A big theme I’ve been talking about over the years is “income security,” which replaces the outdated concept of “job security.”
Income security comes through (1) building and communicating our personal brand, through (2) growing our network with relevant contacts and (3) nurturing individual relationships, and (4) creating and working multiple income streams. See anything missing? I’d say it is to improve your hard skills.
Since 2006, when I got laid off by a “committee of chickens,” I have been working on each of those things. If you have followed me for more than three hours you know I’m a proud Pluralsight author. “Author” is the title for someone who creates content on their video/course learning platform, not for having written books for them.
Last year thousands of Pluralsight customers came to Salt Lake City for their annual Live conference. The theme was “Skill Up!” I thought that theme was maybe a bit cliche… anyone and everyone should be talking about skilling up. But after spending a few days hearing about skilling up, I was 100% bought in. Hook, line, and sinker. I get it. And I’ll continue to share this message.
Improve Your Hard Skills
Skilling up is a term you might hear in the business world to talk about ensuring you are always current on what is current. It ensures you improve your hard skills, and don’t let them get stagnate. Skilling up can help you avoid being easily replaced because what you were expert in went away, and we just don’t have any use for you.
“It’s just a business decision, you know?” – demoralizing reason for getting laid off
Skilling up means being relevant. It means when a new technology or method or idea or process or system comes out, you either have studied up on it, you have some proficiency in it (or adjacent technologies), or you can easily and quickly come up to speed.
It means when an opportunity arises, people come to you for answers.
“Skill up” needs to be how we think about continuing education. There’s no doubt that to be successful in today’s workforce we need to regularly learn. “Going to school to get an education” should be “going to school to be qualified to get this job, but education is a lifelong pursuit.”
Continuing education can help you with your (1) brand (communicate what you are learning and doing, and what your proficiencies, passions, breadth/depth are), your (2 and 3) network (meet new people and develop/nurture new professional relationships as you get into new circles/communities, and (4) multiple income streams (learn new skills, and figure out how to monetize them).
Continuing education, skilling up, is a big part of your career management.
I’m a proud Pluralsight author because Pluralsight delivers thousands of courses to help you skill up. Pluralsight has world-renown content creators (aka authors) who help the top technology teams skill up. From learning programming to artificial intelligence to design to networking to you-name-it, Pluralsight has courses that technologists rely on.
Generally, skilling up says you need to improve your hard skills. But there’s more!
Improve Your Soft Skills
Pluralsight is all about technical skills… but if you aren’t in tech, you should still improve your hard skills! That is because hard skills doesn’t necessarily mean technical skills. It could be spreadsheets if you are an admin, or sales tactics if you are in sales. Hard skills are the things that go into doing your job.
Not a techie? Not a nerd or a geek? That’s okay. I am sharing this with you because (a) you might be interested in a career change, and (b) there are plenty of non-tech courses that could enhance your career, from business analyst to the entire PMP certification prep to hundreds of communication and soft skills (which is where I spend my time).
I started with Pluralsight in 2012. It was a slow start, and a bit of a rough transition to go from a professional speaker (on stage) to staring at a screen and talking into a mic in an otherwise empty room. But now I have 36 courses in the Pluralsight library, and hopefully will be able to add more over the years.
I believe this is a perfect complement to what I can offer through JibberJobber and the Job Search Program. Tools and strategies and tactics married to information and direction and skills helps you be more intentional about career management.
Here’s a great Twitter thread from my friend Piotr, also an author (in Europe), sharing a bunch of his favorite topics, courses, and authors. Click on this link, then you can look at his entire thread:
Some of you asked for recommendations, so I’ve combined my favorite @Pluralsight courses into one .
I’ve personally been using it for the past 2 years, very happy with results.
But first of all, the most burning question: is it just for technical courses? Of course not!
— Piotr Gaczkowski (@DoomHammerNG) August 17, 2020
Look, I love career management. I love helping job seekers. I love hearing about your career successes. I’m as passionate about helping you improve your hard skills and your soft skills as I am about helping you with your networking and personal brand.
That is why I continue to talk about Pluralsight. It’s an awesome tool for you to improve your hard skills, your soft skills, your career and networking skills, and to generally skill up!
It is a great complement to the rest of the career management stuff you should be doing.