What Is Skillsharing?

Definition & Examples of Skillsharing

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Skillsharing is teaching and learning skills from others, typically in an informal setting.

Learn more about skillsharing and how it can boost your career.

What Is Skillsharing?

Skillsharing occurs when people share their skills with others. While it can happen in a formal setting like a classroom, skillsharing can also occur casually at meetups, community centers, and even in people's homes. 

How Skillsharing Works

Skillsharing can occur online or in-person. Some communities have set up ongoing skillsharing groups and events. You can sign up to share a skill or learn from others with experience.

For example, if you're a freelance graphic designer who wants to learn social media marketing, you might agree to exchange design lessons for a tutorial in online marketing strategies. If you're a project manager looking to improve your database skills, you might offer to teach a colleague your approach to project management in exchange for a tutorial on advanced database skills. 

If you’re strictly looking to add to your own skillset and don’t mind paying for classes, a website like Skillshare may be your best bet. There are classes in everything from typography to improving workflow productivity to video editing, and you can also develop courses to sell your own skills.

Another good place to start is NPO Connect, which is free, as well as local skillshare platforms in your area. Alison and Udemy also offer expert-led classes. Alison's classes are free, but there is a fee if you want a certificate, while Udemy's classes charge a fee. 

Many major cities also have skillsharing exchanges. Clascity.com and Meetup may also list courses near you.

You can also consider doing a casual exchange with a friend or acquaintance, where you both swap a how-to of your skill. 

If there's no skillshare group in your area, consider hosting a group or skillshare day. Connect with people who might want to teach and learn, then secure a venue and set up a schedule for class rotations. Classes could be fee-based, free, or on a donation basis.

The Benefits of Skillsharing

Skillsharing can be an effective way to learn personal skills like yoga or how to play an instrument. It can also boost your career.

Let's say you're positioning yourself for a promotion at work, an one area that's been noted for improvement is your presentation skills. If you're very skilled with Excel, you might look at local groups and offer to share your Excel skills with someone who has expertise in public speaking. Perhaps you find a public speaking professor who needs help with their student data spreadsheets. By organizing a skillshare with that professor you're able to sharpen a skill, practice in a low-stress setting, and impress your supervisors, and someone else's work is made easier in the process.

The more marketable skills you have, the higher your chances are of landing a job and getting promoted. Growing and expanding your skills looks good to potential employers, even if it isn't a specific skill they require. It shows that you're willing and eager to learn, have a sense of curiosity, and are engaged in keeping your skills current. 

What Skills Should You Learn? 

The skills you should learn depend on your current knowledge, your interests, and your industry. Here are a few ideas for how to determine which skills to focus on: 

  • Look at job postings: Scan through job postings that interest you and look for skills mentioned frequently that you don't possess. Prioritize learning those. 
  • Manager/evaluation feedback: Have your colleagues or manager suggested skills that would be helpful? Consider adding those skills. 
  • Make your job easier: If you had stronger Excel skills or database knowledge, would your monthly accounting task go faster? If there's something you struggle with, from leading a meeting to mastering Photoshop, there's likely a class you can take to refine your knowledge and ability. 

Key Takeaways

  • Skillsharing is when people share their skills with others. It typically takes place online or in informal settings in person.
  • Many cities have skillsharing groups. You can find local groups by visiting websites like Clascity and Meetup. 
  • Skillsharing is a cost-effective way to learn professional skills. Consider learning skills you see in job postings or that will make your work easier.