Technology has given us many things, and workers today have more opportunities than in previous generations. However, more opportunities also mean fiercer competition and to succeed in your career, skills training is essential.
How you approach each job role could define your future, and a proactive approach to professional development is key to a successful working life.
In this post, we’ll reveal the best ways to keep your knowledge and skills up to date, but before we dive in, we should look at why changing employment trends are creating a more competitive professional environment.
A Job Was For Life – But It Isn’t Any More
Many years ago, people would enter the workforce at a young age and stay in the same job for the duration of their career.
The primary aim of most young workers was to get their foot in the door of a particular company, earn their monthly pay and maybe work for a promotion.
Children would often follow in their parent’s footsteps, and people in working-class towns were likelier to do this.
For example, people in the mining communities would often have their careers planned before leaving school because the main priority was contributing to the families living costs.
However, technology (and politics) would soon change all of that, and by the 1980s, the changing working environment meant that people would begin to seek more opportunities.
Young people would be able to find more enriching careers through their education, and it was no longer the norm for a person’s future to be defined by the class system they were born into.
Today, anyone can enjoy a career as a professional – but why do people want more?
Let’s find out.
Why Do People Want More Today?
We live in a world that’s becoming increasingly more competitive as people search for more fulfilling careers. Until the technology revolution, many people would leave school, find a job and stay in that role until they reached retirement age.
Today, people are unlikely to stay in the same job role for years. According to the UK College Of Business and Computing, the average person in the UK has six different job roles in their working life, with many people changing careers during that time.
Health and social care has the highest employee turnover, with an average of one in three workers leaving the industry annually (Homecare).
Many believe this is due to lower wages and a stressful working environment, but it could also be because the industry is so easy for unskilled workers to find employment.
These statistics give us an idea of how unsatisfied many UK workers are. While some would say the grass isn’t always greener, better career opportunities create a more stable economy.
The Competitive Career Battle
In a world where people are always looking for more, finding a job that meets all your needs can be challenging. With technology making the world bigger – but also smaller in some ways – there’s more competition than ever before.
The days of leaving school and finding a job for life are long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful career. In fact, many people wouldn’t want to stay in the same job for years because more opportunities are available now.
The secret to success? Be proactive about your professional development and keep your skills and knowledge up to date.
Next, we’ll cover some of the best ways to continue building your skills and developing your career.
Progressing Within Your Industry
You might find that you love the industry you work in but feel you’re not moving in the direction you want. There are plenty of ways to set yourself apart from others and show your current employer that you’re worth the investment.
If that doesn’t work, then you can skill up and find future career opportunities within your industry.
Use Social Media To Follow Industry Trends
Social media is a great way to get insights into your chosen industry and discover the latest trends. By following the right people and reading articles from reliable sources, you can quickly understand what’s happening in your field.
You can also use social media to connect with other professionals, which we’ll discuss later. For now, try following some relevant hashtags on Twitter or look for groups on LinkedIn that focus on your industry.
Subscribe To Industry Newsletters/Magazines
Another great way to stay up-to-date with your industry is to subscribe to newsletters or magazines. This can be a great way to get concise, reliable information relevant to your field.
You can also use these subscriptions to build your professional network, as you’ll be able to connect with other professionals who are interested in the same things.
Attend Industry Events
Industry events allow you to meet other professionals and learn about the latest trends. These events can range from small conferences to large trade shows, so there’s sure to be something relevant to you.
If you’re looking for an event that’s specifically tailored toward your industry, try searching for relevant terms online, and you should be able to find one that suits your needs.
Let’s not forget that the internet means you don’t need to travel to events anymore, with plenty of online networking groups and webinars available.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
If you’re looking for more structured ways to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date, then continuing professional development (CPD) could be a good option. CPD covers a wide range of activities, from attending courses to writing articles.
CPD activities can be used to develop new skills or to maintain and update existing ones. Many professional organisations offer CPD schemes that members can participate in, so it’s worth checking to see if there’s anything available in your field.
Find A Mentor
A mentor can be a helpful asset, providing guidance, support, and advice when it comes to your career. Many professionals are willing to mentor others because they know how challenging it is to climb the career ladder.
Mentors can help you identify your goals and develop a plan to achieve them. They also offer insights into their experiences and advice on dealing with difficult situations.
If you’re looking for a mentor, try asking someone you respect in your industry if they’d be willing to help you.
Alternatively, you can join the Bumble app and choose the networking option. While the application began as a dating app, it’s proving to be a valuable tool for professionals.
Speak To Your Employer
Some employers are so busy trying to manage the business that they can forget about ensuring their employees get the support they deserve.
If you feel your employer fails to invest in your future, it’s always a good idea to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction.
At STG (skills training providers Scotland), our experts regularly work with businesses to provide the best possible opportunities for companies to offer their employees enhanced training.
Whether it’s First Aid, renewable energy or management training, we go out of our way to offer a more bespoke experience.
If you’re not happy in your current industry, there’s nothing to stop you from making a career change. While it was much harder in the past, the internet has made it easier than ever to learn new skills.
Changing careers is a big decision, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re thinking about making a change, it’s essential to research and make sure it’s the right decision for you.
These are just a few ways to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date, so you can finally make that change to your future career.
Think About What Makes You Happy
When making a career change, it’s crucial to consider what makes you happy. If you’re unsatisfied with your current job, there’s a reason, and you should never jump into a decision.
Everyone has unique skills, but job satisfaction is more attributable to a person’s personality. You’ll be much happier if you can find a career that suits your personality and lifestyle.
For example, if you love working with people, then a job that involves customer service might be a good option.
Or, you might find that you don’t get enough enjoyment out of customer service anymore, and a career in social care could give you a sense of purpose.
Alternatively, a job that allows you to work remotely might be more suited to you if you prefer working alone.
The most important thing is to find something that makes you happy, so you can finally enjoy going to work again.
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, and you can use it to stay up-to-date with your industry. By volunteering for a relevant organisation, you’ll be able to learn new skills and knowledge while also giving back to the community.
There are many types of volunteering opportunities available, so it’s worth taking some time to find one that suits your needs.
You could volunteer for a local charity or even work with a professional organisation in the industry you’d like to transition to.
Networking is one of the most important things you can do for your career. By building relationships with other professionals, you’ll be able to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends.
You’ll also be able to get advice and support from people who have been in the industry for longer than you have.
There are many ways to network, so it’s crucial to find one that suits your needs. You could join a professional organisation or attend industry events.
Alternatively, you could use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals.
Take A New Course
If you’re looking to learn new skills, then taking a course is a great option. There are many different courses available, both online and offline. You can even find some specific to the industry you’re interested in.
Courses are a great way to learn new information, and they can also refresh your existing knowledge.
They’re also excellent for meeting new people, and many courses have an active forum or social media group where you can connect with other learners and share experiences.
The best thing is that so many courses are available, and you don’t necessarily need a degree. Some popular careers that people without degrees can explore include IT, marketing, consulting and joining a non-profit organisation.
If you want to start a degree but don’t have the finances to attend university, you can study at home through the Open University.
Internships aren’t just for young people who are starting their careers. They can also be excellent for experienced professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.
Internships allow you to work with a company and gain valuable experience. They’re also a great way to network, as you’ll be able to meet other professionals in the same industry as you.
There are many different types of internships available, so it’s essential to find one that suits your needs. You could apply for an internship at a local company or even work with a national organisation.
Things To Consider
When you’re trying to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date, there are a few things you need to consider.
First, you need to make sure you’re moving in the right direction and feel confident about your decision.
Some people go through stages where they don’t necessarily enjoy their job but regret making a significant change because it’s often an impulsive decision.
It’s also important to remember that learning new skills applies to all areas of your life, so there are always opportunities to develop personally, too.
Once you commit to professional development and enjoy learning, you’ll notice that staying motivated and excited about your career is much easier. Embrace change, be proactive, and you’ll find it much easier to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date.