How to Upskill Yourself While Working Remotely
Are you eager to make progress in your career but not sure where to start? It can be hard to know how to upskill yourself while working from home, but there are plenty of remote opportunities that can take you to the next step in your career. We take a look at the top ways charity workers can boost their skills while working remotely.
Listen to charity podcasts
If you want to upskill yourself and advance your charity career, you have to build a solid understanding of the sector. One way to do this is by networking with others to tap into their experience and perspectives. But that’s not the only way. You can also subscribe and listen to charity podcasts that will give you an insight into current sector developments and challenges.
A great place to start is with Charity Chat which features big names in charity, includes learning tools and sparks commentary. Charity Digital covers charity sector news and trends as well as advice and discussions about hot topics. There’s a podcast for almost every part of the charity ecosystem and they’re a great way to immerse yourself in the industry and learn what it takes to thrive in it.
Create a non-profit reading list
Another excellent way to upskill yourself is to create a non-profit-focused reading list. There are some insightful books available on the subject, many of which are written by the sector’s most successful people. Some are inspiring and will help you to maintain your motivation while others offer an insider’s perspective on the day-to-day struggles of others in the industry. Below are just a few titles you might consider if you’re wondering how to upskill yourself:
- Managing Without Profit by Mike Hudson―this book can help with navigating the minefields of charity governance.
- The Networked Non-Profit by Beth Kanter―this book shows how charities can use social media to drive growth and change.
- Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Practices and Principles―this book covers marketing, mission and managing yourself, and includes interviews with charity experts.
Meet virtually with your mentor
If you’ve been working in the charity sector for a while you’re no doubt already aware that having a mentor is one of the keys to career growth. They function as a valuable resource that can help you to navigate the complexities of the industry, introduce you to important contacts, and even advise you on how to achieve your goals.
You should build some time into your schedule to connect with your mentor as often as is practical. Keeping in touch via video call or even on the phone is an excellent use of the time you’ve gained by not having to travel to work. And if you don’t already have a mentor, you can use the time to network and find one willing to help you advance your career. They’ll be able to offer the latest advice on how to upskill yourself for your particular role.
Take advantage of employer-provided training
In many cases charities offer training and development opportunities to their staff. One of the most common reasons that employees don’t take advantage of those opportunities is a lack of time. This is especially true for organisations that only provide unpaid time off for employees wishing to take part in the training.
But in an all-remote setting you might find that you have enough extra time to take your employer up on their training offers without sacrificing your personal time. Chances are they’ll be happy to hear of your interest and you’ll gain valuable skills at no additional cost. Even if your employer doesn’t offer any training and development, you can build your own training program through online courses that suit your own career goals.
Work towards a degree
Since many people come into the charity sector with no industry-specific schooling to speak of, one of the best ways to take advantage of your newfound spare time is to work towards earning a charity-specific degree. There are plenty of learning paths available to fit many of the sector’s most common roles. Adding a bachelor’s or master’s in your chosen field to your CV will open up new doors that can help you advance your career.
If you already have a charity-specific degree to your credit you might consider working toward an MBA or other management degree instead. There are plenty of great resources to help you choose an MBA that’s right for your circumstance. An advanced degree can help you to move into more advanced charity roles you might otherwise not be considered for. Any way you look at it, adding credentials to your CV is a great way to progress your career.
There’s a large variety of different ways to advance your career whilst working remotely. By following our tips, you can work out how to upskill yourself in a way that best fits your circumstances and schedule.
Still looking for the perfect remote job? Take a look at the variety of roles available on CharityJob.
This post was originally published in 2021 and has been updated to ensure relevance and to reflect the current jobseeker experience.