Stay ahead in turbulent times by upskilling for a new career

During tough times, businesses cut back on new spending and where it happens at all, it’s directed at areas considered vital for survival and future growth. Workforces that made sense during the good times are let go, while talent pools that benefitted from optimistic growth scenarios are pared back. If you’ve been working in the service sector or in other occupations squeezed by the slump, this may be one of the reasons you’re considering a new career.

Should you build a new career during an economic slowdown? 

It can be hard to take comfort in the fact that Canada is not officially in recession when inflation continues to have an impact on the prices of essential goods like food and fuel, and when more worryingly, the unemployment rate is higher than it’s been in years. Factors such as the economic recovery from the pandemic, lasting shocks to the international supply chain, and several quarters of high interest rates have not only slowed down growth, they’ve helped create an employer’s market when it comes to hiring.

You might think that in times like these, making the decision to embark on a new career would be a risky idea. But as a matter of fact—and depending on your circumstances—starting out on a new career during turbulent times might be the smartest thing you’ve ever done. And with the help of a rapid upskilling program like the ones offered by Palette Skills, you could find yourself enjoying that new career more quickly than you ever thought possible.

 The good side of bad times

To help make sense of this, think about what happens during a slowdown. During tough times, businesses cut back on new spending and where it happens at all, it’s directed at areas considered vital for survival and future growth. Workforces that made sense during the good times are let go, while talent pools that benefitted from optimistic growth scenarios are pared back. If you’ve been working in the service sector or in other occupations squeezed by the slump, this may be one of the reasons you’re considering a new career.

The truth is that it’s exactly during these periods of restructuring when it’s possible to see where talent is really required. And bear in mind that despite the slump, many Canadian employers still report difficulty recruiting the right kind of talent. According to a recent report from the Business Development Bank of Canada, 61% of Canadian entrepreneurs say hiring and retaining employees is a challenge.

Identifying skills, discovering opportunity

The key to building that new career during tough times is to identify your skills—and your skills gaps. What attributes do you have that will take you through downturns and help you prosper when the economy returns to growth? Figuring this out takes work, so it’s a good idea to start out with a skills assessment exercise that will help you not only discover what your strengths are, but pinpoint areas for improvement. A good skills assessment tool will let you understand which skills you lack or need to work on.  

Of course evaluating these skills also depends on your career goals and what industry opportunities that exist. You’ll need to do research about emerging skills gaps, and think about where you can fit best. Take time to study industry reports to stay updated with the latest trends in areas where you think you can make a difference. 

It sounds easy, but it isn’t. Being honest about your skills gaps and identifying career opportunities can be overwhelming, but the good news is you don’t have to do this alone. Instead, it’s probably the right moment to join a great upskilling program, and work with dedicated people who are committed to helping you start a great new career. Let’s take a few moments to find out why.

Get on board with upskilling

Although you might think they’re similar, upskilling is not the same thing as training. Traditional training programs from colleges and adult education programs focus on teaching a unique new skill, like learning code or using business software. That’s great as far as it goes, but it’s not the same thing as helping you develop your professional career skills while keeping up-to-date with industry and employer needs. If you are considering pivoting to a new career, you already know that you need to build a wider array of skills that are relevant to employers, and that you want to do this as quickly as possible.

Community-based upskilling programs like the ones offered by Upskill Canada powered by Palette Skills concentrate not only on technical or “hard” skills, but also on building a range of soft and professional skills that more and more Canadian employers say they are looking for. From learning how to leverage social media platforms to help businesses provide SAAS (software-as-a-service) solutions to building critical listening and networking skills with 1:1 career coaching, upskilling is about transitioning to a rewarding career, and not just about finding another job

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The value of unlearning

There’s another reason why taking advantage of an upskilling program during a downturn is such a good idea if you’re thinking of building a new career, and it’s called unlearning. An economic downturn is a great time to let go of the things you thought you knew, and that may not be relevant in today’s world of rapidly changing tech. Because upskilling programs like SalesCamp are designed with input from industry leaders, participants can be certain that they will be getting access to the latest strategies for success in B2B (business-to-business) tech sales, for example. Not only that, upskilling programs from Upskill Canada powered by Palette Skills are industry-focused and designed to build your new skills quickly.

Future-proof your career

Business cycles are notoriously difficult to predict, but one thing that we can say with certainty is that after every downturn, we can expect periods of recovery and growth. And after recovery and growth? Get ready for the next downturn. The ups and downs of the economy can not only be exhausting, they can have an impact on the sustainability of your career. Upskilling during a downturn positions you to capitalize on future opportunities as industries rebound. But more than that, upskilling lets you stay ahead of the curve so that you can build a sustainable career that is better able to withstand the peaks and troughs of economic fortune.

Build your own growth

Just because the world economy is in a slowdown doesn’t mean that you need to slow down when it comes to building personal growth and resilience. In fact, the opposite is true. Right now, you may find yourself with more time than ever to pick up new skills, to get outside of your comfort zone, and to embrace new learning opportunities. Building your skills and enhancing your brand during an economic downturn demonstrates both adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity, and these are characteristics that great employers are on the lookout for.

Investing in yourself also means being curious and committing yourself to continuous learning. These are key skills for the digital economy, and showing employers you value learning and growth—even in an economic downturn—sends a clear signal to business leaders about the kind of professional you are. Finally, the fact is that as companies navigate through tough times, they are more likely to prioritize employees with versatile skill sets. Joining an upskilling program will help you build and identify a wider array of skills than you ever thought possible. 

Join the upskilling revolution today

Everyone needs to find their place in the future economy, especially during these challenging times. Think of the upskilling programs Upskill Canada powered by Palette Skills as so many transition pathways to new employment and learning opportunities. By helping people adapt, upskill, and transition into great careers in innovative sectors, Palette Skills is working to ensure that all Canadians are ready for growth right now. 

Find out more about your upskill opportunities here

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Eligibility for SalesCamp

To be admitted and accepted into the program, you must be:
  • Be actively searching for work and ready to take on employment opportunities tech sales.
  • Be able to legally work in Canada. 
  • Not be a full-time student.
  • Be a highly motivated individual actively seeking out new opportunities.
  • Have least 3 years of formal work experience in Canada or abroad.
  • Have an English language rating of CLB Level 8, or IELTS of 6.5 overall.
  • Be available for Zoom sessions, many of which will be full-time.
  • Be able and committed to attending networking day events as part of regular programming.
  • Be comfortable using technology and learning online.
  • Live or intend to live in the province where the program is being offered.
  • Have a reliable internet connection, device, and a quiet environment for virtual learning.
  • Be committed and able to join the Canadian workforce full-time immediately following the program.
You may not be eligible if:
  • You do not pass our application and/or interview skills assessment. 
  • You are not actively searching or able to start a job in business-to-business tech sales.
  • You are not able to legally work in Canada.
  • You do not reside in the province where the program is operating.
  • You are going to school full-time.
  • You do not have three years of work experience outside of your studies.
  • You are interested in taking SalesCamp solely for learning purposes, but are building your own business and not intending to work in the field.

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