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Learn to earn

In the vast galaxy of business, one must master the art of skill expansion to conquer new frontiers. Like many young Jedis that came before you, it’s time to use the power of the Force to discover how expanding your skills can unlock epic business opportunities. Join us as we navigate five ways to broaden your skill set to take on new frontiers (or challenges).

1. Embrace continuous learning

Imagine yourself, young Jedi, as a student of the Force. You’re hungry for knowledge and always seeking new wisdom. Harness your growth mindset and stay attuned to the latest industry trends by seeking opportunities to learn. Take advantage of online classes through sites such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera or MasterClass, or attend workshops or seminars to expand your knowledge and take your skills to the next level. If you have an interest in learning a new skill, speak with your employer to see if they can offer tuition reimbursement.

The world is rapidly changing, and technology is advancing. Continuous learning fuels personal and professional growth, and it helps you adapt and stay relevant within your field of expertise. When you use the Force to embrace new ideas, technologies and skills, you continue to open your world—both personally and professionally—to numerous opportunities.

2. Cultivate soft skills

Remember, young Jedi, it’s not just about lightsaber skills—your soft skills matter, too. These require patience, practice and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone to master. Soft skills require developing self-awareness so you can understand your strengths and weaknesses. Enhance your communication skills by becoming an active listener. This requires listening without interrupting, asking clarifying questions and paraphrasing what you’ve heard to ensure understanding.

Soft skills also include developing emotional intelligence so you can better understand—and manage—your emotions, giving you the power to empathize with others. Increase your problem-solving abilities by being an active collaborator within your team. Keep an open mind when it comes to diverse opinions and perspectives that may not match yours. Mastering soft skills will set you apart and can present new possibilities for adventure.

3. Volunteer your time

Every Jedi knight needs an ally. Seek out volunteer opportunities within your industry or community. Use the Force to embrace a path of service, not only to give back but to gain invaluable experience and network with like-minded individuals. When you collaborate with others on projects outside the workplace, you give yourself the opportunity to learn from other perspectives and gain a new understanding of the world around you.

When volunteering, you gain hands-on experience that complements your existing skills. It allows you to explore new roles and industries that could lead to future business opportunities, partnerships or even mentorship connections.

4. Harness powerful technologies

While you may not have C-3PO or R2-D2 as a sidekick (yet), you can still use the Force to master new technologies. Since they’re evolving at a rapid pace, staying relevant on the technologies used in your profession or industry helps keep you a step ahead of other Jedi knights. Explore tools that automate relevant tasks, like project management tools, email marketing automation or customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Stay cybersecurity-savvy and be aware of best practices to protect yourself, your company and your customers’ data from potential threats. Consider learning how to use tools that are good at analyzing data. Data insights can tell quite a story, and you could be the storyteller. Last, spend some time getting comfortable with artificial intelligence (AI). The more you know, the more power you have. And that power can open new doors in your career.

5. Seek guidance

Just as Luke Skywalker sought the wisdom of Yoda, seeking guidance from your own Jedi Masters is crucial in your journey to expand your skills. Ask for feedback from your coworkers, customers, managers and any mentors who can help provide guidance. They can share the good and the less good, and help you improve in any areas that may be lacking. Practice active listening and use constructive criticism to light the fire of skill improvement—and keep it burning.

May the Force be with you

By tapping into the power of the Force, you can unleash a universe full of business opportunities. Embrace the growth with the spirit of a true Jedi, and you can conquer the [business] galaxy.

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