5 Questions to Help You Identify Areas for Upskilling

It is now a good opportunity to not only re-evaluate your current career direction, but also implement concrete actions to upskill yourself. Keeping your long-term career goals in mind, here are five questions to help you identify relevant areas for upskilling during this work-from-home period. — Contributed by Robert Walters Singapore

1. What am I interested in learning more about?

Getting started can be the toughest part of any journey, so it’s good to begin with something you have always been interested in. List all the areas you have an interest in and do an online search to find resources you can tap on. Start with something that calls out to you — this can be a course, workshop, webinar, or podcast. It doesn’t have to be directly related to your work; you’ll never know when these additional professional skills will come in handy.

2. What will make me shine at work?

You need to keep the momentum going and for many, the best way is to learn something relevant to your work, so you can easily see the immediate payoffs of your learning efforts. Identify areas of your work that you’re already good at, explore what will make you stand out more and focus on improving yourself within these areas.

3. What will make me less frustrated at work?

Upskilling doesn’t just have to be about learning new things — it can be about re-learning too. Take some time to think about what frustrates you the most every day. Is it your overflowing inbox, or your ever-growing to-do list? Is it spending large amounts of time on tedious administrative tasks, or perhaps communicating effectively with others? Once you’ve identified the “weak links” in your daily work, find out how to improve. This could include reaching out to a colleague to find out how they complete their administrative tasks quickly or reading articles on how you can manage your time more effectively.

4. What will help me develop a competitive advantage outside my job?

Even if you see yourself staying at your current role for the long-term, your career goals should not be tied to your job and company. In the long-run, what do you see yourself doing and what are the skills needed for you to work towards your goals?

5. Am I thinking holistically?

While it’s good to have specific upskilling areas to work on, make sure you’re considering the bigger picture and not leaving out opportunities for improvements.

Evaluate whether you are too focused on the soft skills and not enough of the hard skills, or vice versa. Are you exploring all the resources that you can be tapping on, or mostly just relying on a single approach? Are you challenging yourself enough, or perhaps challenging yourself too much such that it’s unsustainable in the long run?

Upskilling is a long and continuous journey, so make sure it’s sustainable, personally interesting and provides growth in various aspects of your professional life.

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