There is no doubt that the modern workplace is very different than it was a few years ago. In the not too distant past you could realistically leave high school or college and find yourself a career for life with one company. However this is rarely the case these days as economic uncertainty still looms over many businesses.

The internet has also played a big role in the more uncertain fate for modern employees as it much easier for businesses to outsource which enables them to get the best value for their money. All this means that it’s no longer enough to just arrive on time every day and do your duties, you need to be constantly improving your skills to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the modern employee.

So let’s take a look at what you can do to stay one step ahead of the crowd and progress in your career by developing new skills and attributes.

Identify The Skills You Need

Before you can improve upon your skills and earn new qualifications you should identify exactly what skills that you need to acquire and the qualifications that will get you ahead in your industry. For some industries such as banking and accountancy the qualifications you need are well known and for many similar professions you will need to pass certain exams to progress in your career.

In other industries however there may be more options as to what courses and qualifications you can take, as it’s more about learning new skills and expanding your knowledge. Marketing is good example of this as there are lots of awarding bodies for marketing exams and certificates. It can be hard to know which qualification is best for you so a good tip is to do a little research on other people within your industry.

A platform that is particularly useful for finding what qualifications people in similar roles to you have is LinkedIn. If you find a course that you think would expand your knowledge then search for it on LinkedIn and it should bring up a list of people who have taken the same course. If they are working in similar or higher positions than you then you can assume that it’s a good qualification to have.

Online Courses

Although the internet has played a role in creating greater competition for each position it also provides you with the means of expanding your knowledge and beefing up your C.V.

Distance learning through online courses is great way for people with busy schedules to get the education they need within their own time. Distance learning has revolutionized the way education works giving thousands of people who were previously unable to attend a physical course or university for whatever reason access to a range of courses and qualifications for almost every industry imaginable.

Once you have identified the course you want to take you can work out a schedule in your own time that will allow you to study. You may even find that your employer will pay some of the fess and give you time off to take any exams. By committing to a course that you didn’t have to take you are showing your employer that you are ambitious and always striving to improve yourself, which are great characteristics to embody, especially if you are being considered for a promotion in the future.

In House Training

If you are working for a good organization that promotes the development of its staff then you might already be getting in house training in other areas to expand your knowledge. However, a lot of businesses get stuck in the status quo and don’t think about developing their staff. If this is the case for you then you should make the first move and tell your employers that you would like to receive training in other areas of the business.

They should view this request as a positive move from you and an indication that you want to be the best employee that you can be and give as much as you can to the company.

Learning on the job from someone who knows the role inside out is often invaluable. All the theoretical study in the world won’t be the same as actually learning while doing the job in real time. Ask your employers if you can spend a few hours each week learning from someone in another area of the business and you will be surprised at how quickly you can pick up some new skills and your willingness to learn wont go unnoticed by your superiors.

Author Bio: Stuart Cooke is the Marketing Manager for Mapit an online learning platform for accountancy related exams. Working with distance learning students he knows the importance of constantly improving your skills and qualifications to get ahead in your career.


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