Staying Competitive in Your Self-Storage Career: Investing in Skills and Re-Education

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After you address the career-killer weaknesses, spend the rest of your time and resources leveraging and improving upon your strengths rather than addressing every weakness. When you build on your strengths and focus your re-training on those areas, you’ll increase your unique selling advantage and be more in demand in your field.

Create an Action Plan

After you assess what skills and knowledge you’re missing, and which strengths or weaknesses you want to build upon, create a 30-day, 90-day and annual action plan to get the training and education you need. What do you need to continue advancing on your career path? It may be to enroll in a certificate program, take the lead on a project or do some volunteer work to gain new skills. Whatever it is, schedule the steps in a planner and take action.

Then re-check your plan every 30 days. This enables you to increase your level of accountability. Additionally, if you do a check-in every 30 days, you will see progress. If you see progress—even small progress—you’ll keep going. By the 90-day mark, you’ll see some significant change. So while your long-term vision that’s a year or more out might be a giant leap in skill advancement, the shorter term goals that are 30 and 90 days out are generally more manageable. Since most people can manage 30 days better than a year, the chances of you accomplishing multiple smaller goals that lead to a big goal is higher than if you just dangle that big goal out there with no mini steps along the way.

Finally, don’t keep your training and skills-attainment goals to yourself. Share your plans with others such as a spouse, boss, co-worker or business coach. When you have other people who care asking you questions about your progress, you’re more apt to stay the course. Use these people as sounding boards for tough decisions and motivation when things get rough. Even if you’re good at self-accountability, still engage others. Accountability is the key to sticking to a re-training path. The more people holding you accountable, the better.

Commit to Lifelong Learning

While learning something new may seem like a daunting task, remember you’ve been learning ever since you were born. When you embrace the fact that learning is something you do continually, either formally or informally, you’ll always have the skills you need to succeed in the future and learning won’t feel like a monumental task.

Commit at least three hours per week to updating your skills and refining your knowledge. That’s the surest path to stay competitive in the job market and ensure you thrive in your self-storage career.

Dr. Marty Martin is the director of the Health Sector Management MBA concentration and an associate professor in the College of Commerce at DePaul University in Chicago. His second book, “Taming Disruptive Behavior,” is now available, and he’s currently working on his third book, “Do You Have Career Insurance?” For more information, visit www.drmartymartin.com .

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