A couple of weeks ago I shared my thoughts about building a proper skill set. I was telling you that I believe in the need of investing both your time and money in it, as your skills are what make you stand out of the rest. You’re never late to learn something new, no matter how far your school days are.
As promised, here are my top 4 resources to find new knowledge and skills to add to my experience.
Learn something new
1 | Public library. There where you used to go in the 90s to search in encyclopedias what you now google in your smartphone, still has a great collection of books and guides that you can borrow for free for a couple of weeks. The Marketing and Arts sections are my favorites, they’ve saved me some money on books that, otherwise, I’d have bought just to learn something new and then put them in the back of my shelve and never check them again.
Nothing more to say, working girl, just pay a visit to this old friend of yours and rediscover the joy of reading and learning from paper. Oh, and public libraries often have a magazines section. Why not looking through the latest Vogue, too?
2 | Online courses. There are plenty of options. From the educational offer to the prices (even free), all the way through quality. You decide whether you just want to learn the skills to apply them whenever you need, no matter if you get a qualification, or if you’ll invest in an official course that you can add to your resume.
I’ve tried different ways (free with no qualification /paid with no qualification /paid with qualification) and let me tell you that there’s no better or worse option – a big part of the matter is what YOU are willing to learn, but the teacher and the quality of the course content will determine if your time and money investment was worthwhile or not. Said that, I’ve paid around 50€ for 3-week non-degree online courses that have been infinitely more interesting and valuable for my education than an official online course (and offered by a prestigious university) of 3 months for 500€. Summing up – don’t get fooled by big names, read and follow reviews instead.
For the last months I’ve been building up my skill set at Hello!Creatividad, a Spanish platform that offers short and creativity-boosting online courses. I’ve enjoyed learning from many talented people on different fields such as coaching, community management and photography. After a bad experience on e-learning, I was afraid that these courses wouldn’t work for me neither; but not only I have had a great experience, I’ve also met and shared stories with a lot of interesting classmates. If you’re not familiar with the Spanish language, I’ve read good reviews about Skillshare!
3 | Blogs. Ahh.. where to start? Devote some time to scan the blogosphere. I can assure you that there’s a lot of websites sharing tips, short courses, guides, etc. -paid or for free- that can be significantly helpful since they are usually specific to a topic. Blogs are one of my main sources of knowledge as many of them are based on other’s experiences (we’ll deepen in this on the next point). Internet holds more info than you could ever process, I’m afraid, but still worth it the research. Think about it – you’ll learn a new skill in the way: sifting through the information.
4 | Find a mentor. Yep, learn from other’s experiences. Building a relationship with an expert in your field is one of the best things that you could do for your career. A mentor is a mix between a best friend (someone you can trust in, share honest opinions, ask for advice) and a good boss (she or he knows how to get the best from you at work). They know way more than you because they’ve already gone through it, they’ve learned from their experiences. If you don’t have a mentor already, I really hope you find it soon. Keep your intuition ready and your eyes wide open, you never know who is going to be your guiding light.