When planning your career, up -skilling is important to consider throughout your working life, there are many ways to up-skill and that will differ depending on the field you work in. Think ahead, the people that are successful, are the people that think strategically about their career, and focus on their ‘ultimate goal’.

Firstly, identify what would benefit your career in the short, medium and long term, then strive towards achieving those goals within a set timeframe. It can be a good idea to consult colleagues, managers, and people that you respect and look up to in the industry to gain their valuable advice. These people known as mentors have been in your situation before; they have either made mistakes that you can avoid, or they have taken the right actions in order to achieve their successes. This advice is invaluable.

Some examples of up-skilling are in the form of formal qualifications, personal development courses, being involved in relevant industry bodies and attending talks and industry functions.  This will help you stand out from the crowd when you are active in the job market. You HAVE to make sure that you are one step ahead of your competition.

There are three major considerations when we discuss up-skilling………

Firstly, Formal Qualifications:

It is important to invest your time and money into the right qualifications for the career path that you want to take. It might sound simple, however it is surprising how many people go back to study and waste their time AND money on the wrong degree or diploma or certificate because they haven’t done their research. This can drastically slow down your career progression and potentially steer you in the wrong direction completely. Consult your Manager’s throughout your decision making process, they can advise which qualification  is best for you, they can also create the right opportunities and open the right doors if they know what your goals are. The right employers appreciate your honesty.

Secondly, Personal Development Courses:

These may not be formally recognised, however employers acknowledge the benefits and advantages these courses can have in your every day working life. They also recognise your individual dedication, effort and commitment taken to complete these courses. There are a number of personal development, management and leadership courses that are beneficial to emotionally prepare you for more senior positions. The further you progress and the more advancement you make in your career, the more responsibility you take on and the more pressure you face. These self development courses can help you become personally and emotionally prepared.

Thirdly, Industry Presentations & Conferences:

Take the time to attend industry functions, you will always learn something new and you can never know too much! Knowledge and information about your market, whether that be about major activity happening, trends in the market place, what your competitors are up to and even what your colleagues are up to is so important. Sometimes when we are working so hard and get caught up in the detail, it is hard to notice what is going on around us. It is really important to be connected to your industry as much as possible. Meet your competitors, attend industry functions, up-skill on your market sentiment. You may not see the benefit immediately, but you will in the long run. The majority of successful people in your industry would consider this as part of their job.