July 9, 2019

Reskilling is critical when change moves fast

Do some research to find out what you need to learn, then set achievable goals

Learning comes naturally to many of us and for some, a lot easier than others. Nevertheless, we are all constantly learning, even if we don’t think we’re doing so in the given moment. From simple conversations with your peers to reading a book or watching videos, your mind is always processing something. This is a powerful ability we all hold.

With our world changing faster than we can ever keep up, learning has become crucial, even more so when it comes to keeping our skills fresh. Reskilling, by definition, is learning new skills so you can take on new tasks and jobs. Reskilling also involves learning to update your knowledge so you can do your current job better.

We know that we cannot rely on doing things in the same old way if we want to achieve future success. In an age when technology is taking away some jobs and creating new ones, it’s hard to know when our current knowledge will become irrelevant.

With that in mind, how do we know how to reskill and what to learn in order to survive tomorrow’s changes? Here are some points to think about to help you get started on your path.

First, do some research and keep yourself updated. Finding out how your industry, organization, and job might be affected by changes in the world is an important first step. Once you understand this, you’ll have a clearer picture of how to set your goals.

Disruption and change can be profound, especially when large and successful organizations become affected. It’s a good idea to keep up with industry news and general news so that you can learn to spot trends that might affect your job or organization. Talk to your colleagues and see what they think, too.

Second, keep in mind that reskilling isn’t a one-off event; it is something you do consistently. Change is constant — what you know and are sure of today might not apply in the near future. To illustrate, if you’re a digital marketer, you need to stay updated constantly on the changes taking place on Google, Facebook and other platforms, as such changes could have a direct and significant impact on your organization’s strategy.

Third, set clear goals for what you want to achieve from your learning, based on the research you did when you began your reskilling journey. When setting your goals, consider what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. And because time is of the essence, also clarify a timeline for when you should achieve that specific learning goal.

For example, your reskilling goal can be to improve your team’s morale and productivity by developing your leadership skills and emotional intelligence within 3 months, taking online courses from ABC institute. Remember to focus on something you can change — such as beginning with yourself — rather than trying to force change around you.

Fourth, create a plan to achieve your goals. You may approach your goals in different ways. You might want to achieve them one at a time, with a shorter timeline for each one, or you might want to focus and plan ways to meet multiple goals over a longer span of time. This depends on which approach is more effective for you.

And finally, measure your learning against productivity and improvement in your daily work and make any necessary changes. The thing about learning is that it isn’t as easy to measure, like a KPI. The only way to know if your learning has had anything to do with your personal development is to practice it as you learn new things.

Because of this, you’ll need to be self-aware and also engage in feedback with your peers and team. Returning to our earlier example of a learning goal to improve your team’s morale and productivity, you could evaluate whether the learning has made a difference by observing their morale and productivity with work.

An important thing to remember about reskilling and learning is that you won’t see the results immediately. It is something you have to practice in order to remain the adaptable ninth face of fast-moving changes. Keep in mind that what made you successful today could be the reason for your downfall tomorrow, so keep learning and practicing to reskill yourself constantly.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC (formerly APMGroup) Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@new.seasiacenter.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa. Experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com/