How to talk about upskilling at a performance review or job interview - Deepstash

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Don’t downplay the significance of completing a class

Don’t downplay the significance of completing a class

When taking an online class, especially in a subject seemingly unrelated to your profession, it’s tempting to be overly modest.

But pursuing a multi-week course requires long-term commitment, a strong work ethic, and time management skills, especially when you’re balancing it against other responsibilities. Emphasizing all that helps you stand out as a strong, dependable candidate.


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Don’t admit to tilting the balance on work/life to complete training

There’s such a thing as being overcommitted to your education. This may sound like obvious advice, but in the course of ordinary conversation, it’s easy to slip up and confess something you shouldn’t.

Therefore, keep your professional surroundings in mind and don’t let your guard down too much.


37 reads

Don’t share your plans of an exit

Don’t share your plans of an exit

When an adult decides to upskill, it’s often with their fantasy career in mind. Maybe they’re imagining transitioning from accounting to web design, or from lawyering to calligraphy.

Authenticity is a good thing, but don’t be so authentic as to spill the beans to your supervisor or hiring manager—they won’t look upon you favorably if your end game includes ditching their industry to pursue your dreams.


37 reads

Bring up your training

Not everyone is going to take the time to review your self-evaluation or résumé in acute detail: managers are spending countless hours recruiting new employees and bending over backward to keep the ones they have.

To make your achievements known, it’s important for you to personally raise the subject instead of waiting for the person you’re talking to bring it up.


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Review your new skills before holding a discussion with managers

Review your new skills before holding a discussion with managers

Maybe you finished your class just before that big job interview or performance review, or maybe it’s been a couple of months. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to give yourself a refresher on what you actually did during the class so you can drop some impressive details in real-time.

The last thing you want to do is find yourself searching your own memory during a critical conversation with a hiring manager or supervisor.


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Explain how the class relates to job performance

Sometimes, making the direct connection between your work and the class you chose is easy—no one’s going to be surprised, for instance, when a financial analyst decides to brush up on her Excel skills.

They might be more skeptical, however, if that same analyst says she’s pursuing training in a creative field, like songwriting or food photography. Blow skeptics away with this fact: Creative activity that’s unrelated to work can actually help workers perform better at their jobs,


29 reads



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