The job market and world of work are constantly changing, requiring candidates and existing employees to up their game to keep up by learning new skills but also update existing ones. While many employers offer the opportunity of training on the job, this isn’t an option for everyone, and the training courses available might not appeal to you. Therefore, it is important to take responsibility for your own professional development and take upskill strategies into your own hands, particularly if you are after a career change. Here are three tips to help get started.


Learn a language

Our world is becoming more globalised than ever, and that includes the developing job market. As companies increasingly branch out and expand across other countries, knowing another language can really help you to stand out and provide you with more professional opportunities. Not only will learning another language help you to move up in your current job or even create an opportunity for an overseas move, but it is also a very specialist skill meaning that you can command a much higher salary. It will also help you to stand out against the competition in this increasingly competitive job market, attracting the attention of many potential employers. While learning a language does take a lot of time and effort, those efforts will be highly rewarded in the end, giving you a sense of accomplishment not only in your career but personally as well. Take formal classes or hire a tutor but also look into online language learning tools such as Duolingo so that you can work on your language skills on your phone whenever you have a few minutes spare. Once you have picked up proficiency look into a business-specific language class for your chosen language, to allow you to really excel in your professional environment. 


Only choose something that genuinely interests you 

Don’t feel forced into choosing a skill just because there is a demand for it alone. While there may be currently a big demand and lots of opportunities for those with coding skills and knowledge, if you force yourself into this area without having a genuine interest and passion for it, you are ultimately not going to be happy. Even if you manage to push through and gain some new qualifications, you will fail when it comes to applying it in a professional setting as you will be miserable and hate it. If you are choosing to upskill yourself to boost your career, you have to make sure that it is something that you are passionate about enough that you can do day in and day out, up to five days a week. While seemingly obvious, doing a task or job that you find boring and dislike, will lead to greater errors and a big decrease in productivity, so do yourself a favour and really consider your options carefully before deciding which direction to go in.


Make the most of online tools and courses

Now that more and more people will be spending their time indoors and at home this winter due to the current pandemic, it is the perfect time to make use of those long evenings to invest and sign up to some online courses. However, before you take the plunge, it is important to get yourself familiar with the kind of qualifications and skills you need, particularly if you are looking to enter into a brand new career field. One of the best ways to do this is to look at various job boards such as, Indeed, and Glassdoor to look at available jobs that might interest you and see what skills and experience you would need to be considered for the position. You can then choose an online course, or even degree if you really want to take the plunge and gain a high-level qualification, based on what you need. Many courses these days offer flexible, part-time options so that you can fit them alongside your everyday responsibilities and jobs, and will make you a much more desirable candidate when making future job applications.