How I Learned a New Skill While Working a Full Time Job and Advanced My Career
This time last year, I had a full-time job. My work did consist of some interesting things from time to time, however, I knew it wouldn’t make me happy in the long run.
It was time for a change, and I started thinking about what to do next considering my professional life. It was clear to me that in order to move forward, I needed to acquire some new skill(s).
I. Creating a Personal Roadmap
In situations like this, I usually think about values, ideas and trends I find attractive. Since I majored in business systems organization, strategic planning is not an unfamiliar concept to me. Basically, what you need to do is ask yourself:
- Where am I now?
- Where I want to be in X months/years?
Try to analyze and elaborate these two questions. Each time I’m about to make a major change in my life, I combine strategic planning and strategic thinking. This is what you should do as well. Think about your interests (where do you want to be in the future, doing what?) and what you are good at (your strengths and opportunities).
- How can you connect your strengths and opportunities with your interests? It’s time to define your goals.
Create a personal roadmap where you’ll match short-term and long-term goals with specific efforts and solutions to help meet those goals.
Once you have a personal roadmap, it’s time to research your possibilities regarding specific efforts and solutions. Here are the three most important things:
- Learning resources
- Time management
- Progress tracking
Once you have your personal roadmap ready, it’s time for execution.
II. Learning Resources
Here are four of my favourite learning resources for general knowledge.
On Coursera you can find free, as well as paid, courses and specializations from world’s top universities. There are hundreds of specializations and courses in business, computer science, data science, and more.
As one of the pioneers in online learning, your life learning efforts will surely be easier with Coursera – where you can earn a certificate for a specific course or a whole specialization even (usually 5-8 courses from one field).
Just like Coursera, on edX you will find free online courses from the world’s best universities. After finishing a course, you’ll receive an official credential from the institution, signed by the instructor.
The certificate verifies your achievement, and can be used to highlight your skills on your resume or LinkedIn profile. I haven’t used edX learning platform yet, but I heard great things about it.
Lynda offers video training, which is taught by experts. Acquired by LinkedIn, on Lynda you can learn new business, creative, and tech skills with expert-led online video tutorials– anytime, anywhere.
Tutorials are paid, but you can get a 10-day free trial to see if there’s something for you.
Udemy is my favourite lately. You have probably noticed that while Coursera and edX are focused on universities, Lynda and Udemy offer training and tutorials by individual experts.
This might be an advantage if you want to learn a skill that is recent and possibly not covered in university courses. Or if you want to learn directly from a world-known expert in the field you’re interested in.
Courses are paid, but my advice is to sign up for their newsletter where you can often find great discounts.
Also, feel free to check out:
Coursmos – micro-course platform with short video lessons in any niche from business to lifestyle.
Highbrow – bite-sized email courses delivered to your inbox daily.
TED Ed – lessons worth sharing.
Khan Academy – math, science, computer programming, history, art, economics, and even more free online classes.
Our resources page is dedicated to e-learning and online courses, and we update it regularly.
III. Time Management
If you’re working full-time and are intended to learn a new skill to advance your career, evenings and weekends will become very valuable to you. In short, time management will allow you to complete tasks quicker, set priorities, and carry out a schedule which will enable you enough time for personal activities, family, hobbies etc.
With good time management you will become more productive, and will move towards your goals efficiently.
In order for your productivity to flourish, you need to pay attention to your priorities, focus and discipline. Check out this apps:
Focus Booster – simple and effective pomodoro technique time tracking.
Anti-Social – target and block any distracting website so you can be more productive.
Any.do – to do and task management software.
Wunderlist – tick off all your personal and professional to-dos.
Also, check out our resources page dedicated to productivity tools and apps that we also update regularly.
Today I’m working as a freelancer on interesting project with people from all over the world. But what’s even more important is the fact that I have my freedom and a job I love. These were the goals of my personal roadmap which I created a year ago.
With good planning, execution and a little bit of luck, everything is possible.
I hope my experience helped you answer some questions, or perhaps even motivated you to move towards your goals.
If you still have some questions, struggles or doubts, do not hesitate leaving a comment. We are more than happy to help You!