Professional Growth From Home
I’ve always had an exceedingly long list of new skills I’ve wanted to learn, books I’ve been meaning to read and writing pieces that I’ve had every purpose of finishing. More often than not, many of these well-meaning goals have never left the ground, either because I could never find enough free time or because I had no idea where to start.
Over the past few months, I’ve discovered that continuing to learn and grow can happen anytime, especially when you might be finding yourself at home with a bit of cabin fever. If you’ve had an irresistible itch to try something new, you’re in luck! With the worldwide web at our fingertips and plenty of untapped resources, time on our hands can open up the doors for growth – even if it’s when you’re plopped on the couch in your favorite yoga pants.
Here are a few ways to get started:
Take an Online Course
Whether you’ve always dreamed of being a whiz at coding or you’re seeking to learn a new skill, there’s an online class for that. As an aspiring full-time writer, I’ve found myself popping over to the plethora of related courses available on LinkedIn Learning more than once. SkillPop is also a fantastic resource for a wide variety of interesting and inexpensive classes. Intriguing subjects like podcasting essentials and Crayola calligraphy? Sign me up!
Master an Online Tool
Amidst the Zoom meetings and “work from your laptop” atmosphere of 2020, mastering online tools can spruce up your resume no matter your field. Canva, Google Analytics and Instagram Analytics are a few kick-off points to start fine tuning essential workplace skills. Canva offers its own courses on how to utilize tools for social media, workplace presentations and websites. Looking for more? LinkedIn Learning is a hotspot for courses on everything from Microsoft Word to Photoshop.
Read a Book
While this might be one of the oldest tricks in the book (See what I did there?), there’s a reason why reading is a tried-and-true method of self-improvement or education on just about any subject. Want to learn a new language? Dive into the world of analytics? Develop yourself in your chosen craft? There are probably several books about it.
Even if you’re simply seeking a thrilling page-turner or light-hearted beach read, studies show that reading consistently not only gets your brain’s creative juices flowing but also reduces stress and increases awareness of others’ feelings. That’s the good news you might have needed to hear today; rereading the Harry Potter series would be good for your health. Whether you’re reading for pleasure or immersing yourself in a nonfiction manual, diving into a book is both a fun and productive time investment.
With apps like Hoopla, books, podcasts and audiobooks are free and abundant. Leafing around for more options? Here are a few resources for endless online book access without even having to step foot into the library.
Hone Your Personal Brand
The ability to tangibly define your goals and the steps you’re taking to reach them is valuable no matter what your career or life stage. These goals, career choices and skills all form your personal brand. Intentionally built or not, we all have one. As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Take the time to identify what messages you are emulating and what you hope to emulate to those around you. Consider these questions:
→ What are my strengths? How do I want to use them to make my impression?
→ Which characteristics make me one-of-a-kind?
→ Who is my target audience?
→ What is my career goal?
→ What brings me joy?
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