As we move forward towards the new normal of conducting business, more companies are placing a higher premium on employees who display competence in several industry-relevant skills. Professionals who display aptitude in interrelated fields relevant to their specific profession have an increased chance of receiving better pay and more benefits from their companies. These compensations are offered with the expectation that they will deliver higher-quality output to their organisations.
Thus, it has become crucial for the modern employee to remain nimble and adapt to the ever-changing needs of their profession. While technical skills may vary from industry to industry, taking the time to hone your specific competencies while learning new job-specific tasks may boost your online credibility and competitiveness in your chosen field.
That being said, building industry-relevant skills may become a daunting task for those who don’t know where to start. From enroling in comprehensive skills future courses to networking with the right individuals, this article explores five options you can consider.
Design a Professional Development Plan
To maximise your education, it’s a good idea to first create a professional development plan with realistic goals and a defined timeline. Consider what you want to achieve, including the skills that you believe will be relevant to your profession and how much time you are willing to allocate to upskilling. Take a look at your current skills and your competency in each of them, and ask yourself where you want to improve. This will help you focus your efforts on the right endeavours.
Keep in mind, however, that you should remain flexible in your education. While you should concentrate on the skills you need for, and are relevant to, your current profession, you should also be willing to learn new skills and technologies.
Enroll in a Suitable Professional Development Course
A professional development course can hone your existing skills and help build new ones related to your industry. These days, you no longer need to go out to find the right course for you, as many schools offer online courses that you can complete at your own pace. When looking for an appropriate school, look for institutes that provide Certificates of Competency (CoC) courses, ideally for emerging skill areas such as IT, engineering and applied health sciences. This way, you are assured that you will be upskilling yourself towards a more successful and fulfilling career.
Some of the more in-demand skills that are relevant across all industries include business management and marketing and infocomm technology. You may also want to look into programmes that teach you the basics of SEO, as most companies today have an online brand that they need to promote.
Supplement Lessons with Free Online Resources
While professional courses offer you the right educational support, you should also take advantage of the varied resources available on the internet. Look for free webinars being offered by industry experts, or follow them on their blogs and social media accounts. You can also look at video streaming websites for free educational videos on a specific subject. It is a good idea to be strategic and only go to relevant sites related to your profession. For example, design and media professionals may find short-form videos to be helpful in keeping up with the latest trends, but the same format may not hold much relevance for more technical jobs, such as chemical engineering.
Build a Strong Professional Network
There is so much to learn from other professionals in your field. It is a good practice to build a strong list of contacts who can help you develop the skills you need to thrive in your career. Join industry-specific online groups or start networking on social media platforms to connect with various people who are experts in the skills you want to learn. Be proactive and start a conversation with the people you admire as you keep in touch with former and current clients. More than likely, one or more of your contacts will know of other ways to build the industry skills that you need.
Attend Professional Events
Professional events give you unique opportunities to meet industry experts in person. Having face-to-face interactions with other professionals in your specific field can give you better insights into the relevant skills you need to develop and hone. Look for any professional event being hosted by a local company, business association or educational organisation in your area. These events can give you a venue for sharing ideas with colleagues and gaining a new perspective on various aspects of your current profession.
Building industry-relevant skills offers multiple advantages, not the least of which is an improved career. Maintaining enhanced skills, especially those taught through a certification program, can significantly boost your reliability and show your current employer or clients that you are committed and passionate about your profession. By taking every opportunity to stay on top of market trends while upholding industry standards, you improve your chances of being seen as a competitive player in your line of business.