Help! My skills are getting rusty!

I’ve been out of work for a few weeks now. I love my work, and I have always been able to talk about it confidently, and strategise on the hoof. A recruiter called me this morning to talk about an opportunity – luckily not a job that really suited – but I found myself tongue-tied because I couldn’t remember some of the most basic vocabulary from my industry. What’s happening?! Am I losing it?! And what can I do to stop it getting any worse?

Don’t worry! Any skill we don’t use regularly gets a bit rusty, so all you need is to find ways to practice what you usually do to keep your hand in.

Look about for someone or something that needs your skills – perhaps offer your skills as a volunteer for a few weeks, or create a hobby project. All the better if you can find something that requires you to work as part of a team, as unused team-skills and confidence can also get rusty.

Now would also be a good time to get a manual, ask for an intern placement or take an online course to add to your skill set.

In addition, look online, pick up or find in the local library the trade publications for your industry, to keep abreast of any significant new developments.

For people whose trade lends itself to doing so, read online blogs and articles and then comment on them – don’t just read, get in there and get your feet wet. Most online publications that allow comment also allow you to make your signature into a hyperlink, which you can link back to your own web site or Linked In profile. Even though it seems like a long shot, people who are impressed with your views will begin to get in touch and network with you.

And, networking, as we all know, is a very powerful method of job searching.

November 30th, 2009 | Category: experience, job hunting, recruiter, rusty | No Comments »

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