Once you’ve identified the skills you already have, you can start enhancing them or developing new competencies. The Researcher Development Framework will help you decide where to concentrate your efforts.
Areas you might want to consider include:
- IT literacy
- Public speaking
- Effective writing
- Social media
- Knowledge transfer
There are many opportunities for learning, both formal and informal, and they’re available in different formats.
You might want to first consider your learning preferences. For instance, some people fare better with self-directed learning online, whereas others only flourish in workshop-based environments.
This free questionnaire from North Carolina State University can help to establish your preferences.
There are lots of workshops available across Sussex, offered by a number of providers:
- Research Staff Office – examples include Aiming for Promotion, Boosting Your Productivity, and Professional Networking for Researchers
- Researcher Development Programme – examples include Practical Presentation Skills, Managing Fieldwork Safety, and Careers Beyond Research
- ITS – examples include Getting Started with Mindmapping, Photoshop, Pivot Tables in Excel
- Staff Development Unit – examples include Management Essentials, Vocal Vitality, Stress Awareness
Alongside workshops and courses, you can also find informal training and development opportunities. These could include:
- Shadowing (especially someone in a role or field you’re targetting)
- Attending or presenting at public engagement events
“Free education is abundant, all over the internet. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.” Naval Ravikant
Simply Googling will yield a wealth of training material, including YouTube videos, recorded webinars, and podcasts.
Many universities offer MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) through various platforms. Here are just a few:
For non-academic training on areas such as software development, web development, and design, take a look at Lynda.com, a comprehensive library of lessons. It currently costs £12.95 per month for the basic subscription, but there’s a 10-day free trial available.
- Work out the main areas in which you want to develop your skills
- Identify some suitable training opportunities – don’t take on too much!
- Reflect on your training to decide where to go next