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In a competitive work environment, it’s up to you to move your career forward. You have to be proactive and continually refine your skill sets to advance and thrive. The corporate climb is always evolving, and staying on top of the latest trends in the business world is key to ensuring that you enjoy many years of success and growth.

So how can you stay up to date and ensure that you remain competitive? The best way is to embrace the concept of “upskilling”—building on your existing skillsets with self-directed learning so that you can offer the most in-demand skills of the moment. Here are 5 ways to use upskilling to your advantage and adapt to the job market as needed.

1. Take Advantage of Online Learning

Anyone with the ambition and persistence to learn a new skill can find most of the resources they need online. There are many great learning platforms out there with tens of thousands of courses on every skill imaginable. Whether you want to learn the in-demand programming language Python or you’re curious about the basics of modern search engine optimization (SEO), you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a course to suit your needs.

Many of these courses take only a few hours to complete and don’t involve a huge financial investment. Instead of doing hours of homework and paying thousands of dollars, you can dabble in different subjects and quickly learn new skills needed in the workplace.

2. Certify Your Way up the Corporate Ladder

You don’t necessarily need a degree to climb the corporate ladder, but you may need certifications. For some technology networks, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), getting certified can be a great way to prove your skills and show you’re serious about your career. Udemy offers a number of Amazon Web Services (AWS) courses that are definitely worth checking out!

Depending on your industry and career, required or recommended certifications can vary. But if you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, then having verified skills can be key in landing those promotions and finding new opportunities for getting ahead in the workplace.

3. Learn the Latest In-Demand Skills

Skills come and go in the workplace. After all, when was the last time someone put “shorthand” into a list of job requirements? These days, in-demand skills seem to come and go in just a few years—or even months. That might seem overwhelming, but following these trends can really make a difference in your career and allow you to jump at good opportunities when they come along.

Some of the most important skills in today’s workplace are tech-related, of course, but others are “soft skills” that make up the basis for emotional intelligence or analytical skills like statistics. These skills can be applied to nearly any field and employers are looking out for candidates who have already put in the time to develop them.

4. Align With Peers Were Headed to the Top

Your coworkers, executives in your company, and your broader network can all be resources in helping you to learn and grow your job potential. Cultivating a network of motivated people who are interested in building their skills can be a great way to stay on top of trends, motivate yourself, and allow you to learn from others with different strengths. Even just meeting someone for coffee and picking their brain can be a great way to expand your mind and get you thinking about ways to climb the corporate ladder.

5. Stay on the Lookout for Opportunities

You can have the best, most in-demand skill set in the world, but if you’re not looking out for new opportunities then you’ll probably start to stagnate eventually. Innovation thrives when you’re given new challenges and situations. Being open to new jobs, projects, and opportunities is a great way to build your career and potential. While it can be a great idea to build up seniority in a company, that’s also no longer the most important factor in your ability to build a stable career. Sometimes, it makes sense to switch jobs or take on new responsibilities in order to grow. To do that, you need to keep your eyes open and learn to recognize a good opportunity when you see one.

Your Attitude Matters

When it comes to upskilling and innovation, you’re only limited by your own motivation and perseverance. A winning attitude, a little dedication, and the ability to embrace change and innovation can help you reach great heights.

About the author

Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.

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