Tag Archives: career advice

How Online Learning Can Unlock New Doors For Your Career (Even Through A Pandemic)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed everyone’s life in some way. Whether you or a loved one have battled through the virus or you’re just spending way more time at home, jobs and careers are the main parts of our lives that have been upturned. 

25% of U.S. adults say that they, or someone in their household, have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s a massive statistic. Even if you haven’t lost your job, there’s no doubt that your career will have been affected somehow. Maybe you’re working from home. Maybe you’re working less because of restrictions. Or maybe, the pandemic has put your career into perspective, and you know it’s time to try something new. 

However you’ve been affected, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The world is at your fingertips with an absolute plethora of learning options moving online. Now’s the time to embrace it! You can retrain, add to your arsenal or even explore working from home options that might not have been viable before. 

Today, we’re going to look at a few ways that online learning can change your career for the better. There’s a possibility for everyone, no matter your skill level or the size of your wallet. 

Retrain

Retraining may be the most obvious way to make the most of online learning options. If you’ve lost your job, retraining can be a brilliant way to move your career forward. Especially if the pandemic has hit your field of work particularly hard. The best way to start is to use online guides that help you navigate degree options available to you. It can be a real minefield with a wide range of degrees and qualifications on offer. Utilizing these guides means you can identify the path you need to take to get to your desired end goal. 

It’s also crucial to find out precisely what you want to do. Make a list of what you enjoy doing, what skills you already have, and what career path you’d fancy doing. Remember, don’t just think about the money you’ll make; enjoying your job sounds cliché but can change your life. 

This comes from a place of privilege, though. Not all of us have the level of financial security that allows us to explore our dreams. If that’s the case, think about finding a balance between what you want to do and a good pay packet. Or, instead of retraining, think about bumping up your CV instead to make yourself more hireable. (Check out the “Add to your repertoire” section below.) 

Once you know what you want to do and have figured out the path to take, you’ll want to choose the best course for you. Did you know the top Colleges in the U.S. now offer online versions of their classes and degrees? There’s a vast offering out there that’ll fit your budget and needs. 

Add To Your Repertoire

Taking the time to retrain in a new work field isn’t always the best option available for us. Maybe you don’t have the freedom to take time away from family obligations to concentrate on courses. Or you might still be working and can’t commit that much time to learn. 

If that’s the case, finding some simple, cheap, and quick courses that make your CV shine is a great place to start. If you’ve lost your job, then these courses will help you stand out from the crowd and help you get hired fast. If you want to go in a new direction, they can help you gain expertise in your new field without long term commitment. There’s a massive amount of these simple courses available, so try using a website that brings many of them together in one place. It saves you spending hours sifting through them on Google. 

If you’re really squeezed for cash – thanks to the pandemic, who isn’t – some websites even offer free courses and financial aid. So you don’t have to feel like there isn’t anything you can do. You don’t have to stay trapped in a job you hate. Nor do you have to feel like your skills aren’t up to par. 

Explore Unused Skills

Suppose you’re looking for something totally different or want to bump up your current pay. In that case, you can explore your unused talents! Pretty much everyone has some skill that they don’t use for money. Many of us like to keep them for personal hobbies, but if you decide you’d like to take that further, it couldn’t be easier. 

Maybe you have an Arts degree or can write like Shakespeare; there are apps available to help you find freelance work. Try something like Fiverr for a quick way to sell your skills online.

If you’re unsure where to start, try an online course directed at creating your own business. It’ll help you navigate everything that’s involved; tax and accounting can be a special kind of nightmare that online courses can help relieve. Skillshare is an excellent place for hints and tips about becoming a freelancer. The classes aren’t accredited, so they won’t find a place on your CV, but they’ll give you some much-needed knowledge. If all else fails, make the most of Youtube. It’s true what they say, there’s a video about everything on there. 

The pandemic has hit some of us more than others, and losing your job will only add to its stress. Use this guide to help you concentrate on yourself for a bit and what you want. Then, looking for a new job or career will be a little bit easier than before. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list of what’s available – if it was, you’d be here for a very long time! Take the time to find out what’s best for you and your situation. We’re all dealing with different things right now, so all our experiences are individual.

Online learning really can change your career for the better. Now’s the perfect time to make the most of it – especially the free options!

4 Career Building Tips for the Newly Hired

get a job 1

Brand-spanking new to the professional world? While writing a flipping fantastic cover letter  and nailing any interview may have gotten you here, the journey doesn’t end there. The reality is, not many people land that pitch perfect job right out of the gate. Most of us have our gaze set higher, looking towards a climb up the ladder. So, for all you hard-working dreamers and clock-punching creatives, whether you’re sitting at a coveted desk or simply paying your rent, here’s my advice to you…

1. Get organized.

Your career path will not trend upwards if you’re a hot mess all the time. This is just a fact. From the jump, commit to trying out as many organizational systems as needed until you find the ones that work for you. Maybe you nailed this down in school or maybe you were too busy perfecting the time-honored traditions of procrastination and cooking outlandish things on a George Foreman. No judgment. Your methods will need to be informed by your current work environment anyhow, so even the most Type A graduate will have to adapt and experiment along with ya. Whether you’re bussing tables or a high powered exec you have to show up on time, keep track of tasks, and execute said tasks in an order that makes as many people happy as possible. For me, these things are accomplished through a combination of this journal method, Google calendar, a meticulously sorted e-mail inbox and lots and lots of spreadsheets. This system (and yes, I call that hodge podge you just read a “system”) took several years and multiple jobs to finally commit to. Take it from me, the sooner you can get yo’ shit together, as it were, the better.

2. Say “Yes!”

Don’t turn down opportunities to do out of the ordinary tasks or assignments. By simply saying “Yes!” and following through, you’re not only seen as going that extra mile by the bossman or bosslady but you’re also gaining experience in something new and different. This positive approach can be rewarding in a couple of ways. First, you’ll have a competitive edge within your own company. Your employer will know you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone and do them a solid. Others probably said no. You said yes. Points! But more importantly, you could stumble your way into something unique to tout in future resumes and interviews. Want to gloat about the successful execution of a well-attended event? You cant…if you said no to working that weekend. Want to brag about a stellar account you lined up? You won’t…if you didn’t agree to go hand out your business card at that super niche trade show. You get the idea. Not to mention, while it’s easy to get cute and comfortable, doing the same thing all the time is a fast track to work place burn out.

3. Become a regular. 

You probably already have businesses you’re loyal to and acquaintances you call on in times of need (think: photographer, hairdresser, lawyer, real estate agent, portugese speaker, priest). Now, “become a regular” and RE-acquaint in the context of your new position and place of employment. I’m not talking makin’ it rain with your business cards. You might not even have business cards. Just, organically as possible, make it known. No connection is too small, in my opinion; the barista who makes you your double shot every morning, the guy who cuts the grass at your apartment building, your niece’s sunday school teacher, etc. Being someone who “knows people” is a fantastic asset and a really easy way to get noticed. Bluntly put, the more connections you have the more useful you may be to your employer. They’ll need to keep you around (and hopefully move ya on up!!). And these connections can make YOUR life easier, too. Need something catered? I know a guy! Can we add professional headshots of our interns into this newsletter? Hold on, I’ll make a call. Do you think we can raise $10,000 in corporate sponsorships by the fall? I don’t see why not! The idea of professional networking can seem daunting and intimidating, especially for the introverted. But think of how many people you ALREADY interact with on a regular basis. I promise you, each and every one of those people, if given the right context, could be invaluable to you professionally.

4. Go after experience. 

Punching in day after day at a job you’re “qualified for” but not necessarily passionate about shouldn’t limit your pursuit of knowledge. It just means you may have to do a little seeking. You can continue to develop new skill sets and gain valuable insight beyond the confines of your work experience. Take a class, volunteer, ask the person doing what you wanna do if they’ll show you how to do it, pick up a temporary part-time job in another industry, research non-profits that could help you reach your ultimate aspirations. Contrary to popular belief, good things don’t come to those who wait. Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up. Sometimes just the act of being what you wanna be, doing what you wanna do, is enough to scratch the itch and feel awesome. Some fictional examples: She wants to help people so she goes on yearly mission trips to Haiti. He wants to own a bike repair shop so he joined a co-op that is just that. She wants to be a documentary film-maker so she made a documentary. Some personal examples: After years of competitive speech, I wanted to feel like my voice still mattered so I volunteered at a radio reading service. I wanted to be a blogger so, after staring longingly at blogs all over the internet, I finally just started my own. Sometimes these new skill sets are just what a future hiring committee is looking for…even though you had to find them yourself and they didn’t come with your official, pays-the-bills job.

For me, the scariest thing about entering the working world was I didn’t know what I wanted to BE yet. I still don’t. In fact, I want to be lots of things. I don’t want to close any doors of possibility. But because I’ve let myself seek and grow while still pulling those paychecks, I’m starting to get a clearer picture. Have I loved every job I’ve had? Absolutely not. Have I found ways to do what I love? Yes–within those jobs and concurrently.

Whether you want to move up the ladder in your current workplace or you want to put on your tutu and pirouette your way into a complete career 180, there’s a world of opportunity out there for you.

And I believe in you!