No matter your profession or time of year, picking up a new skill is always invaluable.
We get it: learning a new skill takes time, effort and (usually) money. But what if it was really worth it?
From picking up some vital communication tools, to nailing great presentation skills, there are plenty of online courses out there that are perfect for easily fitting into your everyday routine. And they’re enjoyable, too.
Not only will picking up one help to shake-up your everyday routine throughout the year but it’s a skill learned for life.
Trust us when we say that there’s no better time than the present to learn a new skill - especially if it’s free, too.
1) Improve your writing and communication skills
From perfecting a cover letter to crafting a well-written email, no matter which industry you currently work in possessing great business writing skills is an absolute necessity. So why not take some time over the next few weeks to perfect your current ability?
Being able to write in a clear and concise manner doesn’t come easily to most, so brushing up on these essential business skills is a beneficial tool for most.
Try: Alison: The fundamentals of business writing.
2) Master the art of networking
Let’s not beat around the bush here: networking is hard. From trying to make small talk with strangers to rocking up to a room full of intimidatingly confident people, networking is no easy feat. Some people find it a walk in the park, but for most it’s an uphill battle.
But, believe it or not, an online course can help you shake off your nerves. From learning how to start conversations to building real connections, an online course can take you through the basics so you don’t walk into a room feeling both nervous and unprepared.
3) Build your personal brand
Over the past few years, everyone who’s anyone is working on their ‘personal brand’. You see, the thing is, how you present yourself – from composing emails to talking on the phone – sends a message about who you are and how you value yourself. And guess what? If you apply for a job, the chances of a potential employer searching for you on Google before inviting you for an interview is pretty high. So, first thing’s first, work on how to present yourself in the best possible light – especially online.
Try: Coursera: Introduction to Marketing.
4) Learn a new language
You know how you’ve always wanted to pick up another language? Well, now is the time. Adding another skill to your current resume can only be a good thing. From French to Spanish and Chinese, spending a few hours every week learning a new language could be your greatest achievement of the year. Need another reason? The languages that are currently most in demand by UK business are French, German and Spanish, according to a survey carried out in 2017.
Try: Alison Online Courses (for free).
5) Pick up Photoshop
Whether you work in marketing, media or teaching, having basic photography skills can be a great asset to any team. From learning how to capture a brilliant picture to editing, enrolling in a short online course can quickly teach you everything you need to know.
Try: Udemy (multiple free options available).
6) Become a persuasive negotiator
If there is one skill everyone should possess to get ahead in their career, it’s knowing how to negotiate. Just look at Steve Jobs or Oprah, they’ve never taken no for an answer. Whether you want to secure a promotion or a pay rise, once you get in front of your boss it’s all to play for.
Whether you want to secure a promotion or a pay rise, once you get in front of your boss it’s all to play for, so a few tips on how to get what you really want can prove to be invaluable as you make your way up the ladder.
7) Stop procrastinating
Ah, procrastinating. From opening mail to tidying our desk, some days anything other than work seems more appealing. With most of us spending at least 24 days per year procrastinating, it really is time wasted. Thankfully, you can nip it in the bud. From learning more about self-control, willpower and habits it can change your mind-set for the better – and you’ll get more done in a day.
Try: Udemy (several courses available).
8) Learn how to become a better boss
For some of the lucky few amongst us, having a brilliant boss has been a given – but others have not been so lucky. But fear not as there is as much to learn from a good boss as a bad one. If you’re keen to lead then picking up some tips from experts in how to manage could really help when your time to step up arrives. From learning how to establish your identity in the workplace to successfully delegating tasks and picking great new hires, take note.
9) Manage your time more effectively
Nowadays, we’re living in a seriously fast-paced life – especially if you live in a city.
Which is why if we’re not managing our time as best as possible, it can lead to us feeling stressed and anxious (and your boss will notice). But you can teach yourself how to organise your time more successfully by creating effective to-do lists and opting to ignore daily distractions.
Try: Lynda.com: Improve your organisational skills.
10) Polish your presentation skills
Being expected to deliver a great presentation certainly pops up in many areas of our careers. From creating one in the hope of securing our dream job to being asked to pitch a potential new project to senior members of the team, it’s an essential skill to have in most fields.
But nailing a brilliant presentation can be tricky. From learning lines and speaking confidently to creating visually appealing slides, it can prove to be a difficult task for most employees.
So, brush up on your skills now and learn how to present with enthusiasm and confidence.
Try: Lynda.com: Improve your presentation skills.