When was the last time you did a skills inventory and assessed your skills relative to what you do today, and what you want to do in the future? The skills required by the job you’re in today may shift over time as a result of technology or changes in your organizational structure or industry. You may need to develop new skills as you move into a job in a different area or take on a higher level of leadership. The abilities that have helped you be successful in the past may not be sufficient for continued success in the future. Don’t wait until you’re suffering from a skills deficit. Use your time now to make yourself – and your skill set – current and ready for your next position.

What are the skills required by your current position, as it currently exists and as it evolves? Think broadly. Consider not only technical competencies, but also communication, influence, and leadership skills. Consider time management and self-management skills. Think about digital acumen, cultural fluency, and other skills unique to your position. Make a list and ask yourself how your current skill set stacks up against this list. What are your areas of strength and what do you need to develop? Conduct a similar skills inventory for the position to which you aspire, and then create a plan to learn, practice, and master essential new skills. If you’re unsure about what you’re lacking, ask for feedback — and continue to ask for feedback as you work on those skills.  Think ahead and be proactive. Be a life-long learner and develop the skills you need to create the career you want.

More information on this tip, and others, can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want