3 Tips for Job Seekers on Upskilling for a New Industry


The United Kingdom didn’t escape the COVID-19 crisis unscathed. In hopes of saving lives and slowing the spread of the virus, the UK initiated travel restrictions and other lockdown measures that had a devastating effect on the local economy. As a result, many UK businesses have closed their doors. Unemployment levels in the region are soaring, and experts at The Office for Budget Responsibility are predicting that the unemployment numbers in Britain could climb as high as 13 per cent. This leaves many people searching for new jobs.

The situation is also quite dire in other countries outside the UK. New Zealand, for example, initiated one of the strictest lockdowns in the entire world. Unemployment numbers there have approximately doubled. Industries faring the worst in New Zealand include accommodation, food service, retail, construction, manufacturing, air travel and forestry. Many of the individuals who were previously working in these industries are now having to completely change careers to seek out work in different industries. For a sizable number of them, the switch will entail a substantial investment of effort in re-training and upskilling.

If you find yourself in this situation, perhaps you’re wondering about how to go about the task of upskilling. The following 3 tips are intended to help you navigate the career changer’s journey from one industry to a completely different one:

1. Identify Potential Employers and Roles That Could Suit You

It wouldn’t be wise to invest money, time and effort into upskilling only to find that your newly chosen career path is likely to be automated out of existence in the near future. So choose your intended new career path carefully after conducting extensive research.

One possible strategy is to identify a company that you’d like to work for, and study their hiring needs. You could then consider the possibility of training for one of those types of roles.

2. Identify Which Industry Could Best Utilise Your Talents

Before you can successfully upskill, it helps to have a vision for which of your talents and strengths you wish to further develop. Every skill that you’ve learnt from your previous work experience could most likely be utilised in other contexts. The trick is identifying how, exactly, to reinvent your career to maximise your existing skills. In many cases, it could be possible to transition into a new role that will allow you to best make use of them.

For example, if you were a chef in a restaurant that has now closed, you no doubt have worked at improving your food preparation skills. Your restaurant career has now most likely been derailed, but your skills may still be relevant outside of a restaurant environment.

Everyone needs to eat. Food preparation is a valuable skill. Perhaps you could identify other industries in which you could continue utilising this skill in the future. For example, assisted living facilities need chefs, and it might be possible for you to find work in one of these with a minimum amount of upskilling. Perhaps you might need to learn how to prepare dishes suitable for people with dietary challenges such as diabetes or celiac disease; but, this probably wouldn’t present a major obstacle for someone with restaurant experience. You could probably find a new job by investing a minor amount of effort in learning how to cook for assisted living residents who have differing dietary needs.

Many individuals have skills that could easily transition from one industry to another with some creativity and persistence.

3. Research Suitable Educational Opportunities

Upskilling isn’t the easiest of tasks under any circumstances. There are bewildering numbers of certifications, training courses and degree programs available to choose from. A career changer could get bogged down in the details of simply trying to choose a course before ever actually getting started on the task of learning the material.

Training.co.nz helps career changers tackle this problem by presenting information about the broadest possible range of training courses within a single, user-friendly platform. This portal makes it easy for career-changers to compare course information and efficiently find the course that will best meet their needs.

Why Worry About Upskilling?

Why is upskilling such a high priority for the world’s current crop of career changers?

According to William Arruda at Forbes.com, upskilling is the single most important thing you can do to make your career a success.

He points out a startling reality: Today’s job skills have a much shorter shelf life than the job skills that were most prevalent decades ago. That’s in large part because today’s technologies are evolving at a faster pace than ever before. Keeping up requires a much more dedicated effort to learning. In fact, many employers would now agree that the ability to learn new skills trumps any single other new skill a person could develop.

In the future, any company’s most valuable employees are likely to be the ones who have the ability and desire to continually retrain and upskill so they are able to keep pace with the technological changes occurring in the workplace. This was shaping up to be the situation long before the COVID-19 crisis disrupted the job market, and it will continue to be an issue in the aftermath of COVID-19. In any case, it would be prudent to consider the possibility that automation could turn out to be a greater disruptor than COVID-19 has been. Prepare for the future accordingly.


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