The workplace is the ideal environment for developing skills. Below are 6 approaches that you and I can use to develop skills at work.

  •  Taking Initiative
  •  Job Shadowing
  •  Volunteering
  •  Job Rotation
  •  Mentoring
  •  Training

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Taking Initiative

Will Smith can be quoted as saying, if you want something, go get it. Period. This is where taking initiative in the workplace comes in. Assess the role that you are doing and consider ways that you can enhance what you already do.

Are there processes that you can improve on? Is there any way that you can enlargen your role by adding new tasks? Find ways to manage your time better. 

Discover opportunities within your role to make an impact in the business. This will help you stand out among your colleagues.

An example of how taking initiative can propel your career forward was from the life of Lee Iacocca.

The legendary leader of Ford in the Unites States of America during 1956 improved sales in his district which was the weakest in the entire country by creating a promotion that required a modest downpayment of 20% and monthly payments of $56. 

The strategy was called “56 for 56” and was responsible for selling 75,000 extra cars in Ford .Iacocca received a promotion based on the success of this strategy.

Therefore be innovative and look for ways that you can make a marked difference to the organisation.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is a great way to develop skills at work by observing the person who performs the role regularly. This gives insight into how another role is performed.

You could also learn more about the workings of the operations. Observing how someone else works can also inspire ways that you can improve how you do what you. So embrace these internal opportunities to develop.


You may get a role initially when you entered the workforce. However, this may not be the role that you see as part of your long term career vision. Volunteering to assist in areas outside of your scope of duties could help you develop skills in a different field.

However, this may require working on your own personal time such as lunch hours and weekends. It is important to ensure that your volunteering does not affect the performance if your current role.

You can also volunteer to assist in ad-hoc projects as they come up. Organisations almost always have tasks that cannot be clearly traced to a defined role.

Taking on additional tasks outside the scope of your role could broaden your knowledge of the business and your own skills.

Job Rotation

Participation in job rotation exercises could be a means to developing your skills at work. Companies tend to engage in these exercises to ensure that their workforce can cover multiple roles.

Engaging in job rotation activities can assist you in understanding more about the business operations as well as develop new skills.


The workplace is the perfect place to identify a mentor. Your mentor need not be your immediate manager. It could be one of your peers who have a skill that you will like to learn.

It could be a manager in another department whose skills are applicable to your next role. The key is to review your career vision and identify one or two suitable persons.

Also note that this relationship may not be a formal mentor-mentee relationship. You can be mentored by observing and learning how certain individuals  complete their task.

You may also copy the books that they read. Try and understand what habits and routines that your mentors maintain.


Organisations today offer various forms of training. Some have different forms of in-house training such as online universities which can be a great source of information. Others have formal in-house sessions with other colleagues and leaders.

Every opportunity to learn and develop should be considered as valuable. I know especially if your role is hectic that it can be viewed as burdensome but try to make every effort to benefit from in house training.

If you are interested in developing skills and advancing your career, you may find the following articles on this blog valuable. Feel free to click any of the links below to explore:-

11 Top Strategies To Advance Your Career

10 Top Career Planning Advice For Success

How To Ask Someone To Mentor You

How To Find A Mentor For Your Career

10 Top Career Questions To Ask A Mentor

6 Valuable Benefits of Mentoring To Advance Your Career

How Working Abroad Can Enhance Your Career Journey

Final Thoughts

Every job is a stepping stone to growth and development.  Every opportunity is an occasion to develop and refine our skills.

There are always things in your workplace in ideally that you and I will prefer to be different. Stay positive, stay focus and you and I should do our best to bloom where we are planted.

If you found this article useful, I will be grateful if you can share it and leave a comment. For access to our free resource library with career templates, guides and checklists, click HERE to fill in the form. Thank you in advance for your support as I grow this blog.

How To Develop Skills At Work


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