Read one Book a Month – Make it a point to read at least one book every month about your job, or skills required for your job. Read books on the technical aspects of your job, on leadership, communication and conflict resolution. One book a month for a 20 year career is 240 books. Think about how much you would learn if you read that many books.
6. Take on a Tough Assignment – If your boss has a tough assignment and he needs a volunteer, than volunteer for the job! Step out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself. This will let your prove yourself to your boss. Even better, you will learn a new skill and see what you are personally capable of.
7. Expand Your Network – Make it a goal to meet one or two influential people each month. Expand your network whenever you can. Build strategic relationships with people who can enhance your career and help you get to be where you want to go. Please know that I’m not talking about butt kissing either. I’m talking about networking.
8. Help Your Subordinates More – If you have people working for you, strive to help them more. Assist them when they need it. Mentor them. Give them clear guidance and instruction. Put them in for awards. Help them develop themselves into the people they are capable of becoming. Invest in people is one of the best things you can do to improve your job skills.
9. Go Back to School – Take a college class, enroll is a distance learning course, take a correspondence course or attend some other course that can improve your Army job skills. This can be a formal or informal class taught by the military or your local college.
10. Practice Your Interview Skills – Get good at interviews. Study the interview process. Do mock interviews with your boss or team members. This is a great skill to possess. You will never know when it might come in handy.
In summary, these are my best tips on how to improve your Army job skills. Whether you are a Soldier, NCO or Officer, you should always strive to improve yourself on a daily basis. Try to get a little better every single day. Follow my top 10 tips on how to improve your Army job skills or develop a plan of your own. You will be glad that you did.