by Louise Campbell, Managing Director Robert Walters Ireland
As a testing jobs climate can make opportunities hard to come by, why not take your development into your own hands by considering online resources to broaden your skill set?
In recent years, a plethora of credible and useful online resources have surfaced over the years for individuals to upskill themselves anytime and anywhere. In our Keeping Your Career on Track series, we highlight the ones you should take advantage of
Tap into online resources
Undertaking professional development e-learning classes is one of the most direct and simple way to upskill yourself. Besides Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn have dedicated sections on their own sites to list free, available online modules for anyone willing to learn. Looking for targeted or platform-specific learning? Try out Microsoft Learn or Facebook Blueprint. Others such as LinkedIn Learning and Google Digital Garage aggregate a whole host of both in-house and external courses for you to choose from.
The beauty of signing up for online courses is that there is no mandatory commitment on the level of involvement or participation. Looking for an interesting topic to learn on the side-lines? Hop into one of the many bite-sized modules to watch several quick videos or complete a mini quiz. On the other hand, if you’re seeking an in-depth professional certification to boost your career, you can choose to register for paid courses. These will allow you to enrol in different linked modules, actively participate in in-class activities, exercises and tests with human feedback, and eventually receive a certified stamp of approval from a recognised university or course provider. It all depends on your learning interest and requirements.
Seek career advice
If you’re looking for career-specific actions that you can implement right from the get-go, why not take a look at relevant career advice articles? From government-linked sources to popular business magazines like Fast Company, Business Insider, Inc., and Harvard Business Review, these sources all offer to keep you abreast of the latest industry data and happenings while providing key career boosting insights.
Listen to experts in your field
Sometimes we just don’t want to be staring at yet another long page of text. Take a break and switch to other digital tools and platforms for your learning needs. Check out popular webinars, hop into different Facebook or LinkedIn live sessions by industry experts, join in a conversation and network with other professionals in online social media groups, search for relevant career topics on YouTube, or listen to your favourite topical podcasts and TED talks. The great thing about using these platforms is that almost all of them are bite-sized and available on your mobile, so you can upskill on the go, even if that means doing so while you’re exercising, minding the kids, or just relaxing in the bath tub.
Look beyond business skills
Levelling up doesn’t just have to be about our professional growth. It pays to devote time to boost your own physical, emotional and mental health as well. Besides your usual routine, why not take the opportunity to pick up activities that you have always wanted to try. Focus on regular exercise, be it yoga at home or a short run outdoor. Eat healthily and consistently – take a full break away from your work during scheduled mealtimes. Keep to your planned work hours and stay away from working during your down time. Reach out and communicate often and emphatically with your colleagues, extended family members, and friends – ask how they are doing outside of work. Listen to your favourite music and podcasts in the comfort of your home. Try mediating or journaling and practicing mindfulness during quiet moments, even if you think you don’t need them – a good starting point is signing up for a free online meditation class or simply downloading an app or watching popular videos on it.