How professional development gives you the competitive advantage

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

I speak with clients every day who are seeking a new career or would like to move to another position within their current company. Many individuals are seeking a new career but do not desire to learn a new skill or take the time to look for training opportunities with their current employer.

There is an enormous digital transformation that has occurred, and it will require that all individuals have the necessary technical skills to stay ahead.

When I worked in corporate America, I remember some of my colleagues jokingly stating, “I knew how to do everything in the office”. The statement was true, I took the time to learn every position in the company, and every position that was posted, I applied for it. I was building my skillsets.

Some of my career moves were lateral, but I wanted to have the skills and experience. Acquiring these additional skills made me the perfect fit for senior management roles because, after all, I could do everything in the office, I was cross-trained in every department, and had exceptional leadership skills. The training and skills I developed added to my value and gave me a competitive advantage in my industry.

Some companies do not provide training internally, but there are handfuls of online tools along with many reputable colleges and universities that offer courses to gain new skills.

Here are three reasons why upskilling is no longer optional in this job market.

1. Employees who have upskilled will enhance productivity in a company by creating lines of communication to flow smoother because of cross-training. What better way to add value at a company by being a quick learner and able to work across multiple departments, being an expert in your field.

2. Have you taken the time to check the career growth in your industry? If your industry shows significant growth over the next few years, then it is time to upskill and learn more in that industry, to keep you up to date.

3. Career progression is another reason that upskilling is in high demand. For many who are seeking a change in careers, professional development helps to do this. It gives you the power to choose the path you would like to take, based on your interests in what you choose for professional development.

I believe in upskilling to add more value to yourself and to be able to compete in the job market.

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