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Ways to develop your career skills

Learn new career skills

If you are thinking about a new job, you may want to consider ways to develop your practical, intellectual or social career skills. Any activity which develops these will be of interest to an employer and it can be a way of providing evidence of motivation relevant to the kind of work that you want to do.

Why learn new career skills?

Learning new career skills is a great way to increase your chances of getting a job. It can also help you get more from your current job. A new qualification can also improve how you feel about yourself, and can encourage you to get more out of life in general.

It’s both important and rewarding to continue to develop your career skills and move forward. Professional development can take many shapes so it’s worth thinking about different types of options. Here are few examples.

Keyboard skills

Although typewriters are rarely seen at work these days, good keyboard skills remain relevant to most jobs and in particular roles such as administrative work and working with computers. You can improve your skills at further education classes, or through distance learning, books and online.

Computing and technology

Although you may not want to be an IT specialist, becoming familiar with or updating your knowledge of software packages used in the sector you wish to work in is a sensible move. Ask your local further education provider for details of courses, or if you have access to the software consider distance learning or online courses.

Foreign languages

Language skills can be a real asset when job hunting. You may wish to brush up existing skills learnt at school, or try classes to learn a new language. Other methods of acquiring language skills include books, audio downloads and CDs and DVDs.


Many jobs demand a basic facility for straightforward arithmetical operations and the interpretation of numerical data (ie accounts, costings, budgets and statistics), including most managerial and administrative jobs. Consider boosting your competence and confidence in this area – even if you have established a mental block about it because of a negative experience at school! Numeracy tests can give you an insight into your ability level and how it may be improved upon.


Being able to drive widens your scope for employment, both in jobs where some driving is an essential part of the work and by opening up opportunities which are not within easy reach of your home by public transport.

Voluntary work

If you lack practical experience for certain jobs, voluntary work may overcome this gap in your experience. Types of voluntary work are extremely varied and could include:

  • Decorating for older people.
  • Helping to run a play group.
  • Administrative work for a charity.
  • Arranging fixtures for a local sports club.

The practical experience and career skills that can be gained through voluntary work will not only help you get a job but may also help you choose a career if you are undecided about what to do. Volunteering may also be one of the options presented to meet mutual obligation requirements for Centrelink payments. For more information, contact your Centrelink Community Work Coordinator or Job Network member or telephone 13 24 68.