Upskill or reskill: Why now is important more than ever in a time of uncertainty
July 10, 2020
With lockdown slowly but surely easing, many of us are left still with an uncertain future. As people are returning to work, the economy is shrinking and many jobs are at risk, with redundancies being made across the country.
It’s why now is the most important time to start thinking and investing in your future, whether that’s in the form of upskilling or reskilling.
That said it’s also been a period of reflection for many of us, it might be the best time to consider whether the career path you are on, is the one you want to stay on, or if it’s the right time to consider switching your future.
Upskill or reskill
You first need to consider whether you should upskill or reskill. Both are equally as important to help you grow, but you should decide whether you would benefit more from learning a new skill or expanding on your existing knowledge and skills.
Upskilling doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick to your current job or career. It can be easier to upskill as you may already have the base knowledge needed, so you can just build upon what you know. In some jobs, there is only so much you can learn and if your current employer doesn’t offer any training opportunities or allow you to shadow someone else’s work, you can sometimes be left at a dead end.
This is when upskilling will help you out, because regardless of your job situation post Covid, you will now be stronger in your current position or even able to progress or take on more responsibility.
Reskilling involves retraining and learning an entirely new skillset. This can sound daunting to some, but often its an exciting opportunity to take on. Again, this doesn’t have to lead to an entirely new career or even job role, but it expands your current skillset, setting you out apart from the rest.
Period of uncertainty
The lockdown threw pretty much everyone in a horrible period of uncertainty. Most people couldn’t work or had to work from home. There was a lot of uncertainty about when the world would go back to ‘normal’ and if there was now to be a new normal.
Many managed to keep their positions in the form of furlough, which was great for that current period, but what was to happen when they could return back? Would there be a job to go back to at all?
This is why being furloughed could be the perfect time to start investing in your future. Because of the uncertainty, you should always be prepared. Why not be prepared for the worst possible outcome? Upskill or reskill during the period of uncertainty, so you know that you have futureproofed your position or job role.
For everyone, we all now have found ourselves having much more free time on our hands. Whether you’ve been furloughed, are working from home or still working as usual, there is still much more time now as life has slowed down.
We can’t socialise like we used to and we are spending more time in our homes. What to do with all this time?
Free time like this won’t come around again. This is a great opportunity for you to make the most of it and invest time in your future. Learn something new or expand on your existing skills. It might not sound appealing to you at the moment, but it’s the best way of ensuring your future stays secure.
Plenty of competition
Lockdown has seen unemployment rise very dramatically. A huge number of people have lost their jobs as the economy shrinks. This means that now there is so much more competition applying for the few job opportunities that are being advertised.
As this will continue to happen, it’s important to set yourself above the rest. You need to look more appealing than other candidates. Use this period of time to expand your CV and skillset by upskilling or reskilling.
Myth of job security
We are now more aware than ever that job security is a myth. No matter the position or even how big the company, you are never ‘safe’ in your job. This means that you really need to ensure that you are good at what you do or alternatively, have something else to turn to if it all goes wrong!
It also gives us a perspective on our current job roles. Job security is a myth so why not spend our time on a job or career we actually care about instead of trying to ‘play it safe’.
Why not study a course?
We still don’t know how much longer lockdown will continue, although things are starting to ease, we could see a second wave or local lockdowns. Consider studying a course with Open Study College, where you are able to study for your course alongside other commitments.