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Skills development

Congratulations! Now you have your new job, you’ll need to make sure you keep developing your skills and capabilities throughout your career.

Most employers will expect you to take some responsibility for developing your career, improving your skills and showing a commitment to continuous learning and development. Before that, you'll want to make sure you have a good first day. This VITAL article provides some useful pointers for making a great first impression.

Getting On (webinar) – developing your skills

In this 60-minute recording, Angus Farr from Training Counts looks at some of the key skills you will be expected to improve upon during your career. There is a workbook that accompanies this webinar to help you get the most out of the session. The webinar covers:

  • Commerciality / commercial awareness – what is is and some simple techniques such as SWOT, PEST and a growth matrix to help you now and in the future.
  • Time management – the importance of urgent vs important and how to recognise the things that get in the way of you doing your work. 
  • Communication skills – written/verbal skills and the importance of getting it right.
  • Team working skills – team structures, tem roles and the importance of goals.
  • Professionalism and ethical behaviour – the importance of behaving ethically and responsibly even when no one is looking.
  • Self-development – why and how you should take responsibility for your continuous learning and professional development
Computer skills

IT literacy is an important skill in any job. Having up-to-date computer skills saves you time, effort and will help make you more effective and productive in your job.

EXCEL skills: This ICAEW article explains why EXCEL computer skills are so important and how to get the best out of spreadsheets. Read now

Don’t sabotage your career (webinar)

Jennifer Mackay from Jump Training and Development helps you understand the behaviours and communication that might be sabotaging your existing or future career without you even knowing it. By the end of this 50-minute webinar, you’ll understand:

  • what happens when you don’t set goals
  • what happens when you don’t learn how to communicate
  • common mistakes – the damage they can do to your career
  • how to stop making the same mistakes
  • bad practice and good practice
  • top tips and quick wins


Effective business writing (webinar)

Angus Farr, Director of Training Counts delivers this 40-minute recorded tutorial providing valuable hints and tips on how to improve your business writing skills. This will help you understand:

  • the importance of planning: purpose, reader and persuasion 
  • structure - beginning, middle, end 
  • structure - how to deal with executive summaries and recommendations 
  • writing style and readability 
  • what can spoil your writing - poor grammar, poor spelling 
  • the importance of proof-reading and checking


Project Management

This article, for first-time project managers, looks at five key principles to help ensure every project you manage now and in the future is a success. Read this ICAEW article now.

Job done: How to finish things

The excellent business magazine Management Today regularly features a ‘How to…’ section. This article entitled Job done: How to finish things has invaluable guidance for anyone irrespective of age, stage of career or management experience.

Improve your memory and speed-reading

Memory specialist, Mark Channon can help you to read more quickly and remember more – great skills that can help you at work or in your exams.
This 60-minute webinar covers seven strategies to help you remember anything.

It’s a fun interactive session, so have a pen and paper ready.


How to make meeting productive

Here are some basic rules to help you lead a productive meeting.

  • Have a beginning, middle and end. This gives structure and timescales. 
  • Start and finish on time.
  • Keep meeting ‘pacey’. Don’t allow people to drag on or certain individuals to dominate the discussions.
  • If you are comfortable doing so, use humour (in moderation). It helps makes meetings memorable and means that you can be harder on the serious points that really matter – without people taking offence.
  • Don’t use slides. They reduce people’s focus and attention. People tend to read the bullet points and then ‘tune out’ mentally until the next slide
  • Handouts should be short and concise. No more than a few sides. They should be circulated before the meeting, so the contents are a point for discussion rather than being seen for the first time at the meeting.
  • At the end of the meeting, state clearly what has been agreed, what needs following up and who have been tasked to deliver what and by when.
  • Ask for feedback – on the positives and interesting parts of the meeting, so you can learn / adapt these for the next meeting. Don't dwell on any negative feedback, although this will help you improve for next time too.