Amid the mass exodus from traditional office settings to the home office, competition has become fierce. According to a Pew Research study, 60% of Americans want to work from home for the foreseeable future, further exacerbating the cutthroat nature of jobseeking and advancing your career in the digital workplace. So how do you boost your online profile, presence, and resume? The answer just might lie in ways you can upskill for your remote job. Through upskilling, you can create separation between yourself and other candidates, giving yourself a more direct path toward improved pay and success.
What Is Upskilling?
Contrary to learning new skills, also known as reskilling, upskilling is taking the expertise and knowledge you have in a certain area or vertical and expanding that knowledge to a new level. More importantly, focusing on an upskill or multiple upskills for your remote job enables you to become more relevant to employers or key decision-makers, as well as make you a more versatile part of the team.
The Top 20 Ways to Upskill for Remote Jobs
Some of the most effective ways to upskill for your remote job involve the combination of internal skills and external resources. To some degree, you can use a mix of your company’s training modules and your own creativity to your advantage. So whether you’re aiming to make a name for yourself at your company, make yourself more versatile, or increase your pay, here are some of the top ways to upskill.
1. Give Your Remote Work Routine a Productivity Boost
Whether you’ve worked from home for a while or you’re fresh to the game, revamping your remote work routine to give it a productivity boost is essential. Though you might be mired in the same old routine, eliminating distractions, working normal hours, or setting up your home office to streamline the process it’s a great idea to upskill for your remote job.
2. Use Internal Training Resources
Most companies have some sort of training manual or resource that’s a treasure trove of valuable information. Perhaps not everything pertains to you, but if you can learn the inner workings of the company, what your coworkers do regularly, and the mission and vision of the company, you can position yourself as a more relevant and versatile worker.
3. Add Self-Improvement to Your Daily Schedule
Learning to upskill for your remote job isn’t always easy. You have your daily work, deadlines to meet, and personal responsibilities. But adding in some training or room for self-improvement for just 30 minutes a day can provide dividends in the future.
4. Take an Online Course in an Interesting Subject
While internal training modules are ideal because of the ease of use, look outwardly for even more information. The good news is that online education and certifications have become more accessible, especially due to the increase in remote work. Search sites like Udemy and Coursera to find relevant subjects and coursework to take the knowledge of your particular field to the next level.
5. Consider a Job Coach or Mentor
Not everyone has the capacity or drive to upskill for their remote job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t summon some help from others. A job coach or a mentor may provide the added inspiration that you need to excel at your current job or motivate you to do some extra work on your own. While it may cost you a few bucks, no one has ever made a poor investment in themselves.
6. Read the Top-Rated Books in Your Industry
If you want to upskill for your remote job in your spare time, put down your romance novels and spy thrillers and pick up some of the top-rated books in your industry. While these books can pertain directly to your position or industry, other options that aim to improve your secondary skill set or soft skills are also on the board. The Harvard Business Review also recently released resources for working from home during COVID, which can help you navigate the waters of remote work amid a global pandemic.
And if you really, really hate to read, go to your local library or sign up for Amazon Audible to get these resourceful books on tape.
7. Up Your Podcast Game
As of April 2021, more than 2 million podcasts are regularly broadcast across the globe. With that many options available, you’re bound to find something that helps you upskill for your remote job. The Digital Workplace is one up-and-coming website that offers numerous resources for remote workers, including hundreds of podcasts and articles.
8. Use Prior Knowledge and Pivot
If you have past experiences that pertain directly or indirectly to your current job, use this knowledge to upskill for your remote job. For example, past history in retail could directly translate to e-commerce, which is one of the hottest job markets on the planet. Managerial experience can also build empathy for coworkers or discover ways to streamline processes.
9. Work on Your Leadership Skills
When you have aspirations of career advancement or more responsibility, leadership skills are essential, especially in the digital realm. Many companies provide leadership training resources, but if they don’t, online classes and resources can help you gain the knowledge you need to become a star on a managerial level.
10. Settle Your Nerves Through Stress Management
If you work on deadlines or have tons of responsibilities, stress can permeate even the most hardened and experienced remote worker. Unfortunately, this can lead to burnout or a dip in performance that can create a negative image. Therefore, you need to turn to tolerance and stress management classes or books to isolate and eliminate the issue. Sure, you’re going to be stressed on occasion, but gaining a new mental approach to stress is a great way to upskill for your remote job.
11. Learn New Tools That Pertain to Your Position
If your remote team uses Slack or Asana, you may have a grip on some of the collaborative tools that are popular in the digital workplace. But don’t stop your knowledge or education there. Add some other apps to your plate, take training modules, and you just might find you’ve upskilled your way to becoming a more efficient and productive worker.
12. Get Certified
Training modules and classes are great to expand your knowledge base in your particular industry. But if you really want to upskill for your remote job, get certified. Certifications are available for almost every position out there. So if you want to give your resume a boost or get some more clout at your respective position, a certification goes a long way.
13. Set Goals
Upskilling isn’t always about throwing your time management and work-life balance out the window. Don’t let it lead to burnout. Instead, set some goals to provide direction. Using the SMART goals format, you can create a path to achievement by creating goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
14. Find Related Skills
Reskilling, or learning new skills, can make you a more valuable asset to a company. But if you focus on something that you may not use regularly, you can forget or even waste your time. As a result, you should focus on finding related skills. For example, if you’re a content writer, expanding into social media or digital marketing can make you a more viable candidate for future jobs or increase your pay.
15. Try Your Hand at Freelancing
While you may have a job that pays the bills and provides a bit of savings, don’t end your job pursuits there. If you find that you’re sitting idly by watching TV or doing nothing (which is still fine for unwinding), upskill for your remote job by trying out freelancing. By freelancing, you can learn a lot about yourself and what you need to work on. It teaches discipline, self-promotion, dealing with rejection, and building your online presence. Even one small gig can provide some insight into what you’re good at and what needs work.
16. Add to Your Emotional Intelligence
Not everything you do to upskill for your remote job is tangible. In some cases, an improvement to your emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient, is a better use of your time. When you work from home, relating to others is more difficult, and you often lose empathy and sympathy along the way. By talking with a therapist or reading books on emotional intelligence, you can learn the skills necessary to improve your work and personal relationships.
17. Get a Grip on Your Soft Skills
Hard skills are what get you the job, but soft skills are what enable you to excel within the company or embrace a company culture. So if you’ve left your soft skills take a backseat to more tangible skills, now is the time to right the ship. Work on your communication skills, channel your empathy, think creatively, and boost your problem-solving and critical thinking to successfully upskill for your remote job.
18. Embrace Technology
Not everyone, even those in the virtual realm, is technologically savvy. Some people may not care to learn, while others simply have a fear of the unknown aspects of technology. In either case, you need to learn to embrace technology. Like many other items on this list, this requires you to take courses or training. But don’t stress. This is entirely on your schedule. The more you learn, the more you can embrace technology and feel more comfortable with it.
19. Network as Much as You Can
Networking isn’t nearly as easy as it was prior to the COVID pandemic, but don’t use that as an excuse to ignore it. A strong network is a great opportunity to upskill for your remote job. Not only can you find potential ways to advance your career, but you can also ask the right questions to the right people regarding your job or career path.
20. Work on Your Creativity
Some remote jobs can border on the mundane. You do the same thing day in and day out, and the workdays can blend into one. However, you can counteract this effect by using your creativity. By channeling your creative nature, you can attempt to reach a level of innovation that improves business processes and operational efficiencies. With any luck, you’ll also get the recognition you deserve.
Thinking Outside the Box Is Only Half the Battle
Independent individuals may find that upskilling for a remote job is simply a personal battle. It involves motivation and discipline that’s only channeled through a person’s drive and urge to succeed. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, you need a bit of a boost from external resources.
And that’s just why you should pair with Virtual Vocations. When you sign up with Virtual Vocations, you get access to a number of resources that are ideal to upskill for your remote job, including:
- An online portfolio
- Industry guides
- Career Center guides
- Job coaching
- Cover letter and resume writing
Aided by these amenities and a job board with thousands of listings, you can start your path to upskilling and become the prized employee that your current employer or future employer aspires to have.
Which of these ways to upskill would you like to try out? How do you track your progress? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!
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