What is upskilling and how do I make it work for me?

We all know by now, 2020 was a difficult year, and as much as we wish there was a magic wand to have made it all disappear on new year’s, we’re still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be for some time.

Whilst we are incredibly lucky that the pandemic is largely under control here in Australia, many industries are still working in a limited capacity, workers are still in their home offices – and some businesses have had to completely change what they do! Sigh, we sure do miss those precedented times!

But, it has made many of us realise that no matter what you do – the future can be uncertain – and that has left many wanting to take control and “future-proof” their employability. Enter upskilling… This can be learning new skills for the job you have, the job you want or helping secure your place in an emerging industry.

So upskilling – what exactly is it?

To put it simply, upskilling is learning new skills that will help with your work. It could be learning new skills for the job you already have, the job you want or skills that’ll help you land a place in a new industry.

Why is upskilling so important?

There’s a bunch of reasons to upskill! Expanding your skill set can help you feel more confident, open up new career paths, (hello promotion!) help you leverage pay increases due to your expanded knowledge and you might even find a new area of interest. Upskilling can also support the business you work for to remain competitive and relevant, which as we all know is a biggie right now.

Okay sooo… how do I get started upskilling at work?

Great question. The best place to start is by identifying your goals. What do you want to achieve? What skills do you need for your job? (or the job you want) Are there any gaps? Why do you want to upskill? Once you’ve nailed down your answers to these questions, it’s time to look for relevant upskilling.

It’s important to note that upskilling doesn’t have to be a huge task, and it doesn’t have to cost money. Upskilling could include:

  • Free or paid Online webinars
  • Approaching a mentor at work or in the community and asking for advice
  • Trying new tasks at work or tackling new projects
  • Formal education and courses
  • Learning platforms like skillshare or even blogs from specialists

Make Upskilling work for you (not the other way around)

Get your boss onboard with your goals!

Talk to them about how you’d like to help grow the business with you new skills, they might even help you pay for it or give you some flexibility to learn. What have you go to lose?

Don’t know what skills to focus on? Develop a transferable skillset!

Ever heard of soft skills/transferable skills? Basically, they are the skills that you can apply almost anywhere! No matter what industry or workplace you find yourself in you’ll be able to use them. This includes things like:

  • Written & verbal Communication
  • Problem Solving & Critical Thinking
  • Answering calls and emails
  • Customer service
  • Working with others
  • Leadership & Management

Join a membership association or networking group

Professional memberships are a great way to meet people in your field, find a mentor or open yourself up to new opportunities. You never know who you might meet!

Get the right support

Upskilling is a great way to stay relevant and help you keep your job (or find a new one). But it’s important to have the right support for success.

Talk to your Employment Consultant or Candidate Coach today about upskilling options, we might even be able to help you pay for it!

Looking for work? Get in touch with our friendly team to find out how we can help you find a job and keep it.

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