In today’s competitive job landscape, learning how to do your job is insufficient. You must constantly upgrade your skillset to stay relevant in the job market. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Deloitte, the shelf life of a skill is less than five years which calls for keeping up with new trends and technology. If you are finding yourself in a career rut, feeling like your skills are becoming outdated and no longer relevant, or you’re looking to climb the career ladder but don’t have the time or resources to return to a brick-and-mortar university or college, you have come to the right place!
Whatever your situation is, there are ways to learn new skills while maintaining a work-life balance. This article will explore eight ways to hone your expertise and advance your career without sacrificing your day job. So, whether you want to switch careers or stay relevant in your industry, continue reading and discover the secrets of learning new skills while working full-time.
Utilize Online Learning Platforms
Online learning platforms have recently gained quite a lot of traction and offer a wide range of courses you can take at your own pace. Taking a cue, many renowned educational institutions have also started offering online degree programs. These flexible courses and online degree programs can be accessed from any location at any time, making them ideal for those with a full-time job.
There’re many alternatives, so picking courses that interest you or are linked to your line of work is simple. Besides, enrolling in an online degree program you can also opt to register in short online graduate certifications and bootcamps, which may help strengthen your resume and set you apart in the job market. Many of these programs are very reasonably priced, and some are even free. Hence, they would be your best bet if you juggle your full-time job, family, and personal life.
Take Advantage of Employer Programs
Many businesses collaborate with educational institutions to provide their staff members with degrees and in-demand credentials as stipulated in their employment agreements. These employer programs are an effective and valuable technique to boost workers’ knowledge and abilities, which promotes higher productivity and innovation. You can learn more about these initiatives and seize any chances that come your way.
Some employers provide onsite training programs, compensated training, or tuition reimbursement. Utilizing these programs can assist you in professional advancement and learning new skills without having to invest a lot of money. This strategy can be advantageous for both the individual and the organization.
Attend Conferences and Workshops
The networking opportunities and new skills you can gain from attending conferences and workshops are tremendous. Most conferences and workshops are held over the weekend, making them a perfect choice for those with full-time careers. You can look for events related to your industry and attend those that interest you. By signing up for such events, you can extensively network with like-minded individuals and catch up on the latest trends and developments.
Listen to Webinars and Podcasts
The Internet has a wealth of information on practically any subject. Social media sites such as YouTube and Instagram are frequently utilized for amusement, but only some people realize they are also excellent free education sources. YouTube can be great for streaming podcasts and educational videos anytime, anywhere. At the same time, Instagram offers a wide range of free online mentors and coaches who can help you enhance your cognizance in your preferred field.
You can also use your commute hours to listen to audiobooks or take online courses. If you come across any industry experts offering detailed insights via webinars, you can tune in and take notes. This way, you can make the most of your time and learn something new while on the go.
Seek a Mentor
One of the best ways to expand one’s knowledge is to find a mentor in your specific area. A reliable guide will show you the way and help you push beyond difficulties. Furthermore, a mentor in your company can prove beneficial in helping you advance within the organization. They will provide constructive criticism and motivate you to try new things. You can also mentor your junior colleagues and gain knowledge of new techniques in your field while practicing your skills too.
Read Books and Blogs
Read about your field of work, your company, and its competitors to stay up-to-date and help your company solve problems. Find experts in your area and read the books they have written. If you want to change careers or get experience in a different field, you can find a lot of information and help on the Internet.
Books are a great way to learn new things, and you can download them to your favorite device and read them anywhere. Your lunch break can be an excellent opportunity to peruse your downloaded reading material and learn something new.
Create a Learning Schedule
By setting up a study timetable, you can efficiently manage your time and balance your personal and professional lives. Learning new things can take a lot of time, so setting up a certain time each day or week is crucial. In this way, you stay accountable and ensure that you are making progress toward achieving your learning goals.
Creating a list of the skills you want to learn and identifying which ones are important for your current job and which ones for your career advancement can help you prioritize them. This approach can clear your roadmap and help you stay focused.
Job shadowing and mentorship are comparable, although the former is a formal or informal relationship between a mentor and a mentee. At the same time, the latter is a more ad hoc and unstructured learning method. This phenomenon entails observing senior professionals going about their workday to learn about their varied abilities and techniques. It is advisable to select experienced or highly competent individuals for this. Job shadowing can be an effective way to expand your knowledge and learn new approaches that you can apply to your work.
Learning new skills is essential to staying relevant and advancing in your career. However, it can take time to manage, along with a full-time demanding career. But don’t despair because the tips mentioned in this blog post can help you in scaling up your job proficiency. By utilizing e-learning platforms, employer programs, attending educational bootcamps and conferences, and taking help from senior professionals, you can be well set on your way to career advancements and gain a competitive edge among peers.