Whether you’re happily employed or you’ve recently set sail on a journey to land a new gig, the most valuable currency you can use in the labor market isn’t dollars – it’s skills. What you bring to the table talent-wise is a hot commodity among employers, and it can help differentiate yourself from your fellow colleagues or applicants. Upskilling is a way to expand your breadth of skills – regardless if you’re a recent graduate, interested in switching careers, or looking to land a promotion – to achieve the level of success you envision for yourself.
Proactively investing in professional development is a great way to make yourself indispensable to an employer as you’ll be able to deliver value on a multitude of business fronts. Workers who take the initiative to continually develop their skills often enjoy enhanced productivity levels, improved problem-solving skills, and deliver a stronger performance in the workplace. From online courses to in-person seminars and workshops, expanding your knowledge base can land you that promotion you’ve had your sights set on or help you score a new job.
To learn a completely new skill or advance an existing talent, here are 5 ways you can start upskilling today.
LinkedIn Learning Courses
Not only is LinkedIn a valuable platform for professional networking, but it also offers over 6,000 online courses, covering a range of relevant and in-demand skills. Experts within the creative, business, and tech spaces divulge their secrets on achieving success in their respective fields. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your sales skills, get a better grasp on time management, or learn new graphic design skills, LinkedIn learning provides a slew of videos and courses to help further your talents.
Create Google Alerts for Upcoming Events or Webinars
From Ted Talks and podcasts to in-person seminars, staying up-to-date on the latest offerings in your field of interest will ensure you’re fine tuning skills that align with today's most pressing needs. Webinars and podcasts can easily be integrated into your skill-honing repertoire – simply throw one on during your morning commute, lunch break, or while you workout. Connect with colleagues and friends to see if they have any must-hear recommendations. Similarly, attending live seminars and conferences will allow you to physically immerse yourself in your studies while building an invaluable network of professional connections. Always be ready to jot down notes, ask any questions you may have, and take advantage of opportunities for further learning.
Grab a Book
Whether you’re looking for productivity hacks, career inspiration, or to further your skills in a particular area, like finance or coding, there is no better way to quickly absorb new knowledge than to pick up a book. Reading your way to your dream position via self-help books or autobiographies from leaders in your industry could completely change the game for you – and it’s cost-effective. Amazon, among other sites, is chock-full of paper and digital books on virtually any topic you could possibly want.
This educational marketplace offers an extensive library of over 65,000 online courses. Aimed at helping professionals globally, Udemy allows you to develop pertinent skills across a number of fields, such as IT, marketing, design, photography, personal development, and business. These self-guided courses are affordable, available in a series of easy-to-follow videos, and are taught by leading industry experts. Among their comprehensive offerings is the opportunity to earn certifications in certain areas – from IT software, like AWS or Cisco CCNA, to advanced Microsoft Excel.
Seek Out a Mentor
Seek guidance from a professional in your field that you admire and be willing to invest the time and energy necessary to make it a successful partnership. Gaining a first-hand account of the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals, including how to avoid rookie mistakes, is unbelievably powerful knowledge, and it can completely alter your approach to changing careers, landing a promotion, or getting a foot in the door.
Whichever route you choose to take, upskilling can help boost your employability. Whether you’re employed, unemployed, a freelancer, or someone who enjoys new challenges, continually learning new skills is a great way to keep those creative juices flowing and maintain a competitive edge when the time does come to look for a new job.