This Is The No. 1 Way to Confront Anxiety About the Job Search

woman nervous

Canva / Fairygodboss Staff

Profile Picture
Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 18, 2024 at 7:58AM UTC

A recent survey by LHH found that 84% of women said they have the skills to advance in their careers. That’s the good news. At the same time, women are far more likely to report feeling anxious about their next career moves than men, despite women saying they have more opportunities to utilize those skills and learn in their roles.

Gen Z respondents, too, said they feel anxious about moving on in their careers, with 34% believing they could not use their existing skillsets at work.

But there is a surefire way to face your anxiety and fears head-on: upskilling.

What is upskilling?

A World Economic Forum report found that investment in upskilling could boost GDP by 6.5 trillion USD by 2030.

Simply put, upskilling means building on your knowledge and competencies to improve your skillset. It’s a critical part of lifelong learning. Although sometimes confused with reskilling, the two terms are distinct; upskilling refers to improving your current skills, commonly due to a desire to advance in your career, while reskilling means learning entirely new skills, often toward the goal of being able to perform a different type of work and/or remain relevant in their sectors. Both types of learning and growing are important in the workforce. 

How can you upskill?

Many employers offer their employees opportunities to upskill as a means of improving their organizations. But you can also upskill independently, helping you prepare for your next opportunity, achieve a promotion or otherwise advance in your career and continue to grow.

1. Take courses.

This is probably the most straightforward way to upskill. Today, there are plenty of MOOC libraries that individuals can access at a low cost or even for free. Through platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, Codecademy and edX, you can explore topics like coding, digital marketing, art and design, creative writing and many, many more. In some cases, you can also gain credentials.

2. Work with a mentor.

A formal or informal mentor can not only give you guidance throughout your career but can also support and advise you on opportunities to upskill. You’ll learn simply from speaking with them, too. Bear in mind that you can learn from building a relationship and working with a mentee, too — you’ll be gaining important skills that can be applied to numerous roles!

3. Take advantage of books, podcasts and more.

When’s the last time you listened to a podcast and thought, “I just learned something new”? For podcast enthusiasts, it was probably pretty recently.

Think about how the activities you enjoy regularly, such as reading and listening to podcasts, can help you upskill. Make an effort to add new media to your repertoire. If you work in education, for example, there are plenty of resources to allow you to get new takes on teaching practices. Or, if you want to improve your technology skillset, try out a guide to a coding language.

4. Network.

Attend virtual and in-person events, and reach out to people you admire on platforms like LinkedIn. Putting yourself out there is a way to gain important connections that could serve you well in life, as well as an opportunity to discover critical skills — like collaborating with others — that you will need throughout your career. 

It’s a lifelong process.

Upskilling is an ongoing facet of lifelong learning. Continuing to look for opportunities to improve your knowledge and set yourself up for success — whether it’s using Duolingo regularly or committing to reading every day.


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

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at:

What's your no. 1 piece of upskilling advice? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always