There is no better time to hone your skills and work your way up the career ladder than now. With technology fast changing our workspace culture, start-ups booming with novel business ideas and work cultures demanding their employees to take on added responsibilities, upskilling is more a necessity than a choice.
Upskilling is upgradation. Updating your skills or investing in learning and acquiring new skills is all a part of the upskilling process that not only sharpens your skills but keeps you abreast of the latest developments in your field. Mere complacence or staying relevant for the job is now passé; today’s trends necessitate you to update your expertise and look more appealing to your employers if you are looking for a promotion or an altogether new role. The focus is on paying attention to portfolio careers that teach and train as per business needs. For example, content writers are now learning different aspects of digital marketing to market their content organically and stay relevant in today’s fast-moving digital world. Architects are offering interior decoration services as their dual expertise take them a notch above their peers and competitors.
With technology bringing forth the benefits of learning online, upskilling is possible for anyone at any time from any place. The agility that online courses offer means that upskilling need not involve an arduous task of going up the hill. Many people are doing various courses from sources like Coursera, Udemy, upGrad, edX, and more. Logging on to the LinkedIn Learning platform also gives you access to up-to-date content and expert-led courses. Besides the courses available on online platforms, you may opt by volunteering for an added or new responsibility, attending webinars, reading material available on the internet, or starting a personal blog.
Tricks for Upskilling
Whether you are aiming at a career transition or planning a side hustle or just adding to your skills to enhance your employability, the following tips can help you get the most of your decision to upskill yourself.
- Know your purpose: Don’t just rush to learn what comes your way. Know why you want to learn something or the purpose behind your learning. For example, if you want to learn the organic marketing techniques of growing a business, it makes sense to learn advanced digital strategies like search engine optimization, publishing guest posts, create email campaigns, etc. Similarly, you may learn web development if you want to design your website or app. Some people love to express their thoughts with pictures, and so it makes sense for them to learn photography that can practice as a side hustle or practice as an alternate career path. If you feel jittery or nervous on the stage, a course in public speaking may help you go a long way. Knowing your aim will help you choose the right career path and keep you motivated.
- Know your weaknesses: We all are aware of our strengths, but very few of us check what we are missing. Upskilling to make up for what we are missing helps develop both our core strengths and weaknesses. You may assess yourself by taking various tests to gauge your weaknesses and decide your courses accordingly.
- Learn at your own pace: Many online courses allow scope for group learning too. This is helpful for those who feel motivated while learning in a group. However, if you are a working professional and prefer to learn at your own pace, there are courses available that do not mandate any time limit or do not force you to adhere to strict deadlines. The days of conventional fixed styles of learning are long gone, which means that you can upskill yourself at your ease.
- Try free courses: Not all courses must be paid for. The age of competition has brought forth many online courses promising valuable credentials from top universities like Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and more for free. For example, Coursera, a famous portal for online courses, does not charge anything on nearly more than 1000 courses that may cover genres including business, creativity, healthcare, psychology, etc. Out of the total 100,000 courses that Udemy offers, you need not spend a single penny on at least 600 of them.
If you are inclined towards subjects like business, leadership, and politics, you may opt for Open University that offers such courses for beginners and at intermediate and advanced levels too. The creative ones may opt for Skillshare wherein you may learn in detail about graphic designing, making illustrations, and writing.
- Focus on soft skills: Many people show interest in acquiring hard skills and knowledge of subjects that would help them advance in their careers. However, today’s employers largely evaluate their employees’ performance based on their communication skills, ability to work in a team, and resilience. Education at some of the best colleges and universities at times miss out on teaching their students the basic soft skills needed to survive and thrive in a competitive environment. For the beginners, they may learn by attending soft skill courses that would teach them how to succeed at interviews and the basic communication skills needed to negotiate.
Benefits of Upskilling
Upskilling, if done correctly and at the right time, can have a beneficial effect on your career in more ways than you may think. These include:
- Increase chances of your employability: Basic skills are not enough to seek a job. Companies today look for expertise and experience coupled with agility. Upskilling allows you to acquire new skills that open doors to new and better job opportunities. Also with a full skill set, you are more adept to take on more responsibilities and managerial roles if needed.
- Ensure job security: There is no lifelong security in any job unless you want to drag yourself at some irrelevant government job. To ensure continued job security or better employment prospects, it makes sense to continually learn and unlearn on the job and seek expertise to boost your knowledge and experience. Besides, it has an increasing effect on your experience that shows on your resume too.
- Enhance your credentials: You may be more than willing to quit the present job and shift to something new. However, this is impossible without having added new skills or certifications to your current resume
- Forge new careers: Many people find themselves stuck in a profession that they may not be passionate about. Upskilling allows you to reignite your old passions or uncover new interests. This has not only a furthering effect on your career but helps you in personality development too.
- Network with new people: While learning new courses, you may come across like-minded people who may help you with new ideas or ways to enhance your knowledge and skills. Besides, some of these courses also include attending webinars or networking at events that expose you to only new people but allows you to see to view things with a new perspective too.
Upskilling is important if you want to grow personally and professionally. Availing new work opportunities open the doors to personal gains too, thus, allowing you to grow on both personal and work front.