Upskilling isn’t just a benefit for employees to create a stronger team. It’s something that employees need to prioritize. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, and that is especially true of our careers. Staff need to be able to stay agile and competitive. Upskilling is one way to stay one step ahead when it comes to employment, as company requirements evolve and technology advances.
With the World Economic Forum claiming that half of all global employees will need to upskill by 2025 due to automation and the rise in high-demand skills, there’s never been a better time to upskill to protect yourself against future disruption.
Closing the Gaps
Businesses are realizing there are many gaps in their teams that need filling. With technology moving as quickly as it is, the after-shocks of the pandemic affecting customer demand, and the ways in which companies are operating, the gaps are becoming apparent.
Wise employees will note the areas where companies are struggling, and the skills that are most in demand and work on acquiring them when it comes to filling those gaps.
Having these skills in your back pocket means you’re in a position to pivot quickly and successfully, should you choose to switch careers, or if an opportunity with your existing employer arises. From technological advances increasing the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals, to the rising need for qualified electricians, there are various wide-reaching skills that industries are grasping for.
Bring Value to a Business
Taking on new challenges and different roles gives staff the chance to gain new knowledge and grow in confidence, personally and professionally. Those insights can bring incredible value to a business. They make you an attractive candidate for vacancies or opportunities that arise on projects.
When you upskill, you’re able to play an active role in a business’ transformation. That’s a huge confidence boost.
Upskilling benefits you in gaining not just hard skills. Soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and diligence, are helpful, too. You’ll have the confidence to work closely with colleagues, share your ideas, and offer a fresh perspective — something that companies are seeking out more and more.
More digital literacy and flexibility across the team will help to transform businesses at scale, creating a culture of learning and putting both businesses and individuals in a stronger position if and when disruption occurs.
Expand your Industry Expertise
When you see the results from your upskill training and how it benefits you in the workplace, you’re more likely to stay up to date with the trends within the industry as a whole. It is more likely to spark your interest and passion for the role and to encourage you to want to learn more.
Companies want a knowledgeable and interested workforce. As an individual, having this broader understanding of your niche can help you stand out for all the right reasons — whether it’s bringing new ideas to a project that you’ve seen done successfully elsewhere or simply being more engaged in your work.
Protection Against the Decreasing Shelf Life of Skills
We’re in a period of rapid change and technology; Automation is moving at such an intense speed that it’s making some jobs redundant. Workers need to upskill to move into different roles, or they are at risk of being left behind or, worse, left unemployed.
Millions of people could be left without a job if they don’t take the initiative to build their skill set and strengthen their CV to leave them in a better place for the future of work.
Since 2020, businesses in virtually all industries have a renewed appreciation for adaptability. Upskilling keeps you agile and ensures that whatever you can face anything with flexibility –, whether it’s economic challenges, a need to pivot in a new direction, or simply a desire to try something new. It encourages employee growth and professional development, and that in turn helps to enhance job satisfaction and morale.
Workers want to be respected and appreciated. The opportunities that upskilling can provide help to increase happiness in the workplace and aid career progression. It shows employers that you’re willing to put in the hard work and that you have the grit and determination to handle challenges with ease.
Upskilling is beneficial for people of all walks of life, including those wanting to move up the career ladder, career switchers, and those wanting to enhance the skill set they already have.
But more than anything, upskilling can help to make employees more resilient against anything the future may hold, from shifts in demand, to technological advances and unforeseen crises like we experienced in 2020. It makes for stronger, more agile staff who can withstand changes with ease and confidence.
About the Author: Dakota Murphey contributed this blog to Workplace Fairness. Published with permission.