‘Not Everything is Learned in a Classroom’ — 6 Ways to Level Up Your Skills Without Another Degree

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Randi Levin258
Legacy catalyst, decision diva & pivot partner
April 17, 2024 at 10:13PM UTC

Additional credentials at work are spectacular, but you can step into your existing value-add in untapped, fresh and meaningful ways. Renewing and refueling your skills is a lifelong initiative and a commitment to aligning personal and professional growth — but you don’t necessarily need a degree to do so.

Not everything is learned in a classroom. Using these six strategies can recalibrate and breathe life into your career without going back to school. 

1. Believe in the value you already have. 

Believe in yourself. Start with understanding your value. What do you bring to the organization you work for, to your current role and to your team? This is often an overlooked component and yet it is the most essential one because you want to begin to lead with that value. What makes you unique is your ticket to what is next. Hone it and build upon it, but first remember to believe in it.

Add a self-worth boost to your daily to-do list to help you believe in your value. Every day, close out your day by writing down three things that you value about yourself. Then, write down three ways that you added value to your day. At the end of the week, recap your value-adds. 

This quick mindset tweak will support you in creating a habit of believing in yourself. Understanding your value allows you to tap more naturally into your expertise so that the choices you make come from a place of self-leadership. Connect the dots on transferable skills and find the gaps and fill them based on what you already can do. Learning new skills does not mean starting over. Begin from where you are and be open to the experience.

2. Innovate.

What are you allowing to happen? Committing to change creates a ripple effect in embracing the unknown. Be curious, and allow your inner voice to lead.

Here are some ideas to jump-start your creativity.

  • Research the job, the skills and the role you think you would most like.
  • Set up informational interviews with people who have that role or skill set. How did they get where they are? What do they love and not love about it? 
  • Volunteer for a project, a committee, or a new launch. This will enable you to try on a few roles while experiencing something new. If you can, become an intern and learn as you go. Be memorable and of service to others. 

3. Ask for what you want.

Ask for a mentor. Ask for the job. Ask for new responsibilities. Ask to attend the class, conference or webinar that you are curious about. Never assume that the answer is no, or that you cannot enable the growth you seek. Make things happen for you by allowing them in.

4. Network.

Network everywhere. Join organizations that energize you and celebrate learning and new ideas. Make connections that inspire you and be memorable in the process. Offer to speak, lead, write and be the expert. Learn from others.

5. Get a certificate.

Elevate learning by getting a certification in an area you want to expand upon. This is a quick and impactful way to sharpen your skills and refresh your motivation. Take a series of online courses to uplevel your knowledge and shift your thoughts. Take advantage of internal opportunities to learn.

6. Hire a coach. 

Do the work to build out self-leadership, zero in on confidence and expand upon what is possible. Coaching will empower you to learn about yourself, enabling new perspectives, empowering change and aligning you with goals that fit. The results? You will take ownership of leveling up your skills because you will have more clarity, focus, and connection to what is important to you now.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for leveling up your skills at work without another degree? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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