5 Ways To Supercharge Your Skills Without Sacrificing Your Precious Spare Time

Brought to you by Open Universities Australia


Sure, a pretty large chunk of our lives are spent at work, but as the world continues to evolve and change at super speed, it’s up to us to upskill where we can. The good news is that how, when and where we choose to engage in mastering our professional universe is totally up to us. Best of all, it’s legitimately exciting.

If you’ve been thinking about adding another string to your bow, here are a few ideas to help you gain those extra skills without seeing your free time dwindle before your eyes.

#1 Find An Industry Mentor

There’s nothing quite like having a work fairy godmother take you under their wing, give you advice, and steer you in the right direction when your career feels like it’s flailing. In life, it’s true that we simply don’t know what we don’t know, but a mentor solves that problem. Their experiences become your learning curves, their contacts become your wider network, and their insider knowledge becomes an ever-flowing waterfall of priceless information.

What’s more, having the friendship and trust of someone within your industry, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced worker bee, is something you’ll continue to cherish long after you reach retirement age.

#2 Return To The Classroom – But Do It On Your Terms

How good would school have been if you could’ve studied subjects you were actually interested in and done it when and where it suited you? Better yet – what if you could’ve taken on a single subject at a time so you weren’t constantly playing catch up with friends, sleep, study, and work?

Open Universities Australia is all about helping you find the right online course for you, and luckily for us, they’ve brought together degrees and subjects from a range of leading unis in the one place. Not only do they have a smorgasbord of courses to choose from, since they’re all online you can study during your commute or lunch break if you feel like it, and when you’re done, you’ll graduate with the same qualification as if you’d actually been on campus. All you have to do is decide which skills you want to brush up on, and how you want your studious new goals to fit in with your life.

#3 Shadow Someone (In A Non-Creepy Way)

The best way to learn new professional skills is to shadow a co-worker who is already killing it in the area you’re keen to explore. Obviously, I don’t mean literally following them around (nobody wants to be that person), but there’s no harm in taking your work buddy aside and asking if they’re cool with letting you sit in here or there. This kind of learning is second only to doing the job yourself, and you’ll be amazed at what you can pick up in such a short space of time.

If you’ve got a good rapport with your boss, why not tell them about your desire to upskill while you’re at it? They may know about internal opportunities that could help you out.

#4 Go To The Opening Of An Envelope If You Have To

Industry events used to be a chance for big-wig corporate dudes to stand up and chat to a group of VIP employees. These days, if you’re looking to upskill, it’s legitimately helpful to attend as many events as possible. Why? Because this kind of after-work activity is a social exercise that, more often than not, forces you out of your comfort zone, allows you to meet new people, gets you to verbalise your skills and interests and, ultimately, opens you up to a world of like-minded individuals eager to learn and grow.

#5 Mentor Someone Else

I’ve always loved the idea of being a mentor. Not because I’m trying to make amends for all those years of mercilessly teasing and taunting my little sister, but because there’s something truly wonderful about paying it forward and knowing you’ve helped change someone’s life for the better.

Your skills and past experiences are often the missing puzzle piece for a lot of young adults in the very early stages of their career, so why not lend them a helping hand? Taking on this feel-good responsibility isn’t just an ego boost, though – it provides you with enhanced interpersonal skills, strengthened critical thinking skills, leadership skills, and management skills.

What’s more, there’s nothing like having a hip young thing keeping you on your toes and preventing you from falling behind in the latest technologies and best practice. Mentorship is a two-way street, so why not give it a go?

(Lead image: Warner Bros.)

Strengthen your skills and gain a recognised qualification on your terms. For 25 years, Open Universities Australia has enabled students to study online with leading unis, in a way that suits their lifestyle. Explore all your options at or call a friendly student advisor on 13 OPEN.