You are your own best investment.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty in many sectors. That uncertainty or delay of work means that many companies are struggling financially, if/when another recession comes it would becomes harder to gain employment and potentially hold onto the job you have.
Unfortunately we have no control over most external situations and that can lead to feelings of anxiety. However… what you can control is gaining additional knowledge, skills, maybe even learning a new software programme. These skills you learn could be the difference between securing that sought after position or falling short. When asked what you did in quarantine you won’t be stumbling around in brain fog instead you’ll be able to speak about everything you’ve learnt.
So what are the processes you can use for upskilling?
- Reading (click here for suggested architecture reading)
Does it need to be directly related to your job? No. Read about anything you are interested in. I’d recommend staying away from fiction unless its something classic such as George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’. My personal preference are books on psychology, sociology, history, neurology, art and of course anything discussing architectural discourse. It really up to you. You can buy affordable 2nd hand books on amazon, go paperless with amazon audible, pick some up at the library (when they reopen) or browse charity shops.
2. Gaining a new hobby (check out my Lincoln, Blackpool and Sheffield photography series’)
Rewind back to November 2018, I had saved money from my birthday and when Black Friday rolled around I made the decision to purchase my first camera, a Canon EOS 200D Digital SLR, a HUTACT tripod, bag and of course a screen protector. It was at the time an expensive purchase but it has been beyond useful for my course, whenever I go to a new city I can take the time to explore and photograph it. Appreciate the small details that often go unnoticed. Take a step back and look at your job, is there a hobby you want to try in the same or a similar sector?
3. Learning new software
It does not matter what job you are in there is always new software you could learn. Youtube and LinkedIn Learning have free and affordable courses. It takes a bit of time to initially set up but simply putting in 30 minutes a day will make such a difference. When you’re next at work and they need a specific programme to be used you are confident in your ability and can put your hand up.
4. Take a short online course
The internet really does hold a lot of Upskilling opportunities. I was recently looking for online courses after concluding my degree and came across Edx. Most of the courses offer a free option but for a small contribution you can gain a certificate. The universities that are making the courses are highly reputable and speaking from experience it is really rewarding to work towards the end goal of completion. I would pay attention to the level of skill required for each course, some are more entry level whereas others build upon a certain level of knowledge in that field.
5. Social media
Do you have a professional instagram account? Why not? Is your LinkedIn page up to date? Are you reading and engaging with other industry professionals? Again, why not? Social media is a powerful tool for business and entrepreneurship. Maintaining an online presence may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it lets potential employers or colleagues know what interests you, what you’ve been doing and how routinely you’ve been doing it. I post most of my blog posts to LinkedIn because I know I have followers who could be helped by the information I’m giving out
6. Updating documents
If you haven’t looked at your CV or Portfolio for 6 months, it’s probably time to. Even if you’re not applying for any positions keeping your documents up to date is a lot easier in smaller steps when projects or skills are fresh in your mind. Trying to update it 4/5 years later and you’re bound to forget things.
7. Download an app
There are plenty of learning-based apps out there that are free to download. Apps for learning a new language, taking courses, watching TED videos… Whatever you want to learn there is almost certainly an app for that.
I hope these 7 Upskilling Processes are useful for you. Quarantine has and will continue to be a challenging time for everyone, and I wish you all the best on your improvement journey. If you have any suggestions for others on ways they can Upskill leave a comment down below.
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