Is it time to retrain or upskill? Keeping your knowledge fresh can help you boost your career prospects.

Is it time to retrain or upskill?

Whatever line of work you’re in, it’s important to keep your skills up to date. In a rapidly changing marketplace, new technologies and smarter ways of working are being introduced all the time. To avoid getting left behind, taking the time to retrain or upskill is quickly becoming a regular part of our lives at work.

Most organisations offer some sort of training as standard to make sure you’re up to date with new systems, company procedures or product launches for example. This might be formal, fixed sessions, online learning modules or simply on-the-job work-shadowing. You might also be offered external training to make sure you have the necessary skills and qualifications to keep doing your job.

Why is upskilling or reskilling so important?

Equipping you with the skills you need now and, in the future, helps employers stay competitive. It also makes sure they can cope with changing demand and prepare for upcoming plans – such as IT upgrades or new legislation.

But keeping your skills up to date should also be a personal priority. Maintaining a focus on continually learning new things, having an inquiring mind and challenging yourself to try something different are all good qualities to have. They may even help you to take on more responsibility at work, get recognised or secure a promotion or secondment.

With ongoing digital transformation, upskilling means you’re also more likely to move with the times and pace of change going on around you. Job roles are constantly changing, with new types of jobs being created that didn’t exist before and old ones becoming redundant.

Businesses are always on the look-out for ways to do things better and more efficiently so it’s a good idea to adopt this approach to your career development too.

How will taking the time to retrain or upskill help me?

If you prioritise learning new things as part of your everyday working life, you’ll soon see a number of benefits.

Firstly, you’ll be more confident in your own ability to do your job well. Being an expert will make things easier, reduce mistakes and help you get things done quicker. You might also find shortcuts or improvements that you can share with your line manager or co-workers that create efficiencies for your team or department too.

Learning new things will show your boss you’re adaptable and respond well to change. This skill will be valuable to them when they’re trying to introduce new ideas or ways of working to the rest of the team and know they can rely on you to take the lead.

They’ll therefore be more likely to throw things your way and know you’ll be able to cope. This could again open-up the opportunity for promotion, greater responsibility, more challenging work or simply the chance to keep on learning and developing your skills.

Above all, you’re more likely to prove yourself as indispensable. You have the skills the company wants, as well as the attitude and behaviours they want to instil. Keeping your finger on the pulse will help you get noticed at work (or even headhunted by other companies). It could even help you identify other career paths that you enjoy or secondments into another business area.

How do I get started?

Start by figuring out where your skills gaps lie or what skills you’d like to develop. Think about why those skills are important and what you’d like to achieve by gaining them. Is it to be better at your current job, work towards a promotion or a career change, or simply to do something you enjoy?

A good starting point is to look at the type of job you want to move into, whether that’s a step-up or a step-across. Read through some job advertisements and focus on the skills, competencies or specific qualifications required.

Once you know what sort of skills or training you need when you retrain or upskill, research the different types of learning on offer. There’s lots of different study options available – from online learning you can do in your own time, to part-time or full-time study in a classroom or 1-2-1. Blended learning is a mix of the two and could be a good option whilst you’re working.

You could also speak to your current employer to see if they can help. They may be able to offer you financial support towards the cost of a course or time-off to complete your studies. Sometimes they may also be able to access funding from local training providers to support you in getting the qualifications you need if it’s useful for the business’s growth.

Make sure you explore all your options as there are lots of free courses and short courses available on a flexible, low-cost basis. You might even be able to find webinars, seminars or networking events online, or find a mentor who’s willing to point you in the right direction.

There’s lots of free training courses available in Stockport – from skills bootcamps to online courses, apprenticeships to pre-employment programmes. Learn about the different training options and their availability criteria with our Training Resources. Make 2024 your time to retrain or upskill and give your career a boost!

Similar Posts