Q. I have been feeling stressed in my job. I've always felt like I should upskill, and have been thinking of going back to do some courses. Is now a good time to upskill, and will this mean that I have more chance of remaining employed? My boss hasn't talked about redundancies yet, but I would like some additional security.
A. The Irish economy is facing into some very tough economic conditions. There have been many negative job announcements and these have increased the numbers out of work, but also increased the levels of job insecurity faced by jobseekers. Many are turning to additional education and training in a bid to enhance attractiveness to existing employers or to help secure a job with potential employers.
I am of the belief that anytime is a good time to upskill and add training and education. Upskilling should be treated as a continual process where we should be continually seeking to improve existing skills or adding new ones. The whole dynamics of education and training has changed, enabling easy access to learning, especially for those in fulltime employment. There are numerous part-time, evening and distance learning opportunities.
Although this makes access easier, the choice can add to confusion. You need to identify the appropriate qualification or course for you. Remember, taking on education and training while working can be a big commitment.
Unfortunately, upskilling will not guarantee job security, as many highly skilled workers will testify over the past 12 months. It will, however, send out the right message to your employer and can increase your attractiveness should restructuring occur.
Upskilling will enhance your CV and appeal to other employers and also open up new career opportunities.
Paul Mullan is a career coach with Measurability.
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