From education to employment

How to upskill yourself for a higher salary

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With inflation in the UK rising above 10% for the second time this year, now is the time to consider upskilling yourself to climb the career ladder and earn a higher salary.

Paul Lewis, the managing director of Pitman Training, believes that committing to self-improvement by learning new skills and taking courses that will benefit your job will show your employer that you have the dedication and ambition to improve and will help you garner a better position and, therefore, higher wages. In this article, he shares his tips on how to upskill yourself for a higher salary.

There is no doubt that upskilling is a great way to help you improve your career prospects and earn more money in the long term. In fact, if you are looking for a raise, ensuring you have completed a training course to boost your skillset can be one of your strongest selling points when negotiating with an employer.

Depending on your career, even minimal training can boost your salary. For instance, data and AI professionals who spend one to 19 hours in training and development can see their salary increase by £6,383. A recent study also found that taking a 12-month workforce training programme focused on soft skills delivered a 250% return on investment within eight months of completion. So, here is my advice on how you can upskill and put yourself forward to earn more money.

Always plan ahead

All good things start with a plan. Think of it this way: if you fail to prepare, you may as well prepare to fail! So, before upskilling, ask yourself: what is your goal and what do you need to do to reach it? Suppose you aim to get a promotion within your company. In that case, I recommend paying particular attention to the skills needed in your current position or included in your dream job description. 

Once you have worked out the skills needed, develop a plan for skill acquisition around the job you hope to be doing one day so that when the opportunity arises, you have positioned yourself well to step into the role. For example, if you work in IT and want to climb the career ladder to become a team leader or manager, you may look to take a leadership course, develop your communication skills or even take a computer skills course to ensure you are up to date with the new systems and software. Doing so gives you all the skills required to take the next step.

Learn new skills

Once you have a plan of action in place and know what skills are required to advance your career, you now need to execute it. You can build many skills through your regular work activities, so before committing yourself to anything, I recommend checking with your company’s management to see if they ever offer mentoring opportunities or corporate training. This way, you will save yourself money and time searching for a course and show your employers you are willing to take the next step. You could also ask senior members of your team if you can shadow them. 

If your company does not offer training, you have the option to look for free courses online. These are great if you just want an introduction to a subject matter. However, free courses do not always provide course materials that are relevant to the skills you are trying to learn, and they are not always accredited, meaning that most employers will not recognise them if you put them on your CV. Another downside to a free course is that you are in it alone because there is no funding to provide additional student support. However, this is not the case when you pay for a course. An example of what you get when you pay for a course comes from Pitman Training. Pitman offers 250+ accredited courses and helps point students in the direction of courses that suit their goals. It also provides students access to a learning coach, allowing them to stay motivated and giving them the best chance of completing their course. 

Be on the lookout for opportunities and stay adaptable

Once you have developed a new skill set, it is important to flaunt it! Make sure you tell your employers about your progress and offer to share your new skills with your co-workers to showcase your knowledge. Employers will be impressed you have been proactive and taken the initiative to develop yourself. Remember, you are upskilling to increase your earning power, so once you have successfully demonstrated your new skills to the team, you could negotiate a pay rise in the future.

It is also vital to ensure you keep your skills up to date. In the ever-changing world of technology, where programs and systems are constantly evolving, you will need to keep an eye on what is happening in your industry and identify what skills you will need to stay ahead of the competition.

Upskilling is crucial to help you stand out in a competitive job market. However, it can also help you earn more money and negotiate a raise in the longer term. So, this year, consider investing in yourself and building your knowledge base.

By Paul Lewis, Managing Director at Pitman Training

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