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What do I do if I’m not good at everything?

None of us are good at everything we need to do!  If you find that you need to develop some job skills, there are lots of things you can do to get better and better at the things that will make you successful at work.  As they say, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”  Below are some options:

  1. Gather new information or knowledge:  If there is knowledge or information you do not have, that you need in order to do your job well, then make a plan to gather knowledge.  You can look things up online, ask for training, or study the employee handbook and/or policies and procedures at your workplace. You may want to continue your education in order to learn more about what you need to know in order to do your job well.
  2. Learn new skills:  Every person who is working learns new skills over time.  Learning new things is something you can count on when working, so it’s not outside of the norm to be learning even as you work.  Ask for training in the skills you don’t know.  If training isn’t available, you may be able to get mentoring, coaching, or supervision that can help you learn skills on the job. Off the job, you can enroll in training or education that can enhance your skills.  There are even workbooks available for learning skills yourself.  The internet has many resources for learning skills, including videos on YouTube and the like. Remember that people aren’t born knowing all of the skills they need on the job – people learn and practice and learn and practice in order to get good at their jobs.
  3. Get support to use the skills you have:  Sometimes, we know how to do a skill, but we either forget, or for one reason or another, don’t use the skill where, when, and with whom we need to.  For example, we may know how to take notes on what our supervisor wants to do, but don’t do it most of the time, and then forget what she asked us to do.  The issue might be resources (you don’t have a pen or pad of paper), knowledge (you’re not sure how to take notes), confidence (you’re not sure if it’s okay to take notes), or preparation (you don’t plan to bring your pen and paper and take them out while the supervisor is talking) (Cohen, et. al., 1985, 2007). If you know what the issue is, you can get support to address it, such as getting a notebook or using the Notes app on your phone, or asking your supervisor if it’s okay to take notes.

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