10 Reasons Why You Need a Professional Toolkit
Every one of us has a professional toolkit, whether we recognise it or not. We use it every day to a greater or lesser degree. We recognise and appreciate it as and when we wish to show ourselves to other people for a specific outcome, for example when we are ready to be promoted and we want to show our credentials or we wish to make a change in our career that leads us to have to sell ourselves. So professional toolkits are something we carry around with us.
In medieval times whether you were a knight on a horse or a foot solder with a particular sharp tool or an archer with your bows and arrows, you were carrying with you both the hardware and the skill to use that hardware with laxity. That is what your toolkit is to your relationship with the professional economies of today.
1. You’re a Specialist
You will need to show your technical prowess, to showcase those areas of specialism you’ve acquired. Over time these deepen and sometimes widen as you take in more experience in a technical capacity or in terms of seniority, breadth of or accountability of your role.
2. You Need to Stay Sharp
You need a toolkit to keep sharp and strong. It is your responsibility to keep yourself up to date with what’s going on in the professional world around you.
3. Motivation to Read
We live in a world where we read less and less. Committing to a toolkit can motivate us to commit to a regular slot in our schedule where we read in order to stay updated on our field and on the world of work in general.
4. Soft Skills are Important
If you have a professional toolkit you will have what are commonly called soft skills. These include the ability to manage yourself, self-discipline, project management and job candidate interviewing skills. These skills are fundamental to your professional career so it’s no bad thing if you’re acquiring these skills for the sake of your professional toolkit.
5. First Impressions Count
At some point in your professional life you are going to need to present yourself to a third party who does not know you. You want them to see you as smart and professional right from the outset and a professional toolkit will help you to make such a first impression.
6. People are Watching
Most of what you do as a professional is perceptible. When you’re under scrutiny, having a professional toolkit helps you to show your best professional self to whoever’s watching and to help those around you to recognise you in a different way.
7. Extra-Curricular Activities
You don’t need a toolkit just for doing your day job. Your professional skills, abilities and tools can also be used for extra-curricular activities such as big meetings, industry conferences and exhibitions, team-building weekends, business lunches, staff outings and so on.
8. To Survive as a Newbie
More than once in your career, you’re going to have to prove yourself in a new role and with a new employer. Your toolkit can help you to show that you’re robust, resilient and have the wherewithal to be successful.
9. Good Communicators Prosper
If you’re working on a professional toolkit, chances are you’re working on your communications and working on skills such as listening, speaking and writing which will take you a long way in your career.
10. It Defines You
A professional toolkit defines you as a professional worker. You have taken a huge amount of time and effort over a long period to become professional. It serves you well to enhance your toolkit regularly so that you can be better tomorrow than you were yesterday.
By Position Ignition (www.positionignition.com) and the Career Ignition Club (www.careerignitionclub.com), the UK’s leading career change and career development company and platform. Also the author of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips (http://www.positionignition.com/100-linkedin-job-search-tips). Follow @PosIgnition for more help with your career challenges.