Stay Sharp In Your Industry: How To Keep Your Skills Up To Date

When you’ve been in the same role for a while, you might find that you quite often rely on the same skillset time and time again. It’s completely normal to feel as though you’re not staying sharp when you’re bogged down with your day to day tasks at work and, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who gets regular training, you could find yourself falling short when it comes to moving on to pastures new.

The job market is ever-changing, which comes as no surprise when you take into consideration that the average millennial is expected to change jobs 15-20 times in their life. Couple that with the fact that the landscape for many industries has changed dramatically thanks to technological advances, it’s wise to ensure you’ve got your best foot forward when you need to change jobs by investing in your personal and professional development by keeping your skills up to date.

So whether you’re looking to move jobs but are in desperate need of enhancing your current skillset before you take the plunge, or simply want to increase your value at your organisation - have a look at our top tips on keeping your skills current and staying sharp in your industry.

Research

If you find yourself feeling bewildered at all the unfamiliar minimum requirements needed for your dream job, you might be surprised to learn that you’re already on the right track. Research is everything when it comes to making yourself more hireable, so identifying the gaps in your skillset is the first step to padding out that CV.

Take a look at the latest jobs in your industry and take note of any recurring requirements that you might be missing. LinkedIn can also provide you with a lot of insight on what the successful people within your sector are doing right, take a look at the qualifications they have and cross-reference your findings from job ads to pinpoint the skills you need.

Don’t forget to keep eye out for any diplomas or certificates that make you more desirable as a candidate, you might invest in education to progress in your career.

Look internally

Sometimes the solution to your skill gap problem is right in front of you. Your employer might actually offer ample training solutions internally, or it may be something they’ve yet to consider. If your organisation has no training schemes in place, you should probably have something in mind that you can suggest. You never know, upskilling could land you a promotion!

You may need to fight your case by outlining how training will provide you with the tools to be more efficient at your job, or arm you with the ability to help them with a key business objective. Either way, it’s definitely worth a discussion with your HR department to see what’s on offer.

Swot up

If there’s no opportunity to learn on the job in your current role, you might have to look outside of your organisation to get the smarts you need. There’s an endless amount of learning resources out there across a plethora of subjects, the difficult part is deciding which one to go for.

If you know you’ll struggle to make night courses, there are plenty of online courses that you can take remotely to give your resume a healthy boost. Just make sure you do your homework before handing any money over, always make sure the certificate in question is actually recognised and valued by employers.

Experiment

Learning the theory behind a subject is one thing, but putting it into practice is another entirely. Depending on the industry you’re in, you might benefit from taking on some personal side projects to brush up on your skills in real life. This could be particularly fruitful if you’re in technology and haven’t got to worry about making mistakes on your employer’s time and money.

Learn from others

There are all sorts of meetups and networking groups that can help you get inspired when it comes to brushing up on your industry knowledge. Take it from us, if you can display awareness on the latest goings on in your sector – you’ll instantly be more attractive to potential employers.

Workshops are another great way to pick up valuable insight from others in your industry. Often those running workshops are looking to extend their network and get their name out there as an influencer in their market and will offer pearls of wisdom in exchange.

If you’re looking to change jobs but aren’t sure where to begin, have a look at our hottest new vacancies and take the first step to landing your dream role.

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Jodie Turberfield

4th September

Career Advice