Staying relevant in an increasingly digital world means upskilling is the new normal for those who want to remain at the forefront of their industry and progress their career.
So, what is upskilling, and what’s the best way to achieve learning goals? We spoke to a human resource (HR) professional to find out.
What is Upskilling?
Upskilling is an investment in continuous learning in the form of training programs, professional development and personal development to acquire new skills and knowledge that fill skills gaps.
HR, Leadership and people management expert Karen Gately believes continuous learning is important at any age, and any stage of your career for to achieve objectives, maintain purpose, keep giving and to feel energised and maintain engagement.
- Achieve Your Objectives. Whether you want to advance further in your career, change direction altogether or ensure greater job security, continuing to learn is essential. Keeping pace with the demands of your role, profession or your industry requires that you take deliberate steps to learn the skills and gain the experience needed not only today but also into the future.
- Maintain Purpose. The strength of our spirit is typically influenced by the extent to which we find purpose and meaning in our work. It’s common for people to change career paths multiple times in their life. Taking those steps successfully always requires learning more.
- Keep Giving. Many people choose to continue to contribute to their profession or community well beyond retirement; whether that be, for example, through volunteer work or mentoring. Continuing to learn is important to our ability to play these roles well and gain a sense of achievement through the experience.
- Be Energised and Maintain Engagement. Learning about mastering topics or roles we enjoy unquestionably influences the strength of our spirit. Developing skills needed for your current role matters, but so too does investing in areas you enjoy. Disinterest undoubtedly is among the biggest obstacle to learning. Any parent of a teenager is likely to understand that.
5 Steps to Upskill Throughout Your Career.
So, it’s essential to upskill, but how do you go about it?
Ms Gately said it’s important to know what you want and why, leverage other people, reflect, listen and connect to upskill at any age, and any stage of your career.
- Know What You Want and Why. Having a clear view of your goals and aspiration will allow you to see how you need to grow to get there. Understanding why you want to achieve what you do will make a big difference in your ability to stay the course and keep moving forward when things get difficult.
- Leverage Other People. If you’re unsure what the future might look like for you, seek the guidance of a coach or mentor. A coach will help you to think through the issue and reach decisions that work best for you. A mentor, on the other hand, will share their lessons learned along a similar journey. Talk to friends and family who have an experience they can share or observations of you that may help you to gain greater clarity.
- Reflect. Look back on your past experiences and understand what you would now do differently. Reflect regularly on what is working well and how you still need to learn and grow. Consider how you can become a better version of yourself or achieve improved outcomes.
- Listen. All too often, people focus on justifying their position rather than listening to the insights people offer. We can all learn from the people around us if we are willing to listen and seek to understand. That is, understand not only what they are saying, but also why. Just as important is your ability to listen to the conversations happening in your mind. Recognise, for example, when you are talking yourself out of putting your hand up to learn a new skill because you fear failure.
- Connect. Spend time with people who share your interests or objectives and are willing to learn together. Look for peers across your industry or profession that you believe will challenge your thinking and deepen your insights.
There are many reasons to upskill. The most important, though, is to stay ahead of the game in an increasingly competitive and fast-moving employment market.
So, don’t get stuck in your comfort zone – find an online professional development course that’s right for you and give yourself the best opportunity to change careers, gain a promotion or receive a higher salary today.
Australian Online Courses
We pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality, unique professional development online courses in Australia to boost your career prospects in any industry.
Our innovative eLearning platform allows you to study around life, work and family commitments from the comfort of home, or anywhere that suits your learning, at your own pace.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re serious about taking your career to the next level, enrol in a flexible, online professional development course today.