Mind & Body Productivity

The best time to upskill is now

Working from home in times of the COVID-19 pandemic is saving time, and upskilling is one of the most constructive ways of utilizing that time.

Most of the talk around upskilling revolves around the technology industry. Upskilling, however, is the key to stay abreast of the rapid changes in technology, workspace environments and future skills that the world needs, no matter your industry or career stage. For example, if you are a clerk, learn basic accounting. If you teach, learn multimedia tools and presentation skills to make lessons more engaging and interactive. And if you are unfamiliar with computing, now is the time to be computer savvy.

Do these 4 things before you decide to upskill.

  1. Choose a new skill wisely. Identify the most in-demand skills for your job. Speak to peers and managers, join professional groups on social channels like Facebook and LinkedIn, scour the internet for new and emerging skills, browse online school and university websites for new courses.
  2. Continue to upskill. Upskilling is not a one-time activity. The emergence of new skills is ongoing, and so should your acquisition of them.
  3. Make learning a habit. Keep the learning mode switched on in daily life. Reserve weekends if you are pursuing classroom training, and use evening hours if your learning is online. Manage your time better to balance work, life and learning.
  4. Think of new skills as profitable investments. Consider new skill acquisition as an investment that yields returns, not a drain on your time and financial resources. For example, many in the technology industry are training in additional skills such as Machine Learning, AI, Big Data and Cloud Computing that are highly prized. New and niche skills are always in demand and offer higher remunerations making the time and effort spent acquiring them a worthwhile investment.

The internet hosts a multitude of online learning platforms that offer choice, convenience and flexibility in courseware across a diversity of professions and industries, including, but not limited to business, management, technology, teaching, language, finance and accounting, customer service, marketing and sales. Start by exploring new skills on popular platforms like Coursera and LinkedInlearning.

By Romeo Coutinho

Rationalist, truth seeker, full time writer, part time dreamer.

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