Keep Competitive – Keep Your Skills Updated

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”  ~ Eric Hoffer

It’s more important than ever to keep your skills up to date in an ever changing & increasingly competitive job market!

How many of you that are currently employed are taking advantage of Continuing Education opportunities that may exist in your workplace? Have you asked?


Even if programs aren’t offered by your company directly from Training or HR departments, sometimes you can convince your boss to invest in sending you to a class, workshop, or conference.

Ways to Convince Your Boss to Pay for Your Training:

The key will be if you can outline the measurable benefits doing so will bring to your job performance and optimally, the success of your team / company. For example:

— Suggest that you can bring back the knowledge and train your co-workers on what you learned, thus multiplying the investment.

— Discuss the idea that training you (and perhaps a colleague or two) can save money by bringing a process in house (vs. outsourcing that duty/activity) – and, you create more job security by having extra skills.

If you ARE lucky enough to have required CEU’s covered by your employer, take advantage!  Take as many as you can, and keep track of the Title of the Course, the Course provider (the company or trainer), the location, date of completion, and of course any certifications or other professional qualifications you earned by taking & completing it.

Knowing more technology or having specialized training can give you an edge over your competition – both on the job, and over other candidates in a job search.

Getting your employer to foot the bill for updating your skills is such a bonus – and a benefit – on the job!

It can save you significant money (and time, if the training is also during or considered work hours!) to have company paid professional development.

It’s also something to consider about new companies during your job search – is this included in their culture and extra benefits package?

This Investment Pays Off:

Even if you don’t have, or can’t find, an employer who will pay for your training, it’s still important to keep your skills up to date.

There are many free opportunities to learn online, and very affordable online training websites that offer courses (for example, often does ‘flash sales’ and usually one of these is in January).

I would definitely invest in some skills training relevant to your career regularly – it’ll pay off by:

—  making you more valuable at work,

—  more competitive if you job search, and

—  possibly help you become recognized as a ‘go-to’ expert in your field, leading to training, speaking& other opportunities to build your reputation & brand (talked about more in this blog post).

Where to Find Free and/or Affordable Classes:

many universities offer CEU, lifelong learner and/or the chance to audit their regular courses (the latter, especially if you are an alum)

Online websites to take free or paid courses include:  Udemy, Lynda, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, Coursesa and many others

YouTube is actually a good source to learn new skills for free, you just have to devote the time to find good instructional videos for the skill you seek

Remember to Update Your Resume:

These new skills & classes can be good extra info on resumes, or needed proof of skills you have if you haven’t had much OTJ experience in that area yet but are trying to get a promotion (or different job) that requires those skills.

Check out this blog post Educate Yourself: How to List Education on Your Resume  for tips on how to add your new training to your resume!