How to Skill Up Amid Social Distancing
Social distancing does not have to stall your professional development. The extra time at home with your computer can be a great opportunity to devote time to gaining or improving the necessary skills that will make you better at your current job or ensure you are marketable for a new position. Check out these ways to skill up amid social distancing:
● Read Books from Experts
Whether you need to develop soft skills (such as public speaking or leadership), dive deeper into technical skills, or work on your job search strategy, there will be a wealth of in-depth information available in books from subject matter experts. If you do not want to spend money, your local library will likely have a wide variety of professional development e-books.
● Watch Webinars or Online Courses
Large, in-person conferences are not happening right now, but you can still hear from industry experts via webinars. Many webinars are free, but even if they do cost, you are still saving time and money compared to if you would have gone to a conference while reaping the benefit of learning new insights. Additionally, websites like Coursera and Udemy provide courses from universities and training centers around the world on topics from leadership to coding.
● Review Thought Leadership Blogs
Stay up-to-date on the latest perspectives and advice from top professionals by regularly checking out thought leadership blogs. They can provide insight into what trends to expect in different industries and tips for effectively navigating your career goals during the midst of social distancing and the accompanying effects on hiring or promotions.
● Gain Online Certifications or CEUs
If you want valid proof of your upskilling during social distancing, utilize this time to gain online certifications or continuing education units (CEUs) if relevant to your field. Udemy or LinkedIn Learning are options for taking online courses with thousands of available topics. If you have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19, gaining certifications or earning CEUs is a great way to show hiring managers how productive you have been with your time away from the workforce.
● Practice Virtual Networking
Networking is a professional skill that will always be relevant, regardless of your years of experience or industry. While social distancing may make in-person networking events unavailable, you can use LinkedIn or reach out to your contacts via email. You can ask for advice, job leads, or catch up and chat.
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