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5 Ways to Skill Up in a Downturn

Alberta has seen some tough economic times in its past and will undoubtedly see more in the future. Various industries can be impacted in different ways during economic downturns, and workers that previously held seemingly secure positions can all of a sudden find themselves out of a job. So, whether you’re looking for work in the midst of an economic downturn or you’re trying to be proactive, here are some ways you can gain some extra skills to spruce up that resume.

  1. Get certified

Depending on what industry you’re in, there may be small certifications you can get that, though not mandatory, may be an attribute. For example, getting certified to drive different types of vehicles, getting your first aid, getting certified to operate certain types of machinery, etc. Obtaining industry-relevant certification wherever you can not only makes you that much more useful to your employer, but also helps you stand out to potential employers.

  1. Take online courses

Much like getting certified, online courses give you an edge through knowledge. The difference, however, is that taking one online course may not get you any sort of official certification. By taking online courses relevant to your field, you can expand your knowledge base and once again have that additional tool to bring to a potential employer.

  1. Moonlight

Moonlighting refers to taking side jobs in addition to your main job. This is not for everyone, and it is important to be very clear on what your employment contract says about moonlighting. If appropriate and in no way prohibited, moonlighting can be a great way to earn extra skills while still working a full-time job.

  1. Read

Get to know your industry. Become an expert in your field by reading three articles a week (or even just one) that teach you something about your career. Nothing can replace good old fashioned knowledge.

  1. Ask questions

Be curious. If you want to break into a new industry, find people working in that industry and ask them as many questions as possible. If you don’t know how something works or why something is the way it is, ask questions. Be hungry for knowledge and information. Not only will this attitude help you learn quicker and achieve more faster, but it will present opportunities that you otherwise may not have come across.

We don’t need to tell you that economic downturns are difficult. We’ve all experienced them and have had to fight to maintain a good quality of life despite them. These simple actions just might help you land that new job or hold on to your current position amidst layoffs.

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