Looking to further your career and advance up the corporate ladder? Then you need to upskill.
But what exactly is upskilling and why is it important?
Well, upskilling is defined as “the process of learning new skills.” In an ever-changing economy and in the presence of new technology, upskilling addresses the current skills gap that furthers the divide between job seekers and the skills employers require.
There are many benefits to upskilling, but for a job seeker as yourself, the most important is that upskilling allows you to become better at what you do.
Here are five ways to refine and update your skills, making you more appealing for your next career change.
Learn a new language
Global mobility means today’s business landscape is more diverse than ever before.
Having a second or third language under your belt opens up new doors to different opportunities. By becoming bilingual or multilingual, you not only demand a much higher salary, but you also attract greater demand for your skills and services.
If you want to start, begin with formal classes.
Then as you grow your language skills, complement those classes with additional learning through language apps like Duolingo or Babbel. As these apps are available through your smartphone, they make language learning accessible.
Learn to lead
Regardless of your position on the corporate ladder, the ability to lead is always in high demand. Having a balance of hard and soft skills is essential to becoming a leader.
Instead of waiting for the right opportunity to arise, start by taking a leadership personality test. Taking the time to understand your preferred leadership style and what makes you an effective leader will allow you to strengthen your management and executive skills.
From there, you can further develop those in-demand leadership skills through leadership building courses like strategy management courses. These will enable you to hone specific skills that don’t come naturally, such as strategic budgeting or organizational planning.
If you’re looking to land your dream job but don’t have the experience you need, volunteering can provide the right platform to build your experience and skills (not to mention, volunteering looks good on your CV).
While you’re giving back to your community, volunteering allows you to network and demonstrate your leadership ability and employability. You also get to challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone and learning how to work with a diverse group of people.
If volunteering opportunities are not available through your company, connect with local charities in your community or with local publicly funded services like libraries or community centers.
Start a journal
Starting a journal is one of the easiest forms of professional development. And the best thing about journaling is that anyone can do it; you don’t need to be an aspiring novelist to be good at journaling.
Keeping a journal has significant benefits to your career. From logging good ideas to listing valuable advice from mentors and venting out issues to learning from your lessons, having a journal allows you to record your professional experiences and observations.
To start, begin by journaling 15 minutes a day, preferably at the end of every workday. Work through the experience of the day, reflecting on the work you’ve done and your daily career-related achievements.
In no time at all, you’ll empower your career with your journal.
Seek a mentor
To develop the skills and abilities you need to advance your career, you will need the help of a mentor. Whether it’s an in-house program or an external one, mentorship is a great career development strategy to guide you through your career path.
An essential first step to finding the right mentor is to identify your individual career goals and motives. As a mentor can provide much-needed information and knowledge, knowing what you want out of the relationship will go a long way in establishing a fruitful relationship.
Reinventing yourself with upskilling
Whether you’re seeking progression within your organization or looking to climb the corporate ladder elsewhere, it’s important to arm yourself with the necessary skills and abilities. A good strategic approach to landing your dream job is through upskilling.
By cultivating and upgrading skills outside the workplace, you keep your skills sharp and relevant to your current role. And in time, the work you’ve put towards upskilling will pay off with your future employer.
With over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, Annick Nuyens first worked in the hospitality service industry and then moved to the knowledge industry. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and in-house training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.