Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Job/Functional Skills

Development Suggestions 

1.   Locate a pro.    Find the seasoned master professional in the job or function and ask whether he/she would mind showing you the ropes and tutoring you. Most don’t mind having a few “apprentices” around. Help him or her teach you. Ask, “How do you know what’s important? What do you look at first? Second? What are the five keys you always look at or for? What do you read? Who do you go to for advice?”  

2.   Network with others.  Sign up.  Almost all functions have national and sometimes regional professional associations made up of hundreds of people who do well what you need to learn every day. Sign up as a member. Buy some of the introductory literature. Go to some of their workshops. Go to the annual conference.

3.   Find the bible on your function/technology.  Almost every function has a book people might call the “bible” in the area. It is the standard reference everyone looks to for knowledge. There is probably a journal in your job or function. Subscribe for a year or more. See if they have back issues available.

4.   Meet the notables.  Identify some national leaders in your job or function and buy their books, read their articles, and attend their lectures and workshops.

5.   Learn from those around you.  Ask others in your job or function which skills and what knowledge is mission-critical and ask them how they learned it. Follow the same or a similar path.

6.   Take a course.  WSU might have some nighttime or weekend courses you could take in your job/function. Your organization may have training classes in your job/function.

7.   Consult your past.  You might have been good in some previous function. If this isn’t the case, consider anything you know well, such as a hobby. How did you learn it?

8.   Find a guru.  Find a consultant in your job/function and see if you can interview him/her to accelerate your learning.

9.   Learn to think as an expert in the job/function does.  Take problems to him/her and ask what are the keys he/she looks for; observe what he/she considers significant and not significant. Chunk up data into categories so you can remember it. Devise five key areas or questions you can consider each time a functional issue comes up. Don’t waste your time learning facts; they won’t be useful unless you have conceptual buckets to put them in.

10.  Teach others.  Form a study group and take turns presenting on new, different or unknown aspects of the job/function. Having to teach it will force you to conceptualize and understand it more deeply.

WSU Training 

A LEADS learning package is located in AccelerateTM   We’ve made searching for resources for the LEADS competencies easy. Just click on the Catalog button and browse through the LEADS folder to find many learning resources. 

Logon to Accelerate 

  1. Login to Acadmica
  2. Under WSU RESOURCES, select Employee Resources, then Other Resources
  3. Click the Accelerate - Employee Development Tools menu item
  4. Click the Catalog button
  5. Locate your LEADS competency resources





Check out the resources in books24x7 --  an exciting feature in Accelerate.  

 Click here for other WSU training resources.