Upskilling Your Way to a New Job

Educate > Career

We all want to get ahead in life—but sometimes we just can’t seem to get there. Maybe you’ve been in a slump at work for years, or you’ve just graduated with a new degree but are still in the same job. Whatever the case, upskilling is a great way to boost your career.

Upskilling is also key to staying relevant in the workforce. About of employees are concerned about their jobs becoming automated in the near future. The good news is that you don’t have to be one of them. Around 84% of today’s workers are willing to adapt and learn new skills to keep up with the ever-changing job market. You can learn how to use technology and apply it to your current role with upskilling. This will help you stay competitive, even if machines eventually take over some of your tasks.

Upskilling isn’t as hard as you might think. It doesn’t require quitting your day job or taking on massive debt. Many people start by signing up for online learning or volunteering in the local community. This article will go over upskilling, its advantages, and several ways to get started.

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What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is defined as the process of developing new skills, knowledge, or abilities that will enhance your job performance and help you compete in the job market. It could be anything from learning how to use new software to enrolling in an educational program. The key thing about upskilling is that it doesn't have to cost money or take time away from your day-to-day work. And you can do it at any point during your career.

The Importance of Upskilling

In the modern world, upskilling is an essential part of any successful career because it allows you to adapt and adopt new skills to stay competitive in the workplace. According to McKinsey, 87% of companies agree that there is a skill gap among workers. This means that organizations believe that their employers will not be able to keep up with the demands of the modern economy. As a result, most organizations have begun to look at upskilling their employees as a way to increase their productivity and improve their performance.

The benefits of upskilling are numerous; however, it can be difficult for many people to incorporate it into their daily lives. One reason for this is that it can be costly and time-consuming. To ensure that you can utilize the benefits of upskilling, you need to make sure you have all the necessary tools available at your fingertips. Before we introduce you to some tools at your disposal, let’s explore some of the benefits of upskilling in your career.

Advantages of Upskilling

There are several instances where upskilling can be beneficial to your career goals, including in the following cases:

You’re looking for a career change

If you’re itching for a career change, upskilling can help you get to where you want to go—particularly if you are looking to break into a new field. More and more people feel less fulfilled when it comes to their initial career choices. Since the Great Resignation, 55% of Americans have been looking for new jobs. Acquiring new skills can help you find a new career path that aligns with your values and interests.

You want to improve your skills

Upskilling also provides a way to improve your skills and keep current with changing technology. The internet has indeed made it easier to learn new things, but there are still many skills that can only be learned in person. For example, you can learn a lot about how computers work by taking an introductory computer class at school or through a community college. Either way, upskilling is a great way to keep yourself current.

You want to enhance your career life

When you learn new skills, your qualifications grow, and you’ll have a wider variety of job opportunities at your disposal. For example, if you have a degree in graphic design but lack other marketing skills, taking a class on marketing can help you advance your career.

You want to increase your salary

Upskilling empowers you to ask for a raise. If you want to increase your current pay, you can demonstrate to your employer that you have acquired new skills since taking on the position to back up your request. If you can show your employer how these skills will help you in your current position, they will likely grant you a raise.

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Areas to Upskill

Upskilling can be achieved in many areas. Below we have listed a few areas where you can work on your skills.


Being an excellent leader is an asset in business. Fortunately, it’s a skill you can learn. The qualities that you need to be a good leader are communication, taking criticism, and being able to relate to people. To develop these skills, you need the opportunities to apply them. This can be achieved by taking part in leadership training and mentoring programs.


Being able to use technology effectively is becoming an essential element of the modern workforce. New technology is emerging every day, which will only increase in the next few years. Many employers are now using social media and web tools to communicate with their team, and technology is also providing new and exciting career opportunities. You can gain digital skills by participating in digital marketing, social media, and technical writing courses.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are skills that do not require much formal education. However, they are still a must for an employee to perform their job effectively. Look at every job description and you'll find a list of soft skills—or personality traits—that employers want. There is a reason, of course, and it's to do with how you perform the job's duties. Communication skills, emotional intelligence, and resilience are all examples of soft skills. To develop these soft skills, you can learn them by participating in human resource management and leadership development courses.


While there are many different types of analytics, the most popular ones are data mining and data analysis. These two fields can be applied to almost any industry, and you can use them to find out what your customers want, how they respond to your products, and how much they are spending on them. Analytics can also help you identify what is working well and what needs improvement in your business. To develop these skills, you should participate in courses such as business analytics.

How to Upskill on the Job

Sometimes, you don’t have to look outside your office for ways to upskill. Here are some possible methods for learning while on the job.

  • Ask your employer for more opportunities: If you tell your manager that you are looking to learn a new skill, they will likely be content to help you find learning opportunities within the company. If you’re open about what you would like to explore, they might assign you related tasks or even let you shadow another employee.
  • Take advantage of your education budget: Many employers offer a yearly allowance for employees to enroll in educational programs. If you’re unsure whether this is available to you, check with your employer to see if this is a part of your benefits package. Usually, these programs have to relate to your current role or prove how the program will benefit your performance.
  • Participate in training programs: Some employers offer on-site training programs to encourage ongoing learning among employees. This will be beneficial for your current role and help prepare you for other roles in the future.

Top Online Resources For Upskilling

Having a job where you're constantly learning is crucial to being an effective, productive employee. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the opportunities for learning outside of a classroom. Below are some online platforms you can upskill (and most offer affordable or free options).

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a relatively new venture from LinkedIn that provides online courses, which are aimed at giving people skills that can be applied to the workplace and that can be pursued at the convenience of your own home. The courses help you master all the essential skills a candidate needs to land a job, such as project management and leadership, and soft skills such as presentation skills and data analysis.


Coursera is the largest educational platform in the world—its mission is to help people improve their lives through education. Coursera provides free classes from some of the world’s best universities. These courses are not just lectures but are designed to be interactive with assignments and labs. You can take courses on various subjects, such as math, computer science, and business management.


Udemy is one of the largest online platforms for learning. It has a library of over 250,000 courses that experts teach in their field. You can learn about various topics and take classes on subjects like web development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Each course comes with an instructor’s guide, and you can learn in your own time.


EdX is an online learning platform that aims to provide all students access to the highest quality learning materials. EdX is based on the Harvard and MITx mission to create a world where all students can participate in and contribute to the highest quality, open and accessible education. EdX provides free online courses, free certificates, and free course materials to people everywhere who want to learn.


Udacity is a company that is focused on education, and they are currently at the forefront of a revolutionary change in how we learn and master new skills. For example, they offer nanodegrees and apprenticeships. Their courses are available to anyone, regardless of your current education level or work experience. Udacity takes pride in being a truly open platform, and they have no affiliation with any universities or companies.

Upskilling: How to Get Started in 4 Simple Steps

It is important to keep in mind that upskilling is a long-term investment. You should not expect to be able to implement all of the skills you want in a short period of time. You need to be patient and willing to make the necessary adjustments as you move forward with your career. With that in mind, here are four steps to help guide you on your path to upskilling.

Identify skills you want to learn

The first step in the process of learning new skills is to identify what interests you. If you are looking to improve your current skill set, you need to determine what areas for improvement are. Once you have found the skills you want to learn, you will need to identify which ones will be most beneficial. If you want a career in a new field, consider what skills are most important for a particular position.

When you have decided on your skill, you need to decide which training method is best for you. Are you going to learn from a trainer or self-study yourself? Will it be face-to-face or online? Will it be one-on-one or group training? There are many options available, and the choice depends on the following factors:

  • Your time availability
  • Your budget
  • What kind of learning environment suits you best

Create an actionable plan

After identifying the skill you want to learn, it is important to create a concrete plan to master it. The more time-consuming a skill is, the more important it is to focus on it instead of other less-important ones. For example, if learning a new programming language takes 10 hours a week, your focus should be on that skill at least 8 out of 10 weeks or 80% of the time. You should also be aware that each skill has its own set of rules and guidelines, which can vary depending on your chosen course or program.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when forming a plan:

  • What do you need to do to reach your goal?
  • How will you track your progress?
  • What are the learning materials that will help you learn, and what resources can help you achieve your goal?
  • How many days in a week will it take to complete your goal, and how much time each day will it take?
  • How often should you review what has been learned so far so that it can be retained in memory?

Put Your Skills to the Test

Once you have identified the skills you want to learn and created a plan for how you will learn them, you need to put your plan into action. It is possible to learn new skills without practicing them, but it is much easier if you can practice your new skills in a real-world environment. The best way to do this is by finding a mentor or someone who has already mastered the skill you are trying to learn. This person can show you the correct way to practice and help ensure that your efforts are successful.

After learning a new skill, it is important for you not to forget because it will still need some time before it can be implemented. If you don’t continue practicing this skill regularly, it will begin to fade away from your memory and may not be as effective as it could be later on down the road.

Start searching for new opportunities

If your end goal is to find a new job, you need to start looking for new opportunities. You can do this by looking for job listings in your desired field on the internet or by asking your current employer if they are hiring for another position.

You could also consider starting a blog and writing about the experiences that you have had with learning new skills. This could be a great way to publish details about how long it takes you to master a skill, and it could also be a good way to promote your skills in the future. If you do decide to start a blog, make sure that the content is relevant and interesting so that people will want to read it.

Other essential factors in this stage are:

  • Your resume: Make sure to highlight your new skill on your resume. If you’re changing careers, you will also want to tweak your resume to appeal to hiring managers according to the specific industry.
  • Networking: This will allow you to build relationships with people who work at companies and make new contacts from this event. You’ll more likely get noticed and increase your chances of getting hired when looking for jobs and finding employment opportunities in general.
  • Be proactive in applying for new positions: If you are applying for a job, you must be proactive in your approach. You should research the company's website, read the job description, and write a cover letter highlighting why you would be a great fit for the role. You should also include any skills and experience that could make you a better candidate than others who have applied for the same position.


It's easy to feel stuck in a career rut. Many of us find ourselves making the same career choices, doing the same jobs, following the same patterns that led us to our present situation. Much of this is due to career inertia, caused by our own habits and behavior.

For many people, career inertia prevents them from progressing in their careers for years. If you suffer from career inertia, you need to reverse the situation and become a more proactive individual who can take control of your career life. To do this, it is important to upskill. Start by learning the skills that employers are looking for so you can outshine your rivals in the job market.