Advance or Upskill in Your Career

Advancement and upskilling looks different for everyone depending on industry and current role. One thing we know is lifelong learning and skill development will always be relevant. You never know what new opportunities are right around the corner.

woman teaching a lecture
seeking new skills and mentorship
There are always new skills to learn that can help you advance in your career. Here are some suggestions we have to get you started:
  • Consider working with a career coach. Stay tuned for a curated coaching database in the future! In the meantime, the International Coaching Federation has many coaches both local to West Michigan and nation-wide. 
  • GVSU offers many undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, and digital badges to help you level up your credentials. Lean more about them here
    • A badge is a digital verification of a microcredential, making it more portable and easily shared on LinkedIn and other digital media. Badges are most common in the computer science and information systems fields and do not appear on Grand Valley transcripts at this time.
    • A certificate is a paper-based verification of completion of a microcredential program. Certificates, or certification, appear on Grand Valley transcripts and are most commonly recognized in the fields of healthcare, education, and business, among others.
  • Graduate school is a great way to gain specialized training in a number of fields. 
  • Free and Virtual Ways to Enhance Skills - GVSU Career Center 
  • Here's How to Upskill in 2023 and Advance Your Career | Innopharma Education 
    • Expand your network! Networking is about making connections and gaining information. It’s also a great way to personally and professionally embed yourself into a community. Here are some places to get started with networking:
    Consider getting connected to a mentor. A mentor can help you develop as little as one particular skill or topic or serve in a more long-term role.
    • First, start by identifying your career and personal goals. Then, begin thinking of specific people who might be able to help you with that goal. Here’s a great article describing the different types of mentors.
    • Initiate the conversation by reaching out formally through phone, email, LinkedIn or in person. Simply introduce yourself (if you are not familiar with the person already) and explain why you would like to talk with them.  Be sure to be polite, professional, and prompt in your response. Try to work within their schedule and ask them to consider the opportunity rather than feel obligated to agree.
    • If you don’t get a response from someone, don’t give up! You can appropriately follow-up with the person, or move on to identify other potential mentors. 
    • Have a time-frame in mind when asking to meet so the potential mentor can have an idea of what they are agreeing to. Additionally, ensure you will have topics and an agenda for each meeting to make the most of your time together. You should be the one taking ownership.
    • Check out this helpful guide for additional tips for finding a mentor and this Ted Talk if you're interested in becoming a mentor to someone else!

    Page last modified November 30, 2023