If we have learned anything from the chaos of the last few years, it’s that the one thing we can always count on is change. This summer is proving to be no different, with higher-than-typical temperatures across much of the country, a summer surge of new COVID variants, and a growing cloud of economic uncertainty. Pair this with tumultuous world events, and it’s no wonder we may feel a bit off-kilter.
There are many things we can’t control. But one thing we can do is put ourselves in the best position so we’ll be ready to face challenges that come our way. Whether you’re happy in your job or were recently laid off, anyone can benefit from sharpening or expanding their skills.
Upskilling or reskilling is an investment in yourself, and doing so opens the door for future opportunity and advancement. And since summer is a time of embracing flexibility, why not shake up your routine and take the time to add more skills to your resume?
Your future self will thank you.
What is Upskilling, and Why Should It Be on Your Radar?
First, let’s start with the basics: what exactly is upskilling? You can think of it as a way to continually grow and evolve smaller skills that will help you become a better or more efficient worker. This can include “hard skills” such as learning the ins and outs of Excel to better manage data or taking a project management course to improve efficiency and productivity. You can also re-up your “soft skills,” which focus on things like becoming a more effective leader or learning how to give and receive feedback.
While past hiring practices placed heavy emphasis on one’s degree, roles, and connections, skills are considered the “currency of today’s labor market.” Work is evolving along with everything else, driven in part by technology. The pandemic accelerated this growth, forcing us to consider new ways of working and putting technological tools to the ultimate test.
This reframing of work only accentuated the skills-based hiring trend, causing employers and workers alike to reconsider what drives and builds success. It turns out that one of the most important markers of success for the future is not just what you’ve already learned, but what you’re willing to learn as the workforce continues to transform.
Think of upskilling as your secret weapon that will not only help you grow personally but can also deliver powerful tools that you can use to negotiate promotions and raises. Work your skills!
Hot Skills That Will Take You Far
The most exciting aspect of a skills-focused approach is that many skills are transferable and applicable across a multitude of industries, opening your career up to a world of possibilities. For example, project management is a skill that would be useful across a range of roles, not simply those that share the title.
While there are multiple skills you can learn and refine, we’d like to share some of the top skills companies are looking for today. They include both technical and non-technical skills.
How To Grow Your Skills
The great thing about upskilling is that it doesn’t require going back to school full-time. Instead, it’s something you can do even if you have a job, often from the comfort of home.
Featuring over 5,000 courses, certificates, and degrees, Coursera offers professionals a concrete way to level up your skills and often come away with tangible proof attesting to your mastery. You can earn a professional certificate on your own time or even earn a degree from top universities and colleges.
MasterClass is another great online resource. Though the classes may not offer markers of completion such as certificates or degrees, they are taught by world-class leaders in their fields. Brush up your sales and persuasion skills with a bestselling author, uncover the secrets of business success from top entrepreneurs, or learn how things like empathy and resilience can help you achieve your goals.
Another way to deepen your knowledge of topics you’re interested in is to connect with others in your industry. Subscribe to top industry newsletters to discover webinars that help you stay on top of timely trends. Find resources through your community networks, whether on LinkedIn or at a professional conference. Consider seeking out a career mentor to elevate your growth and take your career to the next level.
Did you know? The Mom Project’s RALLY program matches community members for dedicated 1-on-1 support that will elevate your career journey.
RISE to New Career Heights
The Mom Project has always led the movement to help women from diverse backgrounds remain in the workforce. To truly achieve this, we seek to understand barriers that moms, particularly women of color, have faced that have made realizing their full potential difficult, which led to the creation of our RISE program in late 2020.
RISE is an upskilling certification program designed to center women and moms of color, and reach those who are traditionally underrepresented in the workforce. The aim is to challenge stereotypes and create access to advancement in one’s career.
RISE is more than just a certification program. It provides the opportunity to connect with a community of moms and people who are committed to your growth and supporting you on your career path. Get help with your resume or talk about your lofty career ambitions.
While RISE has a wide range of Google and Salesforce certifications, the most sought-after programs include Google Project Management, Google Analytics, Google UX Design, and Salesforce Administration—all of which help moms take their careers to the next level.
Do It for Yourself
Remember that upskilling puts the power in your hands, not only making you a more valuable candidate, but also giving you the confidence you need to build the career of your dreams. Don’t let change intimidate you or allow fear to hold you back from starting something new. Instead, look at upskilling as a way to continually advance and discover new things about yourself.
The Mom Project supports women throughout their working motherhood journey. Search for career opportunities with vetted, family-friendly employers, and get access to job search tools, career development resources, and a thriving community of moms and allies. Sign up!