Upskilling: The need to keep learning

Upskilling: The need to keep learning

As humans, we’re constantly learning and changing. And in recent years, the world of work has been no different. With the rise of moving fully digital and the pandemic changing the normal office-bound work days, now more than ever employers and employees have needed to upskill themselves to keep up with the demands of an ever-changing world. 

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to the ability to learn new skills that your organisation needs to succeed. This requires workers to constantly add to their knowledge and skill set so that they can keep up with the changes in technology and how business is done. If companies and employees do not upskill, they may be left with a skill gap, which is a gap in the number of roles that require certain skills and the people that actually have those skills. 

Why you should upskill

There are a number of advantages to upskilling yourself and employees as a whole.

  • Boosts your chances of progressing in your career.
  • More opportunities for promotions or the ability to change industries if your skill set allows.
  • Adding to or improving your skills allows for more employment opportunities. 
  • You will have the relevant skills needed for your industry.
  • Helps you broaden your horizons and achieve your personal and professional goals.
  • Learn something new that may help you explore areas you haven’t before.
  • Could present opportunities to diversify your income or start a side hustle.

How you can upskill

Identify the gaps

The first step before embarking on developing your skills is to identify what is needed in your job business or industry you wish to enter. For example, if you run a small business where you currently don’t have the means to hire employees, you will have to take on all tasks from an accountant to the manufacturer to a marketer. This would require you to develop skills in areas you may know nothing about like social media marketing or how to do your business taxes, you will need to do something so you can learn these skills. Once you know what is needed, you can work on how to fill the need. 

Take an online course

The wonderful age of the internet has made the classroom virtual, meaning you can do just about any course from the comfort of your home. Online courses often allow you to complete the course at your own pace and timing, which is great if you are pressed for time. Some companies make online courses available for free to their employees, so be sure to make use of those resources when you can. If your company doesn’t offer those benefits, there are many websites like Coursera and Udemy that offer affordable courses, some with certificate options. 

Ask for opportunities at work

If you feel that you have more to offer in your job or wish to learn more about tasks outside your job requirements, set up a meeting with your manager to find out how you can expand your reach or get more career opportunities. 

Consume content linked to what you want to learn

Social media is a great tool for connecting you to free, easy-to-understand content that can help you develop your skill sets. Follow industry leaders and thinkers on platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram or TikTok. Listen to TedTalks or podcasts related to topics on what you’re learning. There is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, use it!

Attend workshops or join a group

If you prefer to learn things in person, connecting with like-minded people at workshops or groups can be for you. Workshops usually run for a day or two and can be a great way to get started in learning a skill as they will introduce you to an area of study or skills and provide you with resources or advice for your next steps. They also make for network opportunities. Similarly, groups put you in touch with people who may be on the same learning journey as you, so you can learn with and from each other. 

Thanks to technology, we have the opportunity to connect and learn more than ever. And while the world is quickly changing, we can make an effort to change with it and create new avenues for ourselves but we can only do so if we are willing to learn new things and upskill ourselves. And as discussed above, we thankfully have a lot of resources that can help make this possible. 

Have you been upskilling yourself this year? Please let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you. 

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