Developing Skills for Success
Your Guide to Upskilling and Reskilling
If you want to remain competitive then keeping up-to-date with new and emerging skills is a no-brainer. But, how do you do that when you’re already spending a huge chunk of your time dealing with your current workload?
Some companies – especially medium-sized and larger organisations – may already have training courses in place for staff. But not all have, and many have been disbanded anyhow with the pandemic and lockdown measures. Not only that, but their training may be company or industry specific. In other words, they’re not much use if you fancy altering your career path.
Recent surveys show that employers today are looking for communication expertise in addition to teamwork and leadership skills.
This has become ever more important with the huge increase in remote working over the past year or so. Areas of communication that are important to upskill include: writing emails, giving presentations, remotely collaborating, leading virtual meetings and managing stakeholders remotely.
Skills in this category include working alongside others on a project and learning how to delegate well. When it comes to leadership, it’s always a good idea to ask your manager for additional responsibility.
A new skill that has come along, specifically in light of the pandemic, is the ability to work alone. In other words, to be able to remain motivated and work effectively, despite all those distractions at home and without direct staff engagement. Certainly, it’s what many employees in the UK have been doing since March/April last year.
Understanding and being able to work with technology, especially software, has been a skill that employers have always looked for.
A skill that has become less looked for in light of the pandemic is financial experience. Attributes that come under this category include being able to budget well, understanding ROI, forecasting and the ability to analyse profit and loss statements.
How to upskill successfully
Take into account previous jobs you’ve had and what you learned there. Are there any particular areas you need to work on, for example presentations? It could be brushing up on existing skills or learning completely new ones.
Look at the skills needed for this new role – do they vary much with the ones you currently have? If so, it could mean going on a course or completing a qualification. But, this could be achieved via night school, day release or even distance learning. In fact, why not consider ‘microlearning.’
@MaggieWooll: “These bite-sized trainings are better for the retention of materials. Research shows that spaced-out learning in short bursts is better for long-term memory.”
Improving your skills fast
What if you don’t want to wait up to a year or more to get a qualification? Are there things you can do in the meantime to upskill? The answer is yes. You could, for instance:
- Listen to industry experts on podcasts
- Set up a subscription to an industry magazine
- Subscribe to email alerts from bloggers you enjoy reading
- Check out videos and Ted Talks from industry leaders
- Sign up for industry webinars that look interesting