5 Tips to Upskill and Future Proof Your Career

The Great Resignation is a big win for workers. It’s helped thousands find jobs with better pay and more benefits. You might be one of the professionals looking to achieve the same. However, more people resigning means more competition for coveted positions.

Fortunately, improving your expertise through upskilling can help you stand out from other candidates and future-proof your career. In fact, many experts and think tanks have relabeled the Great Resignation as the Great Relearning.

Yet this poses a number of questions. What skills should be learned? How exactly does one upskill? Below we offer a few tips to help you along.

Set Goals

Take a step back and review your career thus far. Ask yourself: where do you want to go from here? Answer by defining your short- and long-term goals. For example, lawyers may want to nab a job at a prestigious law firm and work their way up to becoming a partner or perhaps opening their own practice. Sales professionals might want to increase their sales by x% in a specific quarter and eventually manage their own team in a given region. The more specific the goal, the more guideposts there are to accomplish them.

Define Your Unknowns

Take stock of what you know and what you need to know to reach your goals. Nurses who want to conduct clinical research need a license, a master’s degree, and then a doctoral that specializes in research. Cybersecurity professionals who want to work in high-level positions like chief information security officer need to earn a number of necessary certifications. Making a list of your knowledge gaps will help further define what you need to learn.

Formulate a Learning Strategy

You can then work on developing your own curriculum by taking your unknowns and determining how best to fill them. Taking from the above examples, it’s clear that bridging the gap between registered nurse and nurse researcher requires going back to school and earning degrees in higher education. Meanwhile, getting certifications to further a cybersecurity career involves taking shorter-term courses offered by organizations like the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and the Computing Technology Industry Association.

Learn However You Can

However, upskilling can be expensive in some cases — so make use of any resource within reach. Career management expert LHH recommends that you ask your boss for more training. You can do so by first researching existing company policy for employee upskilling, then outlining to your employer how both you and the company can benefit from your upskilling. You can also join professional organizations like the National Association of Realtors or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as they offer many networking and mentoring opportunities. Many even offer discounts for new members.

Never Stop Learning

Practice your newfound skills constantly by finding ways to use them as you work. For example, a recently learned programming language can help automate a workflow that’s been bugging you for a while. But don’t stop once you reach your goal. Upskilling involves learning new things at every opportunity. If you see an industry-relevant TED Talk, watch it. If there’s a webinar you can attend, do so. Learning is a lifelong process — one that can improve both yourself and your career. Our January 31 success quote from Thich Nhat Hanh sums it up in a nutshell:

“We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.