The Importance of ‘Skilling Up’

In a competitive job market it is crucially important to find ways of creating for yourself an advantage over the competition. What makes you special? What do you have that the others do not? Professional development or skilling up can be the differentiator you seek especially in a country like ours where literacy is at 99% and a myriad of opportunities for affordable tertiary education exist. Degrees are a dime a dozen and what employers are looking for is that quality that makes you stand apart, head and shoulders above the rest – in other words your added value.

In case you missed it, a fast pace of change has become the new normal and if you stand still you will be left behind.

Not only is it critical for job seekers but for those already established in their career it can be an insurance policy against redundancy and stagnation. At a minimum, professionals should strive to keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field and be aware of changing trends and directions in their profession. In case you missed it, a fast pace of change has become the new normal and if you stand still you will be left behind.

By investing in yourself to keep learning and growing you are investing in the future of your career. This might mean seeking advanced qualifications or it may require strategic thinking to identify what skills would be complementary to those you already possess. For example, an experienced Marketing Officer possessing a bachelor’s degree in Marketing might consider broadening their skillset by pursuing a course in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics.

Ultimately, taking the initiative to enhance your skills and competencies can only redound positively to your career and personal development.

Here are 8 compelling reasons you should be skilling up.

  • Skilling up can pave the way for career advancement by increasing your marketable skills and expertise, credibility and recognition.
  • Skilling up allows you to remain relevant in the changing career landscape and keep pace with this digital age of ever-changing technologies by adopting and mastering new and emerging technological skills.
  • Skilling up can mitigate the threat of younger generations of graduates continually entering the workforce.
  • Skilling up can give you the multidisciplinary skills that are necessary to be prepared for and effectively handle emergent technologies that may be disruptive to old established business models. For example, consider how Amazon has changed retail, AirBnB has changed hospitality and Uber has changed public transport.
  • Skilling up equips you for transformative changes in the industry such as is occasioned by increasing application of digital tools and systems such as the Cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.
  • Skilling up empowers you to be able to have your pick of job opportunities because you increase the range of positions that you qualify for.
  • Skilling up allows you to avoid stagnation in your career by preparing you for the next level instead of passively awaiting that elusive promotion.
  • Skilling up signals to your current employer that you are forward-thinking, valuable, ambitious employee with growth potential.