As a freelance expert or a consultant, it is extremely important to keep growing in the field of business to be a working professional. Any kind of stagnation would leave a degradation of the working profile, disabling the scope of getting more projects in the future. Upskilling is one of the major challenges that the global pandemic situation has brought in a remote working environment. The advantages of being in a fast paced, digital and global working space are plentiful, but it also needs an ever-adaptive, trained and polished skillset. The day the skillset stops growing is the beginning to the end of a consultant’s career. Knowledge has no age, no boundary, it is ever-growing.
“Growth is the essence of life. Therefore, we could say that stagnation (complacency), being the opposite, is the harbinger of death.”
― Sebastien Richard
With the onset of the pandemic situation and digitization across the Globe, it has been proven that remote working is extremely reliable and successful too. Many organizations now prefer engaging with consultants on a project basis rather than hiring full-times to accomplish projects. As a consultant, it is important to brace yourself with a good skill set to land with good work every time a project on hand is completed.
Here are a few ways consultants can keep their skills updated
Taking Online Courses & Certification Examinations
There are several online courses that you can take to update yourself, right from ISB to IITs offering short term certification courses in specific areas of your interest. Taking up a Diploma course also offers a lot of weightage to your resume. It is important to take up a certification course as it is extremely beneficial with a bonafide attestation of your skills.
Education through Books & other related Sources
Getting educated is an old-time practice that never goes out of fashion. Read more books, subscribe to newsletters, magazines or E-magazines pertaining to your field of study. Even if you’re already a working professional with time constraints, do keep some time during the week or the weekend to spend time with books.
Attending Seminars, Webinars & Workshops
Previously, there was a standing demand to be present for any learning workshop or seminar. The trend has now shifted towards online seminars called webinars and e-workshops. This has rendered it useful in many ways as the only presence required is Remote and virtual. You can attend several workshops and webinars in a month if you can schedule your time appropriately.
Networking with Contemporaries & Leaders
Connecting with peers and leaders can give an insight into the current technology trends. They might be able to guide one along the right path to pursue skills of expertise and where you may need to improve upon. They can be mentors and help gain projects by being referrals. There’s a lot of learning that can be imbibed from them.
Create a Branding for Yourself
Every Consultant is already a brand since they work on their terms. Even the email response says a lot about working style and professional outlook. In order to create a special place and be a memorable brand, you can try a few tips like Personalize and standardize your responses, work on customized works for the client, focus on quality and maintain deadlines and professionalism.
Education through Social Media Platforms
Off-late, everybody has been spending time on social media. You can relax on social media and also give some time for learning too. You can listen to various podcasts on YouTube, read blogs on various sites, and learn from Reddit and Quora threads. It is important to prioritize and channelize your learning time. There are several places that you can gain knowledge from, you only need to find the right way for you.
How will Upskilling Transform your Profile?
Upskilling can be a major turning point anytime one switches projects, it can lead to a lot of personal growth and development along the career trajectory. It can build the profile and enhance thought process and understanding capabilities.
In general the greatest advantage is that consultants have a choice in deciding their remuneration. With upskilling, the profile weightage increases tremendously, since one brings in more value to the table and has the ability to quote a higher remuneration.
Helps get Better & More Projects
In the ever competing world, there is always a need to upgrade oneself. With upskilling, one poses a competitive advantage over the others for the same opportunity. The confidence to bid and win over a project is much higher for upskilled consultants.
Overall Professional Satisfaction
Grit enables people to pursue, persevere and achieve goals. If one has enough grit, achieving Upskilling is not a Herculean Task. With higher Economical benefits and more Competitive Advantage, Upskilling definitely brings about more Job Satisfaction. Not only the material benefits, even as an individual it can bring in a sense of fulfilment.
Platforms that can help you Upskill yourself
Udemy is a massive open online course provider, and its learning experience arranges coursework into a series of modules and lessons that can include videos, text notes and assessment tests. Udemy's video player has functional features like closed captioning and note-taking functions.
UpGrad is an online platform that offers educational services to its clients. UpGrad's range of programs consists of digital marketing, product management, entrepreneurship, data analytics, data-driven management, and digital technology management. It offers industry insights and student support services.
Unacademy Platform is an online education platform that supports and facilitates the online creation of educational videos/or tutorials by the users who wish to be educators on Unacademy Platform. Unacademy offers both live and recorded classes for free and via subscription.
LinkedIn Learning is an on-demand library of instructional videos covering the latest business, technology and creative skills. It provides personalized course recommendations and is designed to help you achieve your full potential.
Coursera is an open online course website featuring post-secondary courses from top global academic institutions. Most courses are free to take, and consist of watching lecture videos and presentations, doing readings, holding discussions with other students, and completing assignments and quizzes.
Upskilling is an inevitable part of any career, more importantly so for consultants and freelance experts. According to Upwork’s 2020 Future Workforce Report, 39% of hiring managers have seen or expect layoffs at their organizations. They predict only 53% of laid off employees will be hired back. Only the most skilled will be able to survive this fierce competition.
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