The covid-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our lives. With lockdowns imposed all over the globe, the entire world’s economy is suffering. Due to this, each industry had to downsize its workforce to make ends meet. And if the situation continues, there will be fewer jobs available, and only employees with exceptional skills will carry on their jobs.
Considering the current challenges, one must work to increase his/her skill set. This is only useful to remain on your job and effectively increase your chances of landing a more highly paid position. Upskilling means learning new skills to do your job more efficiently. In simple words, the better the employee you are, the harder you are to let go.
However, the idea is not limited to this only, as you can even expand your current skill set by taking up new courses and opportunities. Once you have developed some unique and highly effective skills, they will make you a valuable asset to your company. Confused? Here is an expert upskilling guide to help you out:
Receive Formal Education
The easiest way to upskill your career prospect is to receive a formal education. You can enroll for a master’s in your field or apply for a second degree. A subject like liberal studies is a popular second-degree option. It will provide you some advanced skills that will open gates to numerous opportunities. From a job in management to HR, your possibilities are limitless.
However, in case you find it difficult to attend the on-site program. In that case, you can opt for an online liberal studies degree. This way, you will learn at your own pace and convenience. Formal education requires serious commitment, so ensure that your job is worth both the time and effort. Not only that, but make sure that it also returns the financial investment that you make for further studies.
Sign up for short training and certification programs
Some companies take it upon themselves and arrange training courses for their employees. Such programs are held either on-site or at third-party institutions. They are a great way to learn new skills and to nurture your existing ones. Certification programs are another excellent way to achieve both career and personal growth. Being shorter in terms of course duration, they arm you with knowledge and skills to successfully progress your career in a limited time.
Professional certifications recognize your competency and level of commitment towards your profession. Moreover, they also help you in job advancement and add stability to your long-term employment prospects. Talk to your manager and make your goals known to help you plan your career development. In case your company doesn’t take the initiative, you’ll need to take the ownership of your career into your own hands. Do your homework and sign up for different training courses that will help you advance your career.
Professional certifications hold immense value in the finance field as they validate your expertise and commitment to the industry. Certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) can significantly enhance your career prospects. If you are wondering how long you should prepare for the SIE test, the duration may vary depending on your existing knowledge and experience, but it is generally recommended to dedicate several weeks to a few months for comprehensive preparation, including studying relevant materials, taking practice exams, and seeking additional guidance if needed. It’s important to balance thorough preparation and avoiding burnout, so creating a study schedule and setting realistic goals can help you effectively manage your time while preparing for the SIE test.
Get a mentor
In professional life, there is always a person that you admire the most. He/she is usually your superior, who you look up to as your idol. If you want a successful career, try asking them to become your professional mentor. Having been said that, asking them outright may not get them interested. Thus, it would help if you approached them gradually. Ask thoughtful questions, lightly inquire whether they are interested in mentoring someone, and then see what your chances are. Once you have built a good relationship, they will be more willing to guide you towards your professional goals. This way, you can gain knowledge and receive constructive and honest feedback.
Build Your Network
Career networking helps you to connect with other professionals in your field. For this, you should participate in your local networking groups and attend as many work events as you can. You can also use social networking sites to connect with similar professionals in your area. Once you build a network, you can discuss your career prospects and ask questions about minute details without being judged. It might feel stupid now, but you won’t believe how many professionals are eager to help rising talent.
Work with a team
Cross-training with peers is an excellent opportunity to develop new skills and gain experience. When you work with a team, you get ample opportunities to learn something new from each team member. And it’s not just beneficial for you alone. You can also help other members of the team advance in their careers as well. By building good working relationships, you can all help each other grow professionally.
Work as a freelancer
We live in a fast-paced world, thanks to technological advancement. Technology these days has opened the gates to online freelancing. Some employees have quit their jobs to pursue freelancing as a full-time career. You can also tap into the freelancing marketplace while still learning. People who hire freelancers often prefer to work with rookies. Meaning, it is an excellent way to gain experience in the position you are after. And who knows? Maybe you like freelancing so much that you won’t want to go back.
Volunteering can expand your experience and exposure to life. It enables you to learn new skills, meet new people, and experience something entirely different from what you usually do. Whether you want to explore your passion or try something new, indulging in volunteer work has a huge payoff. Some employers actually value the experience of volunteer work when hiring new workers. They find the soft skills you learn through volunteering very desirable. So whether you want to build some new skills or practice what you recently learned, participate in volunteer work.
Show Your Aptitude
Once you are sure and confident about your new skills, ask for more responsibilities. Let your employer know that you can now shoulder the burden of other roles as well. For example, if you are interested in the position of a Human Resource (HR) officer, you must show your interest in the field. Since it is a sought after position due to job security and high human resource specialist salary, you might face competition. That is why it is imperative to have the knowledge and some prior experience in people-focused positions. Similarly, if you are looking for an IT job, you should have sound knowledge of new technology. Meaning, if you show your superiors that you can do your dream job efficiently, you will get it sooner or later.
Upskilling is a way to bridge the skill gap and make yourself valuable to your employer. So take out some time from your busy schedule and stay up to date about advancements in your field. Some employers take a serious interest in their employee’s development and arrange courses for their professional growth. At the same time, others plan to do it themselves.
However, no matter which category you belong to, upskilling surely help you achieve your career goals. Hence, regardless of the pathway you take, rest assured that it will lead to prosperity and long-term job security.