Reflective Skills Essay
Do people develop professional skills only at their workplace? I would be writing about the skills and knowledge I have gained in the last 10 – 15 years. You don’t have to work in an organization to gain skills and knowledge. Even while at home you can learn something that might help you at your workplace. Sometimes people don’t realize that they have developed skills that can be used effectively in their workplace. In this essay I am going explain the skills and knowledge I have developed through work, education and other activities & how this could help me in a workplace.
First I’m going to talk about the skills I have developed from my hobbies and day – to – day activities. It’s actually surprising to know how much you can learn while having fun. After that I’m going to talk about the skills I am developing academically at present.
Playing cricket is one of my biggest hobbies and as a cricketer I am a wicket keeper. Being a wicket keeper, my role isn’t just to collect missed deliveries and score runs but is also to motivate and inspire the team every minute so that my team members don’t get sluggish in their respective roles and perform towards success. Once familiarized with the team I can act as a good motivator. This skill can not only help me to motivate other employees in my workplace but it also gives me the ability to work with little or no supervision as I can motivate myself to work towards achieving my goal. In today’s workplace, team leaders have to encourage and motivate their teams in order to perform well. A strong motivator can act as the backbone of the team. This skill is one of the essentials required to be a good leader in any kind of workplace.
Employers are also looking out for people with creative minds. By nature I am a very creative person. I look at things in a very different prospective. Usually I would take an original idea and expand upon it using my creativity, which can also sometimes lead to something else completely new. It has to do with thinking beyond the obvious. This is the secret to how the minds of creative people work. For instance, with music, the first type of genre was baroque music played during the 1600’s and from that evolved a lot different genres. In today’s date we have more than 400 music genres. This was possible only because of some creative minds who thought of doing things differently. Employers want their employees to have the ability to solve problems using their creativity and reasoning skills. An innovative problem solver can take an organization, irrespective from which industry, to the next level.
One of my other favorite hobbies is travelling and I would often find myself in a situation of convincing some friends to come along. Usually I would succeed 9 out of 10 times, as they say I always manage to get things my way. This can also be called the art of diplomacy. Now having employees with the ability to persuade people can be very useful for an organization as they can face situations in which they might have to persuade a client or a trade union to reach an agreement. This skill can also be related to the sales ability of an employee. Travelling has also shown me that I can be a responsible person as I would make all the plans in detail, do the math for the expenses to be occurred, make sure every one is having a good trip and everything else is under control.
One of the basic yet most important skills is to communicate effectively with other people. Everyone has been naturally practicing this skill since they were able to speak, listen or write, yet communication gap between the employers and employees still seems to be one of the major concerns in many organizations. In order to have a productive workplace, they should always be effective communication between the employee and employer. Successful communication is critical in business. I have developed good communication skills over the time. I can easily converse and make the other person understand and communicate with me either verbally or written. Along with this my listening skills are good as I listen to the other person patiently and then engage in communication with what that other person was speaking about. I can improve upon this skill by practicing more.
A few other basic skills that I have acquired are computing and numeracy. Schools in India never allowed the use of calculators. I always wondered why we couldn’t use calculators while schools across the world were allowed, but now when I look back, I realize why. Doing basic calculations mentally, without the use of a calculator has helped me sharpen my numeracy skill. Each day, people use simple math skills in their jobs and personal live in order to complete projects and other job duties. A recent large scale survey in the UK showed that people who have better literacy and numeracy skills tend to have better wages and come to work more often. One way of improving this skill is by avoiding the calculator when whenever a need of calculation arises.
My interest in IT has enabled me to carry out all the basic computing tasks at ease. I always had an interest for it and I utilized everything taught at school like Web designing, HTML, QBASIC, SQL and a lot more. Almost every job now requires some basic understanding of computer hardware and software, especially word processing, spreadsheets, and email. Lack of IT knowledge can affect the performance and future prospects of an employee.
While I did my schooling in India, our knowledge gained was always tested in the unseen exam format. After joining university I was exposed to new tasks like conducting presentations and writing report. When I was first assigned to conduct a presentation I was a bit nervous as I had never done this before in front of people I dint know. Later I was advised to practice in front of a mirror and it did work. My second presentation went better than the first. Being able to conduct a presentation with confidence is a very important skill to develop especially in the field of HR. One effective way by which I can improve upon this skill is by preparing my self well in advance so that I don’t get nervous and referring to books and articles relating to improving presentation skills
Another skill I developed while conducting presentations and writing reports in university is Teamwork. Working in teams is probably one of the most vital skills required to succeed in a workplace, especially with regard to how you communicate with the people you work with. 9 out of 10 jobs require you to work with teams. Working in teams with a diverse group of people has helped me understand how to communicate with my different co-workers and understand their views when solving a problem. Teamwork has a lot of benefits to offer, one of it being it helps to generate a lot of different ideas which leads to a creative solution and it definitely speeds up the process. Having more projects involving teamwork will surely prepare me once I start working at a professional level where my skill would be tested.
Since I’ve started an independent life after shifting to the UK I learnt how to be organized. Being organized has a lot of benefits attached to it. It has proven to be both cost and time effective. It also helps to boost confidence and give more energy to work. Employers would love to have all their employees being organized in their work.