Spread knowledge and hone your craft with these skill-sharing tips
Whether you’re a pro at poetry, knowledgeable about technology, or love getting creative in the kitchen, we all have skills we take pride in. But why not take these beyond our own enjoyment, and share them with others?
Sharing my creative skills as a writer has been a great chance for me to connect with others, develop my craft, and harness a sense of fulfilment in getting to talk about something that matters to me. It’s also a chance for us to further develop, too; sharing your skills is a great way to dedicate more time to your passion, and reflect on the areas you want to build on.
Here, we explore five ways you can share your skills with others.
1. Do a skills swap
A skills swap involves giving someone your help and then being able to get support from them in return. Perhaps you have a friend who works as a careers advisor and could help you freshen up your CV. In return, you could share your skill – showing them how to grow herbs, or designing a website for their side hustle, for example.
There are also skill swap groups across the country, where communities pool together to share their time and skills with each other. If you help someone with their book-keeping for an hour, you then have an hour’s credit you can use to get support from someone else for something you’d like help with – anything from learning to put up shelves to baking the perfect soufflé. Websites like Timebanking UK (timebanking.org) are great for finding a group.
2. Join or start a community group
Joining a writers’ group as a teenager was a way for me to develop my writing skills, and connect with like-minded people. Groups like this often provide mutual feedback, where you all give each other advice and encouragement. Search engines and social media are great for finding out about groups related to your interest.
Maybe your friends admire your crochet skills. Why not invite them round and have a go at it together? You could take it in turns hosting, so each person shares a different skill each time you get together.
3. Start a blog or vlog
When we want to learn about something new, chances are we head to Google and search for websites or videos about the topic. If you enjoy writing, try setting up a website or blog where you share guidance about your skill. Or if films are more your thing, how about a video-blog (a ‘vlog’)? Social media is also a great way of both sharing your interests, and connecting with others. Could you use Instagram to document your painting process?
These are all ways of sharing your knowledge with other people, and can also be fantastic for meeting others with similar interests, and becoming part of an online community. I enjoy connecting with the #WritingCommunity on Twitter as a way of learning from others, and sharing my ideas.
4. Volunteer your skills
Charities often value having volunteers to teach their clients a new skill, or support their existing work. A mental health day centre or local refugee support charity might appreciate someone helping with an arts session, or a community kitchen could make use of your particular culinary skills.
Websites like volunteeringmatters.org.uk are a good place to find opportunities. If you have somewhere specific in mind, it’s worth getting in touch directly with them to see if there’s any way you can offer up your time and skills.
Volunteering like this is, of course, a great way to help others. It can also be good experience if you’re looking to get paid work sharing your skills later down the line.
5. Look at teaching
Community teaching is a wonderful way to share your skill. It’s also a chance to make an income from your passion.
I found leading writing workshops really rewarding. I reached out to local arts organisations that I knew ran community creative workshops, to ask whether they would be interested in me running a session as a writer. Seeing participants enjoy the writing activities and grow in confidence was a wonderful feeling. It was also nice to meet the other artists involved in the group.
Search online to find organisations near you that might look to use freelance facilitators. Organisations like the WEA (wea.org.uk) often recruit people to teach their adult learning courses.
If you’re keen on the idea of teaching, it can be worth getting a qualification, such as the Award in Education and Training. This can help you further develop your teaching skills, and potentially make it easier to apply for opportunities. Whether at a community hub or a classroom, teaching is a satisfying way of sharing your skills, and helping others.
For more support, articles and ideas on personal development, visit lifecoach-directory.org.uk