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Growing Your Skills

At Walgreens, we want to help you expand your career and many times that means fine-tuning skills you currently have and developing new skills to help you reach your career goals. Thinking about where you want your career to go, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • What skills are needed for that position?
  • What does success in that position look like?
  • What gaps do you have in your development preventing you from having those skills?

From soft skills such as customer service to strong communication; to hard skills such as knowledge of Microsoft Office products, and computer programming – the skills needed in your career journey can vary. As you move along in positions, you want to develop, master and collect skills in your skills toolbelt to help improve your candidacy for future career moves.

Your skills toolbelt should be a collective of both soft and hard skills that you can use to round out your professional profile. Soft skills are traits that make you a good employee, such as communication, listening, and friendliness. Hard skills are traits that are measurable such as knowledge of computer programs, math, or data analysis.

You don’t need to have every skill collected in your skills toolbelt, but rather should master and collect skills over time during your career journey. Take inventory of things that you are good at and where gaps occur in your knowledge base. You can do this by using the Career Development Toolkit to help you start thinking about what skills you should be targeting to add to your belt. Additional resources can be found on the Walgreens University website.

One of the best ways to develop your skills is to gain cross-functional experience, or by working in a variety of positions and learning all areas of your business. You’ll have a better understanding of processes from start to finish, as well as can see where issues may arise or prevent efficiency. Additionally, you’ll learn what skills are best applicable to which areas of the business and be able to learn along the way.

One way to gain cross-functional experience is to job shadow another team member in a different area of the business. Job shadows can give you a sneak peek into a role that you may be interested in – or even give you more clarity about a position. Speak with your manager about job shadow opportunities and how to leverage in your position.

Lateral job movement is another way to gain cross-functional experience. Let’s use the example of an individual contributor team member interested in moving into a management position. Their current manager tells them they need to develop some additional skills before they are ready for management. A job opportunity becomes available – but it’s the same level that the individual contributor is currently at, however it’s in a different area of the team. This is called a lateral job move, and it’s another way to gain skills to round out your skills toolbelt to get you ready for the next step in your career. By learning a different area of the business, you’ll be better positioned to manage through that gained knowledge in the future.

Walgreens University is a great resource to help build your skills – from educational class to tuition discounts to advance your degree and learning tools such as Percipio and getAbstract you can begin to unlock your full potential and be in control of developing the skills needed for your skills toolbelt. Additionally, sites such as TedTalk, MindTools and edX can all improve your knowledge and enhance your learning experiences. All of these resources are available on the Walgreens University website for Walgreens team members.

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