This post is inspired by Day 28: Stretch Often of my book, Confidently You. The pandemic has professionals assessing their work and personal life depending on the shifts that they have had to make to accommodate and adjust to our new way of life and business. Some are confidently quitting their current role to find one that is a better fit for them. They may need to upskill or reskill to launch their intention to change their career path or choice industry or different working conditions. According to the World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs Report 2020, The window of opportunity to reskill and upskill workers has become shorter in the newly constrained labor market. For those workers set to remain in their roles, the share of core skills that will change in the next five years is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need reskilling.
Upskilling – Learning additional skills or enhancing existing abilities, often with the goal of advancement.
Reskilling – Learning a new set of skills or training for a new role, aiming to transition to a new job or different industry.
Upskilling and reskilling often require us goal getters to fully commit to the process and sometimes kick the imposter syndrome out of our thoughts, revise our schedule. So check out these five career planning strategy sessions to stretch out of your comfort zone of developing your skills to our next level of professional best.
- Research the skills gap for your current industry or the industry you’d like to transfer to for work. Assess your existing skills and identify skills that you may need or want to acquire. If you’re working, find out if your employer offers professional development resources that will help you upskill or reskill. If not, consider starting with LinkedIn Learning. You can connect to LinkedIn Learning for free through your local library or contact professional organizations within your industry for suggested professional development resource suggestions.
- Certifications vs. Degrees. Returning to school may be the first choice for some, but not the right choice. It may be a better fit for some to pursue an accredited certification that will verify their expertise and possibly warrant the pay increase that they may be seeking. Don’t forget to identify the short-term and long-term benefits to pursue either. Keep the planning perspective with the end goal in mind; there may be multiple phases that need completing leading up to the end goal. Along with the financial commitment to maintaining certification, if that concludes the best choice for you. Eliminating the surprises related to the investment of time and money is vital too.
- Pledge your time to finish what you start. Sometimes when professionals chose to upskill or reskill, they don’t effectively manage their time regardless of their intentions. Understandably, reaching a stall with no reboot date happens sometimes. If you encounter this unexpected detour, please do not talk yourself out of restarting. Remember, you’re capable, and your goals are worthy of you being accountable to accomplish them.
- Welcome support. Asking for help can shorten the learning gap and expand your professional network. Support of experts can help you gauge your understanding of the content you’re studying. A support system can be a source of good cheer to stay the course as well.
- Share Your Knowledge. Creating a platform to share your knowledge can also be an option to upskill or reskill. The product development process will teach you many things that can help you strengthen your skills (i.e., communication or planning) and learn new things to solidify the logistics of your platform (i.e., learning software or graphic design).