Learning and Skills Development for Career Advancement

Posted May 20th 2016

Learn to advance your career

Given the competitive nature of the job market today, it’s critical to stand out from the crowded field of candidates based to potential employers.  Having the qualifications and experience required for the job is now merely table-stakes – hiring decisions are no longer based on these basic requirements. 

Until recently having the “preferred” list of skills and experiences was a good way to stand-out.  Reality today is that most job candidates seeking those positions have most if not all of those “preferred” qualifications and experiences.

So how do you increase your attractiveness as a candidate? 

Having a connection to or relationship with someone in the company is certainly a tried and true way to do dramatically raise the odds of standing out.  Unfortunately, that’s not always practical or realistic for most of us based on the specifics of the positions or careers that we’re seeking – our personal networks have limits.

Develop an ongoing portfolio of skills and experiences

However, one thing that we can all do is to learn new skills and experiences that increase our value and potential to contribute to employers.  Actually, learning and developing new skills is a requirement in today's workplace.  So, how do we go about doing this?

Fortunately, there are many resources that provide access to training and learning that just was not possible previously.  From coding / programming camps like codeacademy to Lynda (paid video-based subscription) to Khan Academy (courses and lectures focused on students), there is a large and growing number of online learning resources making it easier to learn new career and job skills flexibly, based on each of our particular needs.

Best ongoing learning platform for your career 

Of the learning platforms available, the one that provides the best starting point for most is Udemy.  The key factors differentiating Udemy vs. other learning sites or platforms are:

  1. Large, growing pool of courses (over 40,000 courses available with ~800 new courses daily).
  2. Largest pool of students (over 2 million) taking the courses and providing valuable feedback / reviews of courses.
  3. Most diversified pool of courses – ranging from general life and career skills, test preparation courses, certification programs, and specific career / job related skills.
  4. Greatest range of pricing and course formats – many courses are free like this Accounting in 60 Minutes introductory course!

So let’s get started with the learning that we’ll need to continue to stay ahead of the career curve.  Here are the steps to take:

  1. Determine what career or job would be a good fit for you currently.  If you haven’t already done it, go here to take our free career test.
  2. Determine the career / job / position that you would like to target or prepare for by going to the overview of the job as in the example here and understand what kinds of qualifications and / or skills are required or suggested.  You may want to click on a sample job to see how that shows up for actual job listings currently.
  3. Look for courses that fit with the needs you identified for your position or career as in the example here.  If you are still not quite sure about what you want to focus on, there are a number of options that can help you get clearer about your career, jobs, and important trending skills that you may want to consider learning more about as in the sample listing below using a simple search on the site:

Continuing to enhance your skills leads to "going more places" and doing more things in your life

Continuing to add to the skills that you have available to potential employers will ensure you are always positioned optimally to pursue the career you want and get the job you are seeking.  Even if the specific skill or course may not be directly related to the job an employer may have at the time, she will value your appreciation for learning and increase your value in the relative to others.

Remember, “the more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  And there are many, many places to go at that.

Stay tuned for more ways to determine, find, and get the career that is right for you!  If you have suggestions on topics that you’d like us to address or simply have questions, please comment below or send us a note (kurt@whatcareerisrightforme.com).

- Kurt

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