One of the biggest things that employers are seeking today is a demonstration of a potential employee’s willingness to learn. The workplace nowadays is a fluid entity, technology is continuously updating and people’s roles and skill sets must change with it.
Is upskilling for me?
Yes, upskilling is for everyone. For people who want to get ahead, upskilling is a no brainer, but for everyone else, coasting no longer cuts it. Standing still in your career simply doesn’t work and certainly doesn't offer you any security in your job. Take charge of your career development and stay employable.
How should I approach my employer about doing a course?
If you approach your employer about going back to education, you need to think not only about what the added qualification will do for you, but also what it will do for your company. If an employer sees that your effort to upskill will benefit them, they are more likely to be supportive either financially or in terms of flexibility or time off for exams.
Although going back to education involves sacrifice of holiday time, family time, financial and added pressure of exams and assignments, certainly courses are becoming much more accessible online and with more flexible learning options.
Here are 5 ways to upskill and get to where you want to go in your career:
Create a Career Plan. Career planning or mapping can help you develop a strategy for your career and focus your upskilling time, finances and effort. Prepare to allocate time to create your career plan. You need time to research, network and simply to think about what you want.
Network. Talk to people both in career areas that interest you and also people who have done courses that might suit you. Attend relevant networking events and speak up about where it is in your career you want to go. You'll be surprised what you can learn from others and what opportunities might come your way.
Join an industry or professional association. Many associations offer learning programs and mentorship.
Do your research. Know what opportunities are out there. With everything online, there is no excuse. Research profiles of positions you want on Linkedin to see what career journeys others have taken. If you are looking to do a course, decide what level of course you are willing to do. Much of this will come down to your confidence and the time you’re prepared to commit.
Financial options available to you. If your are looking to upskill yourself, you will in turn upskill the company you work for. If educational packages are not available to you at your work, don't be afraid to ask your employer - remember, your course will benefit the company. If you are paying for a course yourself and you can’t afford a full course, there could be an option to do a module instead? Or is there a short course that you can build on later?
If you are unemployed and seeking employment, there are plenty of free options to upskill available to you. Read our founder's top upskilling tips for jobseekers.