It’s sometimes difficult to know where to start with your development. You can break your goals into steps to make it easier. In this lesson, we will show you how to do this and build your journey. So you complete this lesson feeling ready to take those first steps.


  • Understand how job roles are changing
  • Learn how to spot and fill your skills gaps
  • Research the skills needed for jobs
  • Find free training and courses to help you learn new skills

Read time:

10 mins

Chapter 1

The future of work

Read time:

3 mins

Looking for a job

There are many reasons why someone may be looking for a job. Maybe you’re looking for the first step in your career. 

Looking for a new job can be an emotional time. One way of managing this is to find others who share your experiences. That way, you can share skills and help each.


How the world of work is changing

The World Economic Forum met in 2023 to discuss the future of jobs.


They anticipate that:

  • Digital technology will create 69 million new jobs by 2027
  • 1 billion people will have improved skills, jobs, and better education by 2030


This means that there’s many opportunities for you to make the most of this change.


Think about:

Your skills – continue to change and build your skills

Workplace skills – keep up to date with future requirements

Learning from home – with more people working from home, this may give you even more time and ways to learn


Here are some top tips

  • Be aware of the digital skills that are needed for future jobs
  • Support your own development in the same way a business would operate
  • Be flexible to meet the needs of today’s fast paced world


Changes in work

Our careers can change direction. It’s useful taking a note of the changes we make during our lives. Career changes like starting work, moving jobs, leaving, or returning can happen at any point. What other changes are there?


Here are just a few examples

  • Starting a new job
  • Starting work for the first time
  • Returning from parental leave
  • Job loss
  • Retirement
  • Moving from military to civilian
  • Job change from one industry to another
  • Promotion
  • Changing from full-time employment to self-employed, or vice versa
  • A strategic step down
  • Returning after sickness
  • Starting a company

Chapter 2

Your mindset

Read time:

3 mins

What businesses need

In today’s world, businesses are constantly having to change the way they run. You, as a person, are no different. You are your own business. Today, being aware of in-demand skills has never been more important. There are two things that are always essential for businesses:


These are:

  1. An income
  2. The need for presence


You, as a business

You, as a person, are no different. You are your own business. Today, being aware of in-demand skills has never been more important. So, let’s explore how you can stay ahead of the job market.


In the same way as a business, you need to:

  • Identify your personal values
  • Identify where to promote yourself
  • Know how to promote yourself
  • Know how you manage potential customers (except for you it may be a potential employer instead!)


Selling you

Your opportunities to improve yourself can come from anywhere. In fact, Muriel Pénicaud, France’s former Minister of Labour recently said:

“First, I think it’s soft skills are probably the most difficult to learn. These are probably the most important for the long-term. And second, it’s learning a range of skills that will be unique to each person. They’ll learn artificial intelligence, cooking and soft skills. This mixture of skills will make the difference over time. Learning is a continuous process.”

But why is this important? Because we often mistake room for growth as a weakness. So we avoid seeing the true value and purpose of learning. To develop, you need to accept that there’s room for growth. It’s more than just effort, working harder or faster doesn’t improve your personal growth.


What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset believes that skill and intelligence are something that people can develop. Your room for growth is never a weakness, it’s your potential.

If you embrace having a growth mindset, you’ll believe that your future success is achieved through constant personal development.


You don’t need to know what to do with your life

Our work identity is only part of our overall identity. Take some time to think about your personality. Ask yourself how each aspect of your personality can help you at work.

We get asked what do we want to do when we grow up. This suggests that our options for our future are in one direction. From a young age, we gain qualifications and make choices that support that direction. This career advice isn’t helpful. Most people today can expect to change jobs several times in a lifetime.

We can have different career paths. People don’t always know what they want to do with their life. This doesn’t mean you lack ambition, direction or that you aren’t good enough. It’s a sign you are willing to adapt. And to accept all aspects of your personality and interests.

LinkedIn has published a report looking back 20 years. Their study found that millennials will change jobs regularly. It will be an average of four times in their first ten years out of college. Earlier generations changed jobs twice during the same time.

Chapter 3

Being T-Shaped

Read time:

2 mins

Make your CV stand out

This section is designed to help you to identify skills for your future. This will make your CV stand out. No one else is going to be aware of your attributes and skills. You need to recognise them yourself. To do so, you’ll have to work on your confidence and self-awareness.


Imagine your skills plotted out along a T-shape. Your generic skills lie along the top. These can be things like people skills, communication, and writing. Your specialist skills go along the vertical line. They are more in-depth understandings of subjects, such as computer science or video editing.

Take some time now to understand your skills. On the next page, we will take you into more depth about your attributes. You’ll then be able to consider those attributes for your T-shape.

Applying these to the workplace

T-shape qualities suit a wide range of job roles, industries, and companies.

Imagine all your attributes as a set of ingredients. For any recipe, you want to make, you’ll need a specific set of ingredients. This is the same for jobs. You may use some of the same ingredients. You may need to get new ones or adjust the amounts of ingredients you are using. And the way you’re using them.

Use these ideas to change what’s in your T-shape. This will help you for any roles you want to apply for.


Please note that any sites, products, or services named in this document are just examples of what's in stock. Lloyds Bank doesn’t endorse the services they provide.

Chapter 4

Roadmap to your goals

Read time:

3 mins


Now we’ve looked at your professional qualities. This is the identify step of your journey. There are five steps in total.


These are:

  1. Identify
  2. Visualise 
  3. Set the intention
  4. Break it down
  5. Start small and start now



The second step of the process is called visualising. This is seeing the role and life you want in 12 months’ time. Try now to visualise what your perfect workday would look like. The more open you are, the more useful it will be. And it will help you to see the exact point you want to get to.


Ask yourself:

  • What is the weather like?
  • Where are you in the world?
  • Are you indoors / outdoors?
  • Who are you with?
  • What are you wearing?
  • Does your day start early?
  • Do you finish late?
  • What does your workplace look like?
  • How does your working week look?
  • Busy, different every day, set routine?
  • How do you get to work?
  • Is your work at a desk, outside, a mix, or something else?


Some of these may seem like minor details. Things like the people you work with are all part of your happiness at work. Don’t ignore them when looking for a job. Or you may find yourself in the ‘perfect role’ on paper, but still unhappy.


Setting intentions

Setting intentions is the next step. Now you’ve visualised what your future looks like. You can start to set a direction for the future. Use this to create a goal for yourself. Start with “It’s 12 months from now and I am...” and go from there.


Break it down into steps

  1. What personal strengths can you write down? (think about your existing qualities - think back to your T-shape)
  2. What have you got now that you can build upon?
  3. What extra skills do you need? (they can be soft skills, qualifications, or skills you can teach yourself)
  4. Who will you need to speak to who can help you? (a mentor or a colleague)
  5. How will you share what you want to achieve?
  6. What questions do you need answering? (understanding the industry? The role? Etc.)
  7. What personal areas do you need to strengthen?
  8. What weaknesses can you work on?
  9. What volunteering or work experience could help you?


Start small and start now

Start after you have completed the five steps in the roadmap. Take small manageable steps. Remember, keep it simple, keep it realistic, and keep it positive. Keep on taking steps towards your goal. You’ll be there before you know it.

Chapter 5

Reskilling for the 21st century

Read time:

1 min

Two types of skills

Your learning should be lifelong. And is more than just education alone. In this next section, we will explain two types of skills – general and career-specific skills.


Examples of general skills

  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Resilience - such as growth mindset
  • Compassion
  • Working with others
  • Adaptability
  • Entrepreneurial (different to business skills).


These skills are…

Lifelong, slow to change and with a long shelf-life. And may just need an occasional update. They are very human skills found in mindsets and attitudes.


Examples of career-specific skills

  • Medicine
  • Technology - cyber security etc.
  • Business
  • Law
  • Construction


These are…

The skills which need regular updating and maintenance. And are for a specific purpose. Digital skills are a good example. They have a short shelf-life before they become out-of-date.


Tools to help you evaluate your skills:

Chapter 6

Curiosity to fuel the career engine

Read time:

4 mins

Why is curiosity important

Curiosity is a mindset, which allows you to be creative. And see many options for your future. It’s the basis of learning. You must have curiosity to be able to seek out new ideas and skills. This is essential for the future workplace.


Lifelong learning

Learning happens in our lives in many varied ways. This means we can re-write what our learning goals should be. There are lots of options for learning. Such as online lessons, YouTube videos and knowledge sharing. Once you know that anything can be a way to learn, you know that everything you done has been a source of a skill.


Here are some options to get you started:


Some more social learning options:

  • YouTube tutorials
  • Social infographics
  • Specific interest WhatsApp groups
  • Company ‘lunch and learns’
  • Skill sharing
  • Thought pieces and article reading
  • Eventbrite
  • Meetup
  • Mentoring


The value of mentoring

A mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced person.

There are lots of apps and organisations to help you find a mentor. Mentoring can be formal through an organisation. Or informally through someone in your day-to-day life.

“Employees of greater than 5 years were more likely to have a mentor. Many companies found having a mentor for a new employee improves productivity. This also improves the level of engagement of those joining their organisation.” - Jeff Webber, How leaders and employees should harness the power of mentorship, 2018.

So, now you understand the value, let’s look more at how to make the most of mentoring.


Mentoring can help re-skilling through:

  • Adding perspective 
  • Advice
  • Encouragement
  • Wider network of contacts


A mentor can also:

  1. Take a long-term view on your development
  2. Offer insight from their perspective and experience
  3. Be the person to bounce ideas off
  4. Share your barriers and ‘failures’ to see a route through
  5. Give feedback on your strengths and areas of growth


Asking someone to mentor you

Think about what areas of your life or career you would like help and advice with. Then identify someone to be your mentor. A mentor isn’t a coach or a therapist. A mentor is someone you can aspire to be and learn from professionally.


Improve your social networks in five steps

  1. Join professional groups on LinkedIn. Search using what’s trending on a weekly basis and be active in those groups.
  2. Comment on and like articles. Written by individuals you admire professionally. Start a conversation on the topic.
  3. Don’t just reshare a post. Add your personal touch and take time to invest in the content.
  4. Write your own content on topics you are professionally invested in. Show your knowledge, interest and understanding.
  5. Request to connect with a personal message. Show why you are interested in that person.


Being interested

Being interested is key. Not only in your continual professional learning, but also in your networking skills. Let’s look at the two rules of networking now.


1. Be interested

  • Know who to follow and where
  • Skill match and see where it takes you
  • Make yourself visible to influencers


2. Be interesting

  • Update your online profiles so they align
  • What’s the latest in your industry?
  • Share! (your CV, LinkedIn, your goals)


Lloyds Bank Academy is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Lloyds Bank does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 8th November 2023.