Learning and honing new skills is important for any professional, but it can be even more beneficial if you’re looking to make a career change or jump back into the workforce after cancer treatment. The Muse’s article “The 4 Fastest Ways to Pick Up New Skills in Your Current Role” identifies quick ways to enhance your skill set, wherever you may be on your career path. Here are the main takeaways:
- Develop a relationship with a mentor. Whether in the form of a short, informational interview or a more long-term relationship, finding someone to learn from is one of the best ways to acquire new skills and expand your network.
- Shadow a team. By observing others as they work on something you have an interest in, you’re able to not only add to your foundation of ideas and know-how, but also gain a better perspective on whether you’d like to get involved in a similar project in the future.
- Take a course. Participating in classes is a great way to learn new professional skills (or enhance existing ones), build your knowledge base and keep up-to-date in your field. It’s also a great way to stay involved and fill gaps in your resume if you’re taking time off for treatment.
- Read. With a vast arsenal of articles and books at your fingertips on the Internet, reading allows a flexibility that other education options may not provide. It enables you to learn at your own pace, on your own schedule and from a wide range of topics and teachers.
In addition to these ideas, volunteering your time is another good way to stay involved during treatment or to scope out a different career path while gaining experience and building new skills. And don’t forget that it’s important to give yourself credit for the work you do, even if you feel like it’s a small portion of your time. Whether it’s taking a course, working part-time or volunteering, be sure to include it on your resume and in conversations with potential employers!
If you’re planning to take time off for treatment, are looking for a new job or feel ready to make a career change, here are some resources that you may find helpful:
- Returning to the workplace after cancer treatment can be difficult. Get advice on everything from how to address comments from coworkers to setting professional boundaries as you readjust to your work routine, in our articles on re-entering the workforce.
- Listen to past sessions of our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar series and tune into our upcoming sessions: Working Through Treatment, on October 11, at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT, and Body Confidence, Self-Confidence in the Workplace, on December 13, at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT.
- Feeling stuck with a career-related issue? Post your question to our Ask a Career Coach board and get helpful answers for free. Or read through advice given to fellow survivors facing similar challenges surrounding work and cancer.
- Order or download our free publications that address an array of issues related to cancer and employment.