Hands-on experience gained from your everyday responsibilities or project work within your job is integral to developing your skillset. However, completing relevant qualifications external to your employment and throughout your career is a great way to get yourself noticed, boost personal performance and keep your skills current within your field. According to The World Economic Forum, it is estimated that 42% of jobs will require different skills in the next three years. Whether it be a short course online or something more in-depth, the skills you learn can be immensely valuable in helping your career development. 

 

It helps you stand out from the crowd

 

It’s a competitive market out there. Many employers still have strict selection criteria, even in today’s post-pandemic climate, where candidates are scarce. They are looking for the best talent to fit their cultural and skills-based requirements. Candidates who continue to learn through extracurricular study to support their hands-on experience have the edge to demonstrate a passion for their career and their desire to remain current and competitive. Not to mention the attraction of the latest skills to help drive businesses forward.

  

Can allow you to reach the next step up in your career

 

Further study (alongside hard work) can also help you get promoted or take the next step in your career. You will learn valuable skills that you can apply to your work that can help to increase performance, improve outcomes or develop stronger relationships. Improving your job performance is a great way to get recognised and build a case for your next career step.

 

It helps build your professional network

 

Completing additional studies can lead you to meet new people and help to grow your networks. The saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is still highly relevant in today’s market. Building your network is highly important in business and careers today. Whether it be an online or in-person course, there are often forums to connect with people, group activities to bounce ideas and engage in discussion with others, study groups or networking opportunities you can join.

 

Can lead to new professional interests and career pathways

 

When undertaking a new course, you can be exposed to a new area you haven’t worked in before, or you may be taking a short course to try something new. This could lead to finding a subject you may not have realised is an area you enjoy. Take me for example, I completed a Work Health and Safety course relevant to temp and contracting agencies a few years ago, and I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it! This has led me to work across the contracting compliance space.

 

Whatever stage you are at in your career, continued learning can really help provide you with that edge to help you succeed and even provide you with skills you can use outside of work. So don’t forget that whilst working hard to build your career, keep an eye out for relevant courses and always keep learning.

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