The best currency you must keep in your back pocket when walking through the job market is skills. Yes, connections may help you penetrate a specific type industry, money may open doors, and your charm may be your stepping stone to get admiration, but at the end of the day, it’s your skills and abilities that matter in this domain.

That being said, it is just proper that you seek to expand your skillset in whatever way you can. Whether you want to get a promotion, thinking of switching careers, or a newbie to the workforce, upskilling will put you on the right path to success.

There’s no need to spend a ton of money or use up company resources be it budget or time. There are several timely and cost-effective ways you can improve your skills in your own time and outside of work, whether you’re at home or on a vacation somewhere. Here are eight ways to do it:

1. Volunteer

If you want to practice being well-adjusted to unfamiliar environments and step outside of your comfort zone, volunteering is the way to go. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to give something back while gaining new insights, learn new approaches, and meet new people all at the same time.

These qualities are a great addition to your CV and speak a lot about your attitude as a candidate for the job.

2. Blog it up

If you’re interested in something, now is the right time to let people know about it. Start looking up your area of interest, read news about it, as well as opinion pieces. Give influencers and bloggers a follow if they specialize in a topic similar to your interest.

If you’re ready to write about it, make sure your content gets noticed by reading some blogging tips. You will find a lot of these on the Internet in the form of other blog posts, webinars, and podcasts.

Blogging is your chance of stacking up more knowledge about the thing you believe you might excel in. From this, you can build an online portfolio that will impress anyone looking to hire you.

3. Read, read, and read

You can never go wrong with reading. It expands your awareness, thus developing your skills even further. Try and put all that you’ve read in application and see your career unfolding before your very eyes.

4. Seek mentorship

Having someone to guide you is one of the ways you can deter mistakes. Learning from someone who has already experienced what you’re going through is a sure-fire way to learn. Talk to these people and find out how they got where they are now.

Virtual and online training may also help you at this point. With majority of courses now offering the option of online study, it’s your chance to learn new skills without confining yourself in a conventional classroom set up. You only need the Internet, and new skills are learned easier.

5. Learn a second language

As the job market is becoming more globalized, being fluent in another language equates to opening up yourself to new opportunities. This is your chance to be that multilingual asset and do an overseas job that will definitely add up to your experience. Being able to converse in another language is one impressive skill that can attract better work opportunities and a higher salary.

6. Attend live events and listen to podcasts and webinars

Podcasts and webinars are convenient since they are often recorded and you can watch them later on if time permits. There’s a ton of subjects to choose from, but it’s a guarantee you’ll find something to watch or listen to that dabbles on your chosen topic of interest.

On the other hand, live events require a little bit of spending, both your money and time, but there’s the advantage of getting to meet important people face to face. Always take notes when attending such events so you’ll have something to refer with once you get home or anytime the need arises. This is one of the ways to learn more and build your knowledge.

7. Expand your network and learn marketing

It’s also a good idea to start talking to other people both inside and outside the industry you’re in. Doing this will widen your mindset, interpersonal skills, and circle of connections. This is a good practice to become more aware of your surroundings and touch certain topics that you can add up to your already growing knowledge.

While you're at it, why not enroll yourself in online marketing courses? Marketing embodies components like consumer behavior, pricing, product management, and distribution. Equip yourself with these skills so you can reach your target market should you choose a career in marketing.

8. Discover new passions

You’re never too old to discover that you actually love to do one thing you would never have imagined loving in the past. When you acquire new knowledge and learn new skills, you’re essentially opening up yourself to uncover things you might be passionate about. In doing so, your skills are upgraded for the betterment of your career. Plus, you get the bonus of you developing generally as a person.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer