Investing in training to make yourself more marketable and convey your value to a company can help you get the job you want and develop your career. Upgrading your skills or even returning to school to brush up on your industry knowledge or further education is beneficial whether you are on furlough or have been out of work temporarily due to an illness or some other personal reason.


Soft skills and hard skills

People typically associate learning new skills as gaining or improving “hard” skills – ones you know that are tangible and frequently technical.

However, building soft skills is equally important because these are transferrable from job to job and can be helpful in any setting.

Some soft skills that companies typically value include the following:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity or out-of-the-box thinking
  • Openness to learning and new experiences
  • Emotional intelligence

Of course, your choice of learning and which skills to develop depend significantly on your chosen career path and the industry you intend to stay in or be employed in.


Is it time to upskill?

No matter your employment situation, level in your career, expertise, or the industry improving your credentials is crucial for career advancement and personal improvement. But how do you know it’s time to invest in upskilling?

Try the following checklist to help you decide if you should be upgrading your skills now:

  • Do you have time to work on upskilling?
  • What competencies or talents are in demand in your field or profession?
  • Which abilities would be beneficial for your career?
  • Do the courses and/or programs come with a fee? Do the costs fall within your price range?
  • Is your career or industry in demand?
  • Do you plan to change careers? If so, are you ready to commit the time and effort needed for training or upskilling?

Benefits of upskilling

There are many benefits to investing in yourself, in addition to the fact that upskilling is always a good choice wherever you are on your career journey.

Even after obtaining a degree or certificate, learning continues. Your increased academic knowledge can set you apart from the competition. Meanwhile, with experiential learning through work-study programs, you can gain or develop social skills like resilience and flexibility and other industry-relevant experiences. Putting your hard and soft skills together makes you a more well-rounded candidate, ensures relevance to the job, and improves proficiency.

Meanwhile, possessing a diverse skill set gives you access to more career opportunities and gives you the option to select from a range of professional pathways. Your openness to new experiences and eagerness to learn can also appeal to employers. 

The increasing dependence of workplaces on global communication and technology is evident in the widespread adoption of remote working and online collaboration. Therefore, IT knowledge has become an essential aspect of upskilling. Learning in-demand digital skills can make you useful across industries. Possessing in-demand digital skills can help you stay employed even during economic turmoil.

Learning new things is one way to find new interests, skills, and career paths. You never know how a skill set you gain could place you in the running for a managerial position in the future, even if you’re only learning out of curiosity. Growing in your career can result from your possession of complementary talents that make you qualified for specific roles – including ones you’ve never planned for. With all that in mind, anyone who chooses to upskill stands to advance in their career path and benefit.

Whatever your primary motivation, upskilling is a wise choice that can improve your employability and enhance your professional skills.