3 Ways to Expand Your Skillsets for a Promotion

April 21, 2022
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There’s one constant in business, and that’s the accelerating pace of change. Getting promoted in such an environment requires a commitment on your part to continuous learning and development. What you learn on the job (in most cases) simply isn’t enough to get you promoted, especially when you consider that the shelf life of the average skill is less than five years.

Fortunately, there are more accessible paths to learning and development available to professionals than ever before, and many are affordable, if not free. Expanding your skill sets and developing your professional competencies on your own make you a more attractive candidate for the roles you would like to pursue. Doing so will help you appear autonomous, accountable to your own stated goals, and as someone who is taking ownership of professional development. Demonstrating these qualities is absolutely essential to your career growth, especially within your current organization. Here are five ways we recommend to our candidates to expand hard and soft skillsets for a promotion:

Learn In-Demand Skills with LinkedIn Learning or Udemy

LinkedIn Learning features over 16,000 courses taught by expert instructors, with dozens more courses being added each week. Not only can you learn skills like DevOps, Python, Statistics for Management, and more, but you can earn certificates for course completion that enhance your resume and career profile, especially on LinkedIn where many employers search for those skills. As of April, 2022, you can try it free for a month, so there’s no risk in seeing where it takes you.

Udemy offers a wide variety of courses on demand. Categories include development, marketing, IT and Software, business, and design. Learn skills like machine learning, web development, project management, business analysis, data modeling, and presentation skills. The opportunities for self-development at your own pace are nearly endless and courses start at just $11.99 as of April, 2022.

Form an Intimate Professional Network

Sure, you’ve got 500+ contacts on LinkedIn, but how much are you and your contacts helping one another? Use LinkedIn or Meetup to form a more intimate group of professionals who do what you do, or what you aspire to do. Meet in person, talk about skill development and mentoring. See what you have to offer and what others have to offer you. In small groups, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for mutual growth that come about naturally through discussing personal ambitions and needs for learning and development.

Find a Mentor at Work or in a Professional Organization

A mentoring program at work, or something informal that you set up yourself can help you develop throughout your career. Mentors provide specific career guidance and advice, and can help you outline your goals and set you up on a course to development toward your next career milestones. Not sure where to start? Talk with your superiors at work or close contacts in your professional network. Explain why you are seeking mentorship, why you selected that contact, and schedule an informal meeting to get started.

Once you get momentum in developing your skill sets through these and other means, you’ll approach your job search with more confidence. And the positive feedback that you’ll get from hiring managers and your own superiors at work should keep you motivated to continue pursuing skillset development even after your promotion!