Learning new skills take time and patience. However, when you commit to learning something new, you will increase your opportunities for career development, expand your professional networks and enhance your knowledge base. In this article, we explore 5 resources to learn new skills and how that will help you accomplish your learning goals.
The importance of learning new skills
Learning new skills is highly beneficial to advance your career as it can give you the boost to take on new projects and use your new knowledge to get ahead of your peers. Showing that you are open to learning new things also shows employers that you are committed to your career and increases your value to the company.
While learning new skills you can also discover career fields that you may not have previously considered. For instance, if you learn new customer service skills, you will be qualified to higher-level positions in sales, advertising and similar roles.
Where can you learn? 5 Resources to Learn New Skills
Below you will find 5 resources to learn new skills that I have tried personally. These have been so helpful to my career. And the best is, some of them are free!
You can take advantage of the free resources, as well as signup for the free trials of the other resources, which can be fully used during such time. Then you can decide if you want to keep using their membership service.
1 – hoopla
Hoopla is your public library at your fingertips. You can borrow and enjoy audiobooks, eBooks, comics, movies, TV, magazines, or music everywhere you have a screen-your computer, your phone, your car, even your TV. All you need is a library card. hoopla syncs across all your devices, so you can stream titles immediately or whenever you’re in the mood. Most titles can also be downloaded to your phone or tablet. hoopla offers more content, in more places, than any other digital library platform and it’s all FREE thanks to your public library! Titles may vary based on library catalog.
2 – Kindle Unlimited
This service from Amazon offers unlimited reading & listening. You get access to over 1,000,000 eBooks on any device. Amazon offers a 30-Day Free Trial so you can read anywhere & anytime. And is more than books! You can read thousands of popular magazines. Types of books you can find on Kindle Unlimited are: Romance, Mystery, Fiction, Spirituality, Self-Help.
You could also buy books individually, but if you are an avid reader (like me), or if you are on a quest to learn, this membership service is totally worth it. You should check it out.
3 – Overdrive
Overdrive gives you access to e-books and audiobooks for free. You can also read magazines and more resources are available for free through your local library or school.
If you have a library card, that’s all you need to sign in and enjoy your learning experience.
4 – Udemy
Whether you want to learn or to share what you know, this is the right place. As a global destination for online learning, Udemy connects people through knowledge.
Udemy offers thousand of courses online, which can be very affordable, and you can learn at your own pace, in an incremental way. Once you dominate a skill, you could even create your own course!
LinkedIn Learning is an online learning provider. It provides video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. It is a subsidiary of LinkedIn. All the courses on LinkedIn fall into four categories: Business, Creative, Technology and Certifications.
LinkedIn Learning offers a free month, which give you access to up-to-date content and expert-led courses, on-demand on both desktop and mobile. Get 24/7, unlimited access to over 16,000 business, design & tech online courses.
Some companies offer this membership as a benefit. But even if you pay for it, it can boost your career big time!
Recommendations about learning new skills
These 5 resources to learn new skills will give you a new perspective about learning. However, they are not the only ones. The internet is a vast source of learning resources, and you can use your judgement about which ones are better. Meanwhile, here are some recommendations about learning new skills.
Set your learning goal
Set a goal that you want to achieve. For instance, if you want to develop your public speaking skills, your learning goal might be to master the essential skills for delivering an good speech. Once you have set your learning goal, you can take the necessary steps to learn new skills.
Focus on one skill at a time
As you keep learning new skills, focus on one sub-skill at a time. Taking on a new skill set can often be overwhelming, but by separating it into small, achievable increments, you can make consistent progress.
Apply the 80/20 rule
Usually 20% of the learning approaches you identify and use can lead to accomplishing 80% of your goal. So if your goal is to master essential communication skills, applying this rule implies that you can master 20% of communication sub-skills (such as improving tone, using professional vocabulary in written messages or learning to interpret body language) to master 80% of your overall communication skills.
Define long-term goals
When you approach learning a new skill, play the long game. While short-term objectives can help you monitor your progress, focusing on your results as long-term goals can help you learn different approaches to overcoming challenges and motivate you even when you face obstacles.
Seek out additional resources
Look for additional tools and resources to learn new skills. For instance, if you are learning new computer skills, you might consider joining a community group to learn computer and typing skills either in person or online. Finding additional ways to help you in your progress will help you overcome learning obstacles.
Alejandro Clavel is a technology professional and a Life and Career Coach. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org