Linear career paths are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, with emerging technologies, diversification, and new partnerships. This means that employers are increasingly needing to upskill their staff in order to keep up with the realities of their industry.
Employees are clearly thinking about the changing dynamics of the workplace too, with a recent survey carried out by LHH on LinkedIn showing that a staggering 89% are planning to upskill this year to be better prepared for future roles.
With so many willing to pick up new skills as necessary, it's important not to be left behind. If you let your skill set become stagnant then you are far less likely to be able to advance within your current organization, or even find a new role in future.
If you want to learn new skills that make you more valuable to your employer, and you want them to take an active role in your development by giving you the time, resources, and funds to learn, then it's important to know how to ask. You want to position yourself as someone with an appetite for learning, someone who will repay the investment with excellent work, ideas, and commitment.
Here's how to do it:
- Find out what your company's polices are towards employee education. A chat with the HR team or even your line manager should be enough to get the ball rolling and give you an idea where you stand in terms of opportunities, budgets, and time allowances.
- Prepare a case. It's not enough to just pick a topic, you need to show your higher-ups exactly how your upskilling and career advancement will help you support the company's business objectives and give good ROI. Include concrete ideas of the type of tasks that new skills will allow you carry out.
- Show how you’ve previously demonstrated that you’re keen to learn, grow, and take on new responsibilities. Examples from your time with the company will help your employer to see that you're worth investing in.
- Present your plan for how upskilling can be beneficial to you and the company clearly and concisely. A focus on goals and expectations, and how upskilling will achieve them, will be welcome proof that you've taken serious consideration over how and why you should upskill.
No matter what changes are happening in the job market, maintaining a growth mindset and taking the initiative to learn new skills will ensure your career path is fit for future. If you haven’t already, now is the time to ask your boss for training and education.