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Up-skilling to Upscale

If time were a person then she must be the most focused individual, she is always on the go, never waits for anyone, and holds on to nothing.

Times as we know are always changing. Today she’s driving a Volkswagen and in the next two decades she’s onto a Tesla, there were periods where she sent letters in bottles, telegrams and faxes, used land lines and now; thanks to wireless technology and 5G, her communication and connections have become seamless.

I’m sure you get the gist by now.

This change would always be, as long as there is a problem to solve. Problems lead to new solutions which birth new developments that alter how we work and interact; as existing needs are being met new needs are being formed simultaneously. Our focus always shifts; this goes on and on, and has been going on as long as humans have been in existence.

Taking a walk back in time, there was no such thing as a Social media marketer or an Influencer, or a Block Chain Analyst, a Block Chain Analyst?! Sounds ridiculous… but it is what it is and it pays. There have been huge changes and shifts in the job market, where old job roles are growing obsolete and new job roles that may come across as unconventional are on the rise. In short, the digital world and the world of data came around, slowly snuck into the spotlight, and now everyone is in a hurry to be a part of this great show.

Going through history you notice that whenever paradigm shifts take place you will to find four categories of people; those who were leading the change, others who were a part of the change, those who followed the change and tried to catch up with it, then there were those who fought the change and got swallowed up by time -it was like the world left them behind. Think about who you are now, and who you would want to be in this narrative for a second. I said all this to make you understand that “as long as the sun still rises and sets, change will remain constant” I promise you that these changes will come. Now you understand these change phenomena, how do you prepare yourself for life? Your career life?

First, you have to be committed to being a lifelong learner if you want to stay relevant even in the midst of the most Ground breaking changes. I need you to agree by the badge of the Wissards honor; to commit to investing in yourself, by becoming a lifelong learner. For this is the only way one can stay relevant.

Let’s go over what the growing buzz in Africa is now; The Digital Space. This space is still growing and has a lot of untapped potential here in Africa, with an increased focus on digitization and digitalization. The digital space has led to and would lead to a growing demand in skills like Cyber security for example; I mean if we are going to partake in the digital space we would all leave digital footprints and use a lot of data. Businesses create, collect, store and exchange data (which happen to be valuable assets), protecting this data from unauthorized access makes both the businesses and the customers feel safe and secured.  Imagine how much these organizations are willing to invest to protect their data; it’d be chaotic to be exposed as a business to external threats and fraud. This alone creates a need in the job market. Other examples are; the need for Programmers, Web Developers, Software Developers, Data Analyst, Digital Marketers, UX/UI Designers. These roles are here to stay and evolve in the next 20 to 30 years; we would witness the evolution of these roles in line with the on- going changes as time unfolds.  There would be new roles surfacing as time progresses and yes that’d be both exciting for most people and daunting for those resistant to change. It makes perfect sense to translate the services you want to offer now into one of the growing needs or choose a skill set depending on your career goals. The determining factors for your career choice may be; financial stability, or passion -whatever floats your boat.

Speaking about career life, it is paramount to stay informed and “Up your Skills” to remain relevant, one cannot become complacent expecting their skills to always be valuable. You need to keep learning and building your skill set and expertise; this could be in a streamlined fashion or a broader way. Thanks to the digital space, learning has become easier and information is at our disposal. You don’t have to enroll in a physical school and dedicate so many years to gain relevant knowledge and recognition in certain skills. The world has moved from wanting people with colored degrees to needing people who can make things happen, people who know how to and not just know about it. They want to see you get your hands dirty, they want results, and it is important that you arm yourself with necessary skills on your career journey. No one wants a liability on their team! These days a lot of people in the job market at entry level, complain about employers only being open to those with a lot of experience and not giving them the opportunity to gain relevant experience too. It’s annoying! But, at this phase in the market employers see this as spoon feeding and have little time to dedicate to that.  What are the chances that after Investing time and resources refining you and making sure you can deliver, that you would stay with them on the long run and even deliver as expected.  Decision makers want every decision and step they take in their business to count and yield results, you should at least be able to bring some sort of value to the table that will move the team further to where they hope to be. In these present times higher importance is given to anyone who can deliver the best results even with no work experience, as opposed to someone with 10 years of work experience who can give fairly good results. Years are just numbers, grades are just figures that do not necessarily translate into yielding the best results, and the world is beginning to understand this fundamentally. To put it forward; No one really cares how far you’ve come, they want to know how well you can deliver great results.

Waiting for the market to be kind to job seekers and those trying to build a career, to give them a chance; a chance to learn, is just a far cry. Everyone has to become an independent learner. To build a career in something you have to give yourself the first opportunity, an opportunity to learn and grow and practice. You might not be an expert or have the best starting job opportunity but you have yourself, your time and digital tools to make the career building process easier and faster.

At this point you might be wondering, how can I up-skill? What is that all about?

Before you up-skill it is important to have an idea of what you want out of your career journey and why you want it, this would help you decide what to focus on as one can never learn everything -there is enough time in the world!. Getting advanced in a skill, getting additional education or training, and learning a new skill in order to minimize your skill gaps; that’s what it means to up-skill.  In all honesty, sometimes it may be a tad bit difficult finding out what we want in terms of a career path, and that’s totally fine. Clarity can also be found in moving, you don’t have to know all the answers before you start, just begin. You can pick one or two skills in the digital space you would like to try, a skill you know you are curious about or interested in trying out and start learning about it. Get certified! Most importantly, learn how to solve problems and create solutions with these skills.

We certainly wouldn’t leave you stranded, you can leverage the digital courses on our platform; we are solely here to help pass light on digital knowledge to you. We want you to be rightly equipped for success on your career journey in the digital world, providing you with the best mentors and tutors and making sure that you leave the courses a fully kitted and experienced Wissard, in any digital skill of your choice. Check out our courses and membership plans and look out for new courses on the platform. Our courses are tailored to meet your needs ensuring that you come out with practical knowledge and application of these digital skills.

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