Estimated reading time: 5 mins
A Guest Post by Karl Magnusson
The world of business is changing day by day, and in order to stay relevant, you must change with it. It is crucial to learn new skills and grow to further your career. Education does not end when you graduate, and the current job market trends are based on continuous learning. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are ten of the best ways you can learn new skills for work.
1. Choose the Skill You Want to Improve
There are many different places you can begin your new education. However, the first step is to decide what skill you want to learn first. To get some ideas, check out job descriptions and salary guides and look at the skills they list. For example, if you choose to become a social media specialist you’ll find out that it requires multiple skills from various fields. You’ll have to look at the job descriptions of graphic designers, copywriters, salesmen, and marketers.
There are a number of different ways you can learn more about these subjects and some of them are even available at no cost to you.
2. Take an Online Class
Online courses are becoming more common these days. They provide students with guided lessons on a subject that they can study from anywhere. You can go through these classes at your own pace and decide how intensive you want them to be. Some are made up of only videos, and others give out homework assignments to further your knowledge. At the end of the class, you will usually receive a certificate stating that you finished the course. Some of these classes are entirely free, and others are available for a price. These are a few of the best websites that offer online classes:
– Or online classes from established universities like Harvard or MIT
3. Read a Book
What better way is there to learn than by heading down to your local library and picking up a good book? Check out your library’s catalog or do some online research to find the best books on your chosen subject. The important thing is to read and read and read some more. This is perhaps the best way to learn about a subject. Simply read everything you can about it.
4. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are the way of the future. There are thousands of podcasts produced every day, and they focus on nearly every subject. Chances are, there are several podcasts about whatever skill you want to strengthen. And usually, new episodes are released every week. If you retain information better by hearing it, this is the learning technique for you.
5. Visit Your Local Community Center
Frequently, community centers will offer classes for those looking for continuous learning opportunities. These classes are taught by local experts and are usually pretty inexpensive. This is a great place to learn the basics of a new skill, especially technical ones. Plus, they offer hands-on experience and a community of other adult learners for you to learn with.
6. Ask for Advice
One of the best ways to grow your skills is to ask others to share their knowledge with you. Who do you admire in your field? Who knows a lot about your industry? Send them an email and ask if you can pick their brain over coffee. This will give you a chance to ask for tips, advice, and ask them any questions you have. If you are stumped on where to begin to re-skill, this can be a great place to start and take a step in the right direction.
7. Join an Online Community
Learning can be a lot more fun and a lot more effective when you have a community of other learners around you. Believe it or not, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other people in the same boat as you right now, trying to learn a new skill to advance their careers. It can be nice to have a network of support to share resources and knowledge with. Plus, you may even make a few new friends.
8. Attend a Conference
Professional conferences can provide an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and network with other professionals in your field. There is a multitude of business conferences that take place across the country and also some that take place online. These conferences usually feature informational seminars from industry leaders, exhibits, and plenty of chance to talk to and learn from others in your field. Check with your current employer before you buy your ticket as they may be able to reimburse you for your travel expenses.
9. Head to Your Local Community College
Is there a community college near you? See if they offer a course on your desired skill. A lot of the time, these colleges accept new students on a rolling basis and allow people to take a single class. This is a great option for you if you tend to learn better in a guided classroom environment. However, this is probably the most expensive of all the options on this list.
10. Check out Free Online Resources
Nowadays, the internet is full of helpful resources to aid in your lifelong learning. They are generally free to the public and full of useful information. There are blogs, news articles, and YouTube videos on every subject under the sun. To start, seek out online influencers and thought leaders in the field you want to learn more about and read everything they have published. From there, you will discover a whole world of information. You will be an expert in no time at all.
Learning a new skill may be the single most important thing you can do for your career. With these ten methods, you can begin your continuous learning journey in the right place and get ahead in work. Whether you decide to take a class or learn on your own, the most important thing is that you are learning and growing.
Karl Magnusson is a career coach. He focuses on helping people find the right path based on their skills and expectations. He has a project called SalariesHub, a salary guide for various jobs in different areas of activity meant to be a go-to resource for everybody looking for a job or a career in a particular business niche.