Job hunting tips: The importance of upskilling in a jobseekers’ market

(BPT) - Are you looking for a job, but want more than a paycheck? You want to be able to learn, grow and thrive at your new position, but you're not sure where to start?

The top factor that makes for an exceptional work environment is access to opportunities to learn and grow, according to the LinkedIn Learning's 2022 Skills Advantage Report. That's a shift from just two years ago, when employees ranked access to growth opportunities as the ninth most important factor to a fulfilling workplace. Both the workplace and job market have changed, and employers are taking notice.

While there is no shortage of open positions in this jobseekers' market, not all positions provide an opportunity to grow. To set yourself up for success in your new job now and into the future, keep these tips in mind when job hunting.

1. Look for companies with career roadmaps

If you're looking for a job to help accelerate your professional growth, ask about opportunities to grow your career at your next interview. An example of how companies help their associates grow is by providing opportunities for upskilling. Upskilling programs teach employees new skills and can help open doors for a future career shift, making sure work stays interesting.

'In today's climate, jobseekers are shopping for the best opportunity,' said Eric Schelling, vice president of global talent acquisition at The Home Depot, a Forbes' World's Best Employer. 'At The Home Depot, they'll find a company that offers much more than a job and a paycheck. Jobseekers will find upskilling programs that can teach and expose them to new skills in other functions like software development, cyber security, data science, marketing, supply chain and finance.'

Through its Career Mobility Program, The Home Depot aims to provide hourly associates a path to corporate experience. The 8-week program provides associates with development sessions, training courses and networking circles to further diversify skill sets and learn more about corporate careers. The goal is for associates to exit the program with a roadmap and clearly outlined next steps to help them grow.

2. Use the interview as a learning opportunity

While many companies have introduced speed hiring initiatives to appeal to job seekers ready to jump on an opportunity, it's important to ask questions during an interview to make the right decision for you.

If career growth is a priority, here are some questions to ask:

  • What skills are needed to succeed in this position?
  • What opportunities are there to learn new skills?
  • Is there an upskilling program for employees?
  • What are some examples of skills that can be learned through upskilling at this job?
  • Are there advancement opportunities for employees who upskill?

In addition to upskilling, take the opportunity to ask questions about company benefits. Ask about health and personal benefits including tuition reimbursement, a company performance-based cash bonus program, discounts on cell phones, paid parental leave, 401(k) savings plan with company match, and a discount company stock purchase program.

3. Seek employers that invest in your development

Think about the future and where you'd like to be in one, five or even 10 years. Then make a plan to reach your goals. One career area that is booming is technology, so if you get the opportunity to learn new skills, embrace them. For example, even if you don't have a background in technology, you can have access to on-the-job training with The Home Depot.

As a value-based company, the associate-first approach has allowed them to help their employees build and advance careers internally. The company has a growing need for software engineers, security experts, user experience (UX) pros, and merchandising and data scientists, and are rapidly investing in skills development.

To create a talent pipeline of skilled associates to fill technology roles, the company rolled out an immersive skills boot camp dubbed OrangeMethod that educates associates on a variety of programming languages and other technology skills. The goal of the program is to provide a pathway for in-store associates to grow into salaried technologists, helping to meet the needs of the company while investing in employees.

The job you choose today might be the opportunity you want to transform your future. Make sure to ask the right questions and gather all the information needed so you can make the right choice for you.

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