How to Get the Job You Want While Working – Up-Skilling
The most successful people know that to achieve their career goals it’s important to be proactive and constantly increase their work skills. So while we can all gain experience and pick up new techniques on the job, there is a vast difference between this, and actively reaching-out to gain additional new skills, expand your knowledge base and upgrade your qualifications.
Luckily, you don’t need to leave your current role to embark on new training and learning programs. If you’re wondering how to get the job you want, a promotion or a pay rise, there are several approaches you can take to upskill at work.
There are two ways you can use volunteering to upskill. One is volunteering for a larger project at work that appears as a “stretch goal”. Put your hand up to do something outside your job description and learn as you go along. A good manager won’t throw you in the deep end. You can learn new skills from the experts at work, and that experience can be added to your resume.
The other way is to volunteer at various institutions that are aligned with your work goals and passions. Volunteering forces you to get outside of your comfort zone and work in a new environment, with new objectives and team cultures. You will interact with different people, learn new approaches and gain new insights, whilst also giving something back. Many prospective employers view volunteering favourably.
Again, there are two ways you can use mentoring to gain more skills while at work. The first is the classic mentor and mentee relationship. The mentor is usually a senior, more experienced person in your organisation, who can teach and guide you to develop a range of skills they’ve taken years to acquire.
The second is to mentor someone yourself. Imparting your knowledge to someone forces you to hone your communications skills and, by talking to others in your organisation, you may understand more about the business in general. You might understand various pain points for staff members or you could identify an efficiency of the business that can be improved. Importantly, as you explain your work, skills and experience, you may identify an important skills gap that needs filling.
Hit the Books, Podcasts and Online Tutorials
It may sound obvious but thanks to our online community there are literally thousands of courses you can sign up to upskill at anytime, anywhere. Moocs or Massive Open Online Courses are offered by some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, including Oxford, Harvard and MIT for free. Yes for free. You’re welcome.
You can also gain new skills closely aligned with your industry and role, with a range of specialist online educators. For example, there’s Udemy for courses as diverse as teacher training to photography, or General Assembly, that offers online or out-of-hours and weekend courses on all things digital. There’s also Lynda, an entire learning platform powered by LinkedIn with video courses produced by current experts in their field.
Podcasts are another flexible and easy way to access knowledge, news and insights from any industry. Turn the dead-time commuting to work into an information superhighway. In fact, any new source that can enrich your understanding of your chosen industry with relevant updated news, should be bookmarked on all your devices. Being able to talk the talk and have a strong grasp of the industry issues and hot topics, will help you identify future job prospects and opportunities.
Running a blog related to your profession is one way of announcing to the world that you are an expert in your chosen field. Whether you are or not might be debatable, but it will set you apart from your peers.
Blogging is a discipline in itself, it shows a level of organisation, thought and technical skill, and employers see this as a plus.
A keyword rich blog will also help you be discovered by recruiters searching for people with your skills and drive.
While it’s not strictly upskilling, networking can introduce you to some inspiring people working on projects that excite you. Networking helps you see clearly, the “end goal” of where you need to be in your career and the people that can help you get there. Understanding the path of others can raise questions about your own career path and give you special insight into your industry needs, compared to the skills you currently have.
Attending regular networking events will also help you keep up with industry demands and trends.