Upskilling made simple: How to take control of your professional development

Upskilling made simple: How to take control of your professional development

Academy Xi

This article was made possible thanks to Academy Xi, a community-led and purpose-driven education company.

Learn more at

In today’s competitive landscape, staying on top of your game as a business professional is crucial.

The simple truth is that no matter how highly trained and educated one may be, you can be sure that your industry will keep changing, prompting you to adapt consistently as the years go by.

This is precisely why upskilling is an invaluable tool that enables you to strengthen your existing skill sets, develop new ones, attract potential employers, and eventually bag all of your desired career goals.

If you are a business professional looking for methods of self-development and adding to your list of existing skills, then you’ve landed on the perfect article.

Here we share five expert tips on how you can take control of your professional development by upskilling. Read on to find out more.

1. Sign up for online courses and virtual learning

Gone are the days where you need to sit in a classroom for hours in order to learn something new. Now, in the age of digital, you can easily access or sign up for online short courses in Australia to upskill as a professional and even gain additional graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of courses and classes available online, many of which include self-paced online courses that allow students to set their schedule and deadlines as they move through course content alongside juggling their professional responsibilities. Mindvalley is another excellent platform for courses on personal and professional development. You can check Mindvalley deals for discounts to save money.

These types of self-guided courses are a great option for busy professionals who may not have much time to spare, but can still greatly benefit from upskilling in whatever downtime they have.

2. Consider getting certified

Over the past couple of years, we have seen a meteoric growth in professional business certification across virtually all industries.

If you are looking to take your career to the next level, certification gives recognition of competency, shows your commitment to growth, and helps with job advancement and stability with regards to your long-term employment prospects.

These merits are also a great way of boosting your professional credibility within your own network, both with current clients and when pursuing new business opportunities and projects. You could consider improving your skills with professional assessments. Visit for resources that can aid in personal and professional development, complementing your efforts to getting certified and boosting your qualification level.

You’ll also find that certification doesn’t just validate your expertise and knowledge, but having a few of these accolades to your name may also help further your career by equipping you with updated industry information or techniques, as well as the confidence and self-assuredness that you need in order to thrive as a modern professional.

3. Consume career-focused content

Are you guilty of spending hours on end scrolling through social media platforms or watching cute cat videos online? While there is certainly nothing wrong with a little rest, relaxation and downtime on the web, professionals looking to advance their careers are strongly encouraged to spend their free time a little more wisely.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling through content that provides little to no value, we recommend actively seeking out career-focused content that can help take your industry skills and knowledge to the next level.

Luckily for you, there is an abundance of e-books, value-packed podcasts, videos and free articles online that can help you develop both soft and hard skills, no matter your profession.

To get you started, here are some of our favourite business podcasts to help you upskill in your downtime:

  • TED-Talks Business: This one is a must-listen for anyone running currently their own business or thinking of starting a side hustle.
  • How I Built This: A great resource documenting inspiring stories from founders and entrepreneurs across the globe.
  • Flying Solo: The perfect podcast for any professional interested in starting or growing a small business. Join host Cec as she talks with inspiring soloists and expert guests on all things solo, micro and small business.

In addition to listening to business podcasts, you can also read books to help you upskill in your downtime. One great book that can help you identify your strengths and use them to your advantage is Strengthsfinder 2.0 designed by Gallup Research Institute to help individuals identify their talents and strengths, so they can focus on their areas of expertise to succeed professionally and personally. Gallup has studied the strengths of millions of people and identified 34 different themes that make up a person’s strengths. Once you know your strengths, you can use them to guide your career choices, your personal development, and your relationships.

4. Find a career mentor

Professional mentorship programs are on the rise – and with good reason.

By definition, a mentor is someone who gives advice and guidance to help someone reach their goals. Similar to a teacher or a coach, a mentor helps to guide someone who may be less experienced through the learning process by establishing trust and modelling positive behaviours.

In the professional world, mentoring involves learning from someone who is more experienced than you or who sits above you on the career ladder.

If you’d like to gain insights into the world and responsibilities that may await you upon your career advancement, then finding a career mentor in your industry could be a great way for you to help tailor your own upskilling journey and better prepare for the life that lies ahead.

Finding a career mentor may offer the following benefits:

  • Introducing you to new professionals in your field, thus helping you grow your network;
  • Gaining honest feedback about your skills, strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement;
  • Acting as connection for future opportunities;
  • Being a reliable source for a letter of recommendation; and
  • Holding you accountable for your actions.

Whether you’re aiming for a promotion, pay rise, applying for a new role or navigating a delicate workplace dilemma, having a career mentor on hand will help you handle these moments with confidence.

At the end of the day, wisdom comes from experience, and seeking wise counsel from a trusted mentor is a surefire way to not just upskill, but also grow your confidence and self esteem in your profession.

5. Join a networking group

Last but not least, professional networking is a fantastic means of upskilling your current talents and skills as it opens you up to receiving new resources, industry knowledge, professional opportunities, and more.

Whether at in-person conferences, social appointments, or even by attending online events, networking in any capacity is a priceless tool that allows you to connect with like-minded individuals in your industry (both local and international), to further build upon your skills with new ideas, knowledge and beyond.

Networking can help you to have your finger on the pulse of industry trends, exchange ideas and resources with peers, build your interpersonal skills and expand on your industry connections.

Whether we’re looking for a promotion, pay rise or simply looking to broaden your career horizons, upskilling is a vital tool for any business professional. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable insight into the many steps you can take to furthering your career by upskilling and we wish you the best in all your professional endeavours!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 27, 2022 but has since been update to include new information. 

Academy Xi

This article was made possible thanks to Academy Xi, a community-led and purpose-driven education company.

Learn more at