One minute you’re heading into higher education and in the blink of an eye (and maybe a few hangovers), it’s all over! Two to four years of studying and you’re ready for the world of work. Or are you? How much of what you’ve learnt is already outdated? And how much is what your industry is looking for?
A lot of people find there’s a disconnect between what our curriculums teach us and what our career needs. Essentially we’re not teaching students the skills they require to find and thrive at a job, which creates a skills gap that continues to widen. The answer is often a lot of Google searching, resource finding and learning on the job.
That’s when we start upskilling ourselves at work and realising that it’s probably the best place to learn anyway. Like a wild west shootout, it’s often the fastest learner that wins and all about how quickly you can figure things out.
Our CEO and Co-Founder Nelson Sivalingam discussed this issue on the MetaLearn podcast. This is a summary of just one issue that he covered, but you’ll have to listen to the full episode to hear it all.
Why upskilling brings employee and employer interests in-line
Where do we spend the majority of our day? At work. So, if you’re planning to learn new skills and take control of your personal and professional development, it’s probably the place to do it. Ultimately your organisation needs to give you the right tools and they absolutely should because it’s in their best interests too.
When people are engaged and growing their skills, they become smarter and more efficient – which is music to the ears of any business. You’ll both be doing better, and that’s why upskilling is the perfect point for employee and employer interests to align.
Does upskilling trump hiring new talent?
Employers probably go through these mental gymnastics on a regular basis. Hiring people to fill gaps might give you instant results, but should you have that short-term view? And could you be better off playing the long game and opting to upskill the people you already have?
The former is not only more expensive and less sustainable, but it undervalues what your current employees have to offer. They know your culture, understand your products, have relationships with your people and will have built loyalty and trust. So, by buying in skills you’re undervaluing all of that in favour of a quick fix.
Learning in the flow of work
This goes hand-in-hand with upskilling because if you’re learning at work you’ll need the tools to do it right. Ones that don’t disrupt your learning habits but integrate with them. So, imagine the knowledge you need finding you and being available where you’re already working. That means you’ll find and apply information when it matters and in the most-relevant context – the perfect environment to retain knowledge and develop that skill.