Your Guide to Upskilling and Professional Development

Looking to advance your career? Check out the complete guide to professional development and upskilling on the ApplyDirect blog.

If one of your resolutions was to upskill yourself, you definitely haven’t set the bar too high. In fact, setting a professional development plan is easier than you might think.

To help you uncover your hidden talents in the workplace, here’s your complete guide to training and development. No matter how you learn or what your goals are, there’s a professional development plan to suit.

Upskilling Independently

Outside of work, there’s plenty you can do to advance your training and development. If you have some time to put into upskilling, it’s worth considering:

Online training courses

One of the best ways to upskill on your own is taking a course online. With the world’s knowledge at your disposal, it’s almost harder to find something you can’t train in online.

But be sure to enrol in a course run by a reputable source. Some online courses won’t be worth the costs of enrolment, while others can fast-track your career. If you’re unsure about the reputation of a particular provider, perhaps ask others in the industry whether they’d recognise their courses.


As a bonus, even modest courses and certificates can be a nice addition to your résumé.


Connect with a mentor

Being personally mentored by a long-standing professional in the industry can be a terrific way to upskill yourself. You can learn from their failures, their successes, and the path that took them to the position they’re in.

It might not be as recognised across the industry as a relevant study course, but you’ll be equipped with real-world knowledge and practices you can apply. And if you’re simply looking to excel in the role you’re in, this can be one of the best moves forward.

And who knows? Maybe their contacts will open a job opportunity for you down the track.

Hunting Professional Development Opportunities

In the workplace, it can be easy to go in, do the tasks most relevant to you, and head home. But for a majority of the time, no professional development opportunities will land in your lap.

However, even in the toughest of circumstances, there are ways you can push to increase the professional development you’re being provided.

Shadow a colleague

Shadowing a colleague (with their permission) can be one of the most effective ways to learn new skills in your business. If you have time to complete your tasks while learning from a colleague, you can expand your skillset across some of your business’s other departments.

Expand your scope

Similar to shadowing a colleague, you can upskill yourself by making it clear to your direct managers that you want to expand your scope. There’s (normally) no punishment for having the enthusiasm to take on more training and work – provided it doesn’t have a negative effect on the work you’re paid to produce.

In fact, it’s the eager person who goes out of their way to ask for training that finds doors open that little bit faster.

The Benefits of Upskilling

If you’re on the fence as to whether upskilling and professional development are worth the effort, it’s worth considering what you stand to gain:

  • Open more doors – With more skills in your arsenal, you aren’t stuck on the typical path up. You can keep developing your new skills, and turn your ‘career vine’ into more of a ‘career tree’.
  • Discover new passions – Maybe that one skill you were interested in will turn into a career-long passion. You won’t know until you’ve given it a go.
  • Increase your earning potential – There are some skillsets that will cap out in earning potential earlier than others. But with a wider range of skills and options available, you can find a path that’s both satisfying as a career and will optimise your pay potential.

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