It’s called a “comfort zone” for a reason. Everyday tasks and familiar skills are comfortable. By implication, learning is difficult. You have to adapt to new practices and learn new techniques.
Upskilling is learning for those who completed education long ago and have careers. Let’s look at some methods of upskilling and the reasons for using them.
Types of Learning
Sometimes called eLearning, self-led courses are flexible. You can work when and where you want and for as long as you want.
It might seem a solitary pursuit, but most eLearning sites utilize live chat providers so you can interact with other learners and share your experiences.
Video, audio, and interactivity features enhance the user experience further, and provide variation.
Another advantage here is that many eLearning courses are free.
Remote classes are usually held via free HD conference call services. This means you have live contact with a tutor, and you can interact with learners. Breakout rooms allow for group activities. Screen sharing means that presentations and video content are easily shared.
Tutor-led courses provide the benefits of classroom learning, but without travel. This reduces carbon footprint. It can also benefit those with anxiety issues.
If you’re job hunting, remote learning can prepare you for work by providing structure, routine, and motivation.
Anyone who’s been to school knows the benefits of face-to-face learning. It’s still the most engaging way to exchange ideas and impart knowledge. It doesn’t have to be in college; your employer might use external training services in your workplace.
Learning during Unemployment
If you’re currently unemployed, there is no better time to upskill. You can acquire qualifications that you won’t have time to gain when working. It shows potential employers that you’re self-motivated, too.
Upskilling keeps you active because you’re learning, organizing your time, reading and writing, and interacting with technology.
Regardless of your career so far, learning a new language or learning how to use accounting software looks good on your résumé and improves employability.
Technology evolves fast and work environments can change quickly. Upskilling is essential in maintaining and improving your employability.
Mind the Skills Gap
There are jobs that employers struggle to fill because there aren’t enough skilled workers available. This is the skills gap. The only way to fill it is by acquiring the skills that employers look for.
It’s easier to break up a journey into short sprints than it is to run a marathon. Similarly, it’s easier to set a series of achievable short-term goals than to pursue your ambitions head-on.
Once you’ve hit one target, you’ll have the confidence and drive to move onto the next.
For example, researching eLearning and enrolling on a course by the end of the week would be a great goal to set yourself.
Infobase has 80,000+ microlearning videos and hundreds of professionally developed courses designed to help you master new skills, practice concepts, share ideas, and assess learning. Learn more here.
Of course, many of the benefits of upskilling when you’re unemployed also apply here. Yet there are a fresh set of benefits to training development that should appeal to everyone.
The Benefits for Employees
Upskilling is a great way of showing a willingness to progress. This can make it easier to negotiate a pay rise or a promotion.
Even if you’re happy in your job and have no plans to move on, it’s still wise to upskill. Keep abreast of industry developments. Subscribe to podcasts and listen on your commute. Watch TED talks at home. Do tutorials to keep up to date with software.
If you want a change of career, your employer may be prepared to provide training and move you internally. A graphic designer can learn how to manage a software development project. You can also upskill by shadowing or asking if colleagues will mentor you, gaining from their experience and learning their roles.
You could do some research and find a suitable course. Work out how much it would cost. Put together a short presentation or draft an email, pointing out what the potential benefits and ROI might be.
If you don’t know what you want to do, ask your manager what training would improve your performance. They may have ideas for courses that would be mutually beneficial.
It might seem daunting, but you could add another income source if you maximize your time as a freelancer.
The Benefits for Employers
Invest in your employees and they will feel valued. It boosts productivity and ROI. It promotes team building and employee retention, and it lifts morale.
It’s a great way to reward your team if they get a break from their workstations to learn new skills. They will return refreshed, recharged, and re-energized.
Cross-training means pooling the skills you already have. Then, if someone leaves your organization, their skills won’t leave with them. If your employees understand each other’s roles, it builds empathy and camaraderie.
It’s helpful if everyone in marketing knows how to use a business process management system and not just the manager. The team can step in if the manager is away, and the whole department might feel ambitions to step into management.
Companies like having employees with leadership skills. It means they can promote from within. It will inspire your whole workforce if they see there is a clear path to management.
Practical Learning Benefits
If you have an office in Berlin, it would be logical for your staff to learn German. If you have a lot of Hispanic customers, it would be sensible to learn Spanish.
Getting your staff certified increases credibility for potential customers and investors.
Meditation and yoga classes can reduce stress and maintain good mental health. This could provide a better ROI than a lot of business outgoings!
Utilize Your Assets
Most businesses subscribe to SaaS suites. Do certain apps never get opened because nobody can use them? You’re paying for powerful tools that are lying dormant.
Why not set aside Friday afternoons for tutorials and eLearning courses? Experience the advantages of training videos, and stay a step ahead of the competition.
Every Day Is a School Day
Learning can benefit you in unpredictable ways. For example, a customer care course is designed to train people for retail jobs. But it can also help a freelance sound engineer find and retain clients.
Upskilling can help more than just your career. It can enhance your social skills and decision-making, it can improve your sense of wellbeing, and it can help you maintain good mental health.
It can even feel comfortable.
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