Saturday, December 27, 2014

Should I go for an upgrade?

So you must have asked yourself this question:

Should I upgrade myself (upgrade skills)? 

The reason you have asked yourself this question is because you must have felt that you have a strong education background or experience in the particular field that you are in. Certainly, having rich industry experience plays an important role to obtain higher position in the company. However, it is also important to understand the fact that there is no such thing as iron rice bowl, retrenchment can happen anytime and anywhere (but not really in the government sector, unless you did something really wrong). 

Thus, I strongly believe that it is important for us to go for an upgrade by learning new skills or improve existing skills which will eventually improve our own value when it comes to negotiating for salary. 

So now the concern is time and money, most people concern about the fact that there is no time (due to work) and not enough spare cash (due to bills and etc.) to upgrade themselves. Of course, it will be quite hard to get a win-win situation because there is a price to pay for everything. There are a few ways where you can do it, which include time management, cost management and opportunity.

For time management, as a full time worker there are a few ways to manage your time:
1) Apply for leave - if the duration of the course is 5 days or less, applying leave for this purpose is viable but the problem is that you have to sacrifice your leave for learning not for holiday.

2) Take night classes - Many adults are taking night classes these days to improve themselves, do select the class which is suitable for you. Of course, you will have to sacrifice your resting time. It will be hard, but your hard work will pay off :)

3) Take classes on weekends - Well that might be rare and expensive, but its worth it! But the downside is that you have sacrifice your weekend

4) Online learning - now is the trend of online learning, so you can sign up for online learning websites like CourseraKhan Academy and many more! You can spend your lunch time, before your sleep or during your free time to learn new skills!

For Cost management, taking up a course or a part time degree is not a cheap deal as it will cost up to thousands of dollars per course. Thus, there are a few ways to fund your courses.

1) Personal Savings - Well this is the basic option that most people go with, which is use your own saving to sign up for your course. Saving is not a simple task as I mention in my other post - Small tips on saving plan, which will teach you how to plan your own saving plan. So the most important thing is to plan early and save the money for your courses.

2) Government Aid - For Singapore, you can approach WDA for subsidy for individual training, do check out this website - WDA Subsidy for more information. It will help you reduce the cost for your courses. (Good Deal!)

Singapore Workforce Development Agency

For Opportunity, there are times where opportunity for you to get free upgrades mainly from your company, but the downside is that you will have to serve bond after taking up the course which is sponsored by your company. The bond duration varies, but if it helps you to get promotion, why not give it a go?

So in conclusion, upgrade personal skill is essential in order to get yourself employed, thus, do take up every opportunity that you have to upgrade yourself in order to make your portfolio better than others :) Good luck!

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