Over the last 12 months, people had to stay indoors, and those with “mobile” skills worked from their home offices, while others enjoyed video games all day long. In fact, some battle royale franchises, such as Fortnite, saw increased downloads while fun games like aquarium online recorded their highest player count. That said, mass vaccination is rolling out, and there’s some faint light at the end of the tunnel – and people are starting to contemplate their work lives once again.
If you are in tech or interested in joining the industry, here are some tips on returning or upskilling/reskilling to your dream career.
1. Know What You Want
People already in tech might have been the luckiest since their skills and job description allow them to work remotely. For most people, going back to the 9-5 cubicle work life isn’t an option. That is because they cannot afford to lose all the flexibility and work-life balance they have gained throughout the pandemic. Now, they only have three options – bargain with their bosses for a flexible working schedule, float their resume elsewhere for a similar position. Or, upskill/reskill and land themselves better tech jobs that offer flexible working conditions and better pay.
If you are rather comfortable going back to the office, you want to check if your skills will sustain you in the long run. Rapid automation due to digital transformation means that some jobs will become obsolete in the near future. If this is the case, then learning new skills could be a great option. By knowing what you want, you’ll be in a better position to decide what’s next – for your professional life and personal life.
2. Should You Reskill or Upskill?
While the two are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Upskilling refers to learning new skills to add more value to your career, meaning you are more likely to stick with the same profession. On the other hand, reskilling means learning new skills related to or unrelated to your current job to help you switch your career. In other words, people looking to earn a promotion or raise their pay will consider upskilling.
However, if you have outdated skills or low-paying skills and looking to switch careers, either from one department or employer to another, reskilling may be the best option. When reskilling, you want to learn transferable skills relevant across industries, roles, and even job levels. For example — cybersecurity skills, project management skills, critical thinking skills, communication skills, leadership skills, etc.
3. What’s the In-Demand Skills?
Before reskilling or upskilling, you want to understand what skills are regarded as technical and if those skills will lead you to your dream career.
Technical skills definition – these are a specific set of abilities and knowledge needed to perform certain tasks in technology, science, arts, and math.
After defining these skills, you want to narrow them down to a marketable field. That said, the tech industry is highly dynamic, and the skills that were in demand a month ago may be of little interest to employers the following month. The idea isn’t to speculate and start betting on the “next big tech career of the decade.” Rather, understand the ins and outs of those specific skills of interest before signing up for one.
4. What Skills Are You Passionate About
After exploring all the options and picking those that are marketable, you should define technical skills that make a lot of sense to you. For instance, you should see if the career path you want to reskill to would still be interesting to you ten or twenty years from now. And while it’s hard to speculate, basing your decision on your everyday life, likes, and dislikes may help you choose the right skill.
For instance, if you enjoy playing video games or betting and you have a passion for tech, you may pick a career in software development or data analytics. Skills you’ll need, vary from programming languages such as C++, Java or Python, Database and SQL, familiarization with one text editor, cloud platforms, networking basics, etc.
After mastering all these skills, you could even try yourself for a position in some popular gaming companies like Nintendo or fun betting sites like mister bet as a software developer, data analyst, etc.
5. Position Yourself for Success
Pivoting to a new career can be challenging, especially if you join a new company either as a fresh employee or a seasoned employee who has reskilled. The hassle of landing your perfect job could be tedious, and you need to position yourself for success. After reskilling and retraining for your new career path, you need to research and find the best employers actively hiring in your new niche. Besides the pay and maybe flexible working schedules, you should check the company’s values, culture, and reputation. That way, you’ll know if the new workplace is an exciting, fun, and ideal place to nurture your new skills and career.
6. Get to the Job Market with Your New Skills
Now that you have the technical skills and you’ve mapped the best employers you wish to work for, it’s time to update your resume and officially brace yourself to enter the job market. A rule of thumb to landing your dream job is to maximize your network – either social networks such as LinkedIn or physical networks from colleagues and friends. If you reskilled and now have the hottest skills in the market, and considering that you have some prior work experience elsewhere, most employers will want you working for them. The reason being, they will see you as someone agile and motivated to learn new skills, which is an invaluable trait in the highly disruptive workforce market.
Moving out of your comfort zone and reskilling or upskilling is something that most people won’t do. However, the current tech talent market is highly competitive.
Moving forward, what new tech skills do you want to acquire to retain your current position or move to a higher role? Share your thoughts on upskilling/reskilling and returning to the tech career in the comments section.
Thomas Glare is an experienced career coach.He helps people identify their best abilities and motivations to mold the best plan for their careers. He believes in getting achievements that also add to a person’s sense of fulfillment. Thomas loves writing blog articles about career choices. He hopes the articles can alleviate fears caused by the crisis.