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How Often Should You Upskill?

A term typically aimed at working professionals, ‘upskilling’ involves expanding the capabilities and skillsets of employees in their current roles to not only help them develop but to ensure that their industry knowledge and skills don’t become obsolete.

With markets constantly changing, evolving and adapting to stay relevant, upskilling is becoming a vital component in maximising employee potential as it encourages conscious and continued learning, benefitting both personal and professional development.

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Why businesses are upskilling

Post-pandemic, the workforce is much more fragile than it was, creating an even wider skills gap than before.

In other words, there is now a large divide between an employee and their current abilities versus the skillset they need to be best suited for the job at hand. 

This is not necessarily anyone’s fault, however, as the pandemic caused a shift in the working culture worldwide, forcing most people to work remotely, take on more work with less staff, and simply survive rather than thrive.

Due to these challenges, trends like quiet quitting, quiet firing and burnout have become more predominant in the workplace – all of which have an immense impact on employee wellness and motivation, and in turn, the bottom line of the business.

Organisations now, however, are realising that for employees to succeed, they need to provide better tools for wellness and development so that employees can adapt as necessary to the new world of work without feeling run down.

To this end, businesses are making upskilling a priority so that employees have the elevated knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs well without the added stress. Investing in their current employees, in turn, helps organisations future-proof their business by adding value and credibility to their brand.

As a result of focusing on current and capable employees rather than hiring new ones, companies are seeing increased productivity and employee retention all while avoiding the potential pitfalls of recruiting brand new employees.

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The benefits of upskilling

While upskilling often isn’t mandatory for many in their current roles, it tends to be considered a testament to your commitment to your professional development when you actively look to build on your existing skillset.

Aside from scoring a nod to your determination and drive, there are several other benefits that come with upskilling as an employee, including:

Increased confidence

Research states that 98% of workers say that they perform better in their role when they feel confident. This may seem like a no brainer, but the more competent you are in your role, the more confident you will be. Upskilling supports employees competency and ensures they have the up-to-date skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles.

Increased salary and benefits

The more relevant industry skills you have, the more attractive you will be to any employer. Upskilling gives you the upper hand as it allows you to become highly knowleadable in what you do, because of this you’ll stand out in your market, be able to negotiate a competitive salary and craft your ideal role.

Preparing for the future

Although this may not be your focus right now, it’s important to think about the future and if the skills that you currently hold will be relevant moving forward.

With new technologies such as datafication and trends such as quantum computing coming to life in 2023, it’s essential that you stay on top of the skills and trends relevant to your industry if you want to continue progressing in your career.

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So, how often should you upskill?

When it comes to the frequency of upskilling, this can really vary depending on the field that you work in and the amount of work required.

It’s recommended, however, that you should try to learn a new skill around every six months. This can help you stay ahead of the curve while also maintaining your confidence that you’re up to date with the tools you need to do your job right and elevate your potential.

If you’re not sure where to start, many providers (like us!) offer a wide range of globally recognised and 100% online qualifications in HR, L&D, accountancy, IT, management and more to help you upskill with the added flexibility your busy life needs.

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Free resources for upskilling

If you don’t have budget for a professional qualification at the minute, not to worry! Upskilling doesn’t need to be overwhelming, expensive or a major strain on your life in general. There are lots of different ways that you can incorporate upskilling and professional development into your working day, even if you work full-time!

Some simple – and fast – ways to upskill while you’re on the go, include:  

LinkedIn Learning: If bite-sized courses in Marketing, Design and Sales is something that interests you, LinkedIn Learning is a great platform to start with. With a community portal, you’re able to view what different courses your LinkedIn friends are also studying - which is a great way to make sure you’re learning the same skills and trends of people who are working in a similar job field to yourself.

HubSpot Academy: Known for their quick, practical courses, HubSpot Academy provides free online training for marketing, sales and customer service professionals. With a trending topics section and lots of guides to help you choose a course that is best suited to you, you’ll be in great hands with this worldwide leader.

Skillshare: If you have a creative eye and want to develop your skills further, Skillshare are known for their vocational courses and specialises in skills such as topic illustration, design, photography and video.

Google Digital Garage: We all know and use google in our everyday lives, however, most people aren’t aware that google also has its own learning academy. Packed with free content and specifically crafted with businesses in mind, all modules identify their learning hours – making it easy to choose a course based on your free time!

So, with endless benefits, low-cost options and hundreds of resources available, upskilling is definitely worth your time and effort as no one is going to invest more in yourself, than you!

Upskill with us and enrol on one of our 100% online courses in HR, L&D, IT, management and more!