5 hottest well selected ideas to upgrade your career balance without schoolingJan 18, 2023
To decide whether you want to change jobs or prepare for the next-level role, the most important thing to know is that upskilling is what every employee needs to be doing every time.
Jobs are changing as business demands change, and employees are expected to prove their self-worth with increasingly higher expectations. There are plenty of ways to educate yourself and upskill without going back for traditional schooling. I am going to present five ways to upskill without going back to school.
Current shutdowns Of employees aren’t just the result of an uncertain economy. They’re also the result of jobs changing more quickly than employees can upskill to meet business needs. With rapid changes in technology, including digitalization and automation, it’s critical to own your upskilling to ensure you’ll be able to adapt to dynamic business needs.
Without continuously growing your skills, you could become outdated quicker than you realize in the business world.
There are plenty of ways to educate yourself and upskill without going back for a traditional schooling.
Here are five ways to upskill without going back to school:
Many careers offer certifications to prove you have both a baseline understanding of what’s required in a job or a mastery of best practices in a certain field.
For example, the Project Management Institute is globally recognized for its courses and PMP certification for project managers. Product School offers product management courses and certifications. SHRM and HRCI offer courses and exams to earn HR certifications.
There are dozens of certifications for other jobs as well, such as business analytics, business processes, inbound marketing, and leadership.
Certifications show you have knowledge, experience and capabilities in a certain field, which make them especially important if you’re transitioning careers and don’t have a lot of work experience in the new field.
Having those certifications as part of your credentials will help you break through many career opportunities and recruiter assumptions that you had no skills and capabilities about.
2. ONLINE LEARNING COURSES
There’s a wealth of learning platforms out there. LinkedIn Learning is one of the most recognized, but there are many others with courses that can take your functional and leadership skills to the next level.
Coursera, edX, Open Culture, and Khan Academy are just a few online resources that offer free courses. You’ll also find free courses from some of the top schools in the United States if ate all you are American citizen including MIT, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford.
While taking individual classes may not seem comparable to a four-year degree, showing you’re continuously learning and growing your skills is an attractive quality in an employee. The best way to showcase your relevant coursework is to add a “Continuous Learning” or “Continuous Education” section to your resume after your formal education.
Most internships, even paid ones, require that you be attending school. To qualify for many internships, you can register for a class at a local community college that would provide valuable knowledge in your field or the one you want to move into.
INTERNSHIPS, ROTATIONS, AND VOLUNTEERING
If you already have a full-time job, consider whether your boss would allow for a rotation in another area of the organization. You can find a passion in a job and get frustrated that you couldn’t intern like your classmates because you are working in your current job to support your family or your own education. Talk to your boss humanely you can be offered a chance to secure an internship in your area Of expertise.
For a lucky person, you can receive comments from a good employer like “Don’t come back. There are four openings in the department you interned for, and I expect you to prove you deserve one of them.”
So you not only interned for that department, but luckily your boss may have spotted for you a full-time job there immediately at the end of your internship. Just know, the key here is be good and communicative to your current employer.
This type of factory isn’t going to be feasible for every boss or company. Therefore, you may have to seek training on your own will and time. For example, if you want to move into accounting, consider joining a school board or non-profit board, volunteering at a familiar school as treasurer, or setting up your own small company if possible and taking on clients separate from your day job.
Another way to gain experience is to find a small business or family friend who can provide you an opportunity to help with one of their work projects, which will allow you to gain practical skills in areas such as analytics, customer acquisition, social media, or marketing.
Being paid is not much to be considered for gaining new or higher-level skills when those skills allow you to contribute more towards advancing a company’s goals.
If you have the potential, ask for work from another department at your organization. You’ll not only bring value to the company, you’ll also enhance your recognition.
Stretch assignments teach you new or higher-level skills while also challenging you to demonstrate those skills to the people who gave you the opportunity. So even if the project itself isn’t easily seen, at least someone will know what you can achieve.
Importantly, this type of stretch assignment cannot interfere with your day job. And while you may be wondering of doing work on the side, remember that the goal is to continue to raise your skills so you can be considered for the next opportunity — or be so valuable that the company can’t imagine functioning without you.
Mentors can provide so much more than a listening ear. The right mentor outside of your direct leadership or function will provide new perspectives on your work and how to boost your skills and challenge you to think with unique ideas.
When we’re heads over tails down in our work, we don’t always realize the bigger picture of the objective of assignments. If you find a mentor who is a senior leader in your organization, they’ll have deeper knowledge of the company’s growth and what capabilities will be needed as the company grows or shifts strategy.
Even if your mentor isn’t sure of what hard skills are needed, mastering visible skills like interpersonal communication, complex problem-solving, stakeholder alignment, and leadership is what advances employees to higher levels.
Having different perspectives on issues improves your thought leadership, which is critical in all jobs and will make you a fit candidate for later opportunities.
Whether you want to change jobs or prepare for the next-level role, the most important thing to know about upskilling is that every employee needs to be doing every time.
Jobs are changing as business demands change, and employees are expected to prove their value with increasingly higher expectations. Don’t lag behind when you can raise your skills to move on in this career competitive world.