Optimize your career: Gain an edge in today’s workplace

By Danae Ingram

The workplace has changed over the past few years, and workers have had to change the way they progress in their chosen careers.

Some are still operating from home offices, either a few days a week or full time. Many have made their way back to the bricks-and-mortar spaces, where face-to-face interactions and meetings are fostered. Many workers report feeling that the months lost to the pandemic have meant losing critical career-building time.

Gaining ground in the workplace

Upward mobility can be achieved by switching companies, of course, but more and more companies who are willing to offer higher salaries are looking for people from within who are keen to build more highly-developed skills.

Many companies will sponsor an employee through specific courses with an eye to moving that person into a role with further responsibilities, thus retaining their talent. There might be a contract requirement for the employee to remain with the company for a period of time, so that they haven’t invested in your training for the benefit of another company.

Develop your plan

Is your career in growth mode? Are you confident that you’ve built your skill set to a level that will boost you up the ladder? Is there more that you can do, and are you willing to do the work to achieve your career goals?

Questions such as these are a starting place for building your plan. Putting your plan on paper or in a digital file can solidify how and when you will act upon it.

How to get there from here

Once you have a plan, have a look at the wide range of educational opportunities Professional Development Institute of the University of Ottawa (PDI) has to offer workers in the Ottawa region, across the country and around the world. Find a full calendar of skill-enhancing courses on their website.

You’ll find well-targeted courses such as project management, leadership, and cyber-security.

If you need to work while you learn, you’ll want to source a flexible way to accomplish that.

Happily, there are ever-improving ways to reach your goals. You may choose an in-person setting, where you can participate in real-time class discussions, speak to your instructor face to face, and grow a network with your classmates. It’s the traditional way to learn that remains relevant in today’s world. The biggest benefits to online learning are that you can sign in from home, still chat with instructors and classmates, and have instant results on your quizzes.

Have a look through the world-class roster offered by the Professional Development Institute (PDI) of the University of Ottawa. Courses range from International Relations and Policy, Management and Supervision, Personal Effectiveness, through Second Language Skills.

Key to success

Whichever direction you choose, plan your time and subjects carefully. Online classes need to be more purposeful than those in person, as student engagement is an important factor. Take advantage of online meet-up opportunities with your classmates to build your network and participate in course discussions. It’s also important to consider how you manage your work-life-studies balance.

Upward mobility is about developing your skills, how consistently you network, how effectively you connect with the knowledge base in your chosen field, and how you keep your skills sharp by attending events and conferences. All of these are available through PDI, attracting top experts from governments, academia, corporations and industries to their events and conferences.

If you’re interested in forging a path to higher success, visit pdinstitute.uottawa.ca or call (613)-562-5802 and check out the myriad possibilities.

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