Upskilling is the process of learning new skills to keep up with changing demand. By 2024, there will be an expected shortfall of four million highly skilled workers in the UK. That’s a substantial number of people missing skills, and a lot of job roles to fill. The pandemic has also had a significant impact on the job market. Research suggests that the UK economy is set to grow at its fastest rate in 70 years in a post-pandemic boom. Getting ahead by upskilling now will help you stay competitive. As a higher number of roles become automated, more people will need to upskill to qualify for alternative jobs. Companies will be looking for adaptable people who have taken the initiative to develop themselves. They’ll be seeking practical skills as well as soft skills, like creativity and problem-solving.
In this article, we look at four reasons why upskilling is so important.
What upskilling options are there?
Upskilling doesn’t have to mean formal education or retraining. Whilst these experiences are certainly valuable, there are plenty of other options available. For example, you could learn a new skill by listening to a podcast, doing a short online course, or attending a conference. Flexible options such as these mean you can stay up to date with industry news and trends, in a way that’s manageable alongside your existing workload.
4 reasons why upskilling will benefit you
Upskilling is important in any industry, but it’s particularly important for VAs, PAs and EAs for these four reasons:
1) Future-proofing your career
Having transferable skills will set you up for the future, even as demand for skills continues to change. An area experiencing rapid growth currently is the digital market, so you may want to start there! The pandemic forced many companies to give up traditional systems and switch to digital to stay afloat during lockdown. This means that many of the most in-demand jobs of 2021 can be carried out remotely, with 84% of employers planning to expand remote working. As a VA, PA or EA, you’re already likely to have experience working off-site. So, why not continue developing your digital skills to fully prepare for the future virtual world of work?
Upskilling isn’t just about your career development. Setting time for yourself to grow will boost your self-esteem and motivation, too. Learning new things is just as important for your personal development as an individual as it is for your career. A new-found confidence will help you understand more about yourself. You might gain clarity about what motivates or interests you, for example, or re-evaluate your career goals.
1) Gaining a competitive advantage
Up-to-date skills will give you a competitive advantage over other VAs, PAs or EAs. These roles often require word-of-mouth endorsements, and the ability to demonstrate a diverse skill set will set you in good stead for receiving these. If you can evidence that you’re a quick learner and are adaptable, this will serve you well when applying for VA, PA or EA roles. Upskilling not only demonstrates adaptability but also your commitment to your career. You’ll strengthen your relationships with clients as they’ll recognise the effort you’re putting into your self-development, and by extension, your work.
Upskilling will also help you become more productive and more efficient. You might develop better time-management skills, for example, which will help you to prioritise tasks. Improving your digital skills will also transform the way you work, as you become adept at managing multiple online platforms and interfaces. As you expand your skills, you’ll naturally begin to produce work of a higher quality. As a result, you’ll bring more value to your clients and keep them coming back for more.
Making time for upskilling means you’ll never be out of work opportunities! The more you learn, the more in demand you’ll become. There are so many routes available for you to develop and become the best VA, PA or EA you can be. However, if the prospect of upskilling seems daunting, we recommend starting small – or with something that you’re already familiar with – and working from there.
Upskilling in MS Office with Tomorrow’s VA
At Tomorrow’s VA, we offer a suite of MS Office training courses created by company founder Shelley Fishel – an experienced MS Office training provider of 20 years and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute. As well as delivering training, Shelley is a regular speaker at events such as The PA Show, hosts her own ‘Virtually Amazing’ podcast, and has even written a series of 48 books and manuals about MS office applications! So, she certainly knows her stuff!
Our courses can be purchased either individually (on a ‘pay as you go’ basis) or packaged together in a discounted bundle known as ‘The Hub’. Members of The Hub will receive lifetime access to its content – with Shelley regularly adding new course material!
This is the perfect tool for those looking to upskill their digital knowledge and experience. You’re likely to recoup the cost of training in MS Office many times over if you’re working as a VA, PA or EA. So, with career benefits like these, you really can’t afford not to!
If you would like to find out more about our MS Office training courses, please get in touch to discuss your options!