Step #8: Upskill for Your Future
In the last few steps, we’ve focused on laying the groundwork for your career change by looking at the inspiring people or things around you.
Now we’re moving into the last few steps and final part of the process: starting to put a plan into action. While there’s a lot of action you’ll be taking during this part, we’re going to focus on upskilling for your future. Sound intimidating? It doesn’t have to be.
In fact, people are built for this sort of striving: In a new book, Drive, author Daniel Pinkargues that
“The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”
And upskilling tends to be clear-cut once you figure out your strengths. We’ve been working toward this goal all along, but here are some other ways to hone in on them.
Use proven metrics to determine your strengths. Gallup’s online assessment (and accompanying book) StrengthsFinder tend to give amazing insights into your strong points and areas of weak—and help point to what skills you can gain to complement what you already know.
Use your own personal experiences. This involves becoming hyper-aware of both your actions and surroundings. For example, when people ask you for help, what do they ask you to do? When you have a free hour at work, what do you do? Zeroing in on these subtle cues can help you figure out your strong points.
Flash back to childhood. It may sound silly, but think back to your pre-college school days. What subjects did you enjoy learning about the most? What classes held your attention best? In what topics did you get the best grades? Grades aren’t everything, of course, but they do tend to point at areas where you’ve always excelled.
Don’t forget about defining passion areas. Strengths and skills aren’t just comprised of practical considerations. It’s important to also include the emotional side of things, and acknowledge what you enjoy doing.
A good place to start with drilling down on your passion is Tony Robbins piece, “The 6 Human Needs: Why We Do What We Do,” which poses the question, “What is the force that drives and shapes all of our emotions, actions, qualities of life, and ultimately, our destinies?”
It’s important to remember that upskilling doesn’t have to mean completely overhauling your skill set, and it doesn’t need to involve huge learning curves, either.
It could translate to incrementally gaining smaller nuggets of information, or simply keeping tabs on new trends or technological advances. A desire to be constantly learning new things is as important to upskilling as the actual knowledge obtained.
Now that you’ve figured out ways to identify your strengths, what are the best next steps to take? How can you make this your best year yet? Follow us for quarter-life crisis survival tips and guidance, including step #9, published in a few weeks.