No matter what industry or field you work in, there is a whole host of ways in which you can take steps to better your career. One of the main avenues is to study your way to a promotion. Whether it’s a night class, an online course or something else altogether, there are plenty of ways you can give yourself the best chance of getting ahead.
Why should you learn new skills?
There are many reasons why people choose to join learning courses. The main one is to advance your career: by demonstrating on your CV that you have strong knowledge in a certain relevant area, you can help to mark yourself out against your competitors for that dream job. In other cases, it’s important to learn new skills for the vital health or security benefits they offer.
For example, learning first aid skills is vital as it means you can provide medical assistance if someone in your workplace suffers an injury, and will possibly reduce the risk they’ll suffer complications if immediate action is not taken. Also, if you work in a school or alongside young people learning about child protection is also important for security.
In some industries, it’s often an attractive idea simply for the pleasure of learning. If you work in the creative industries, for example, new skills can be a joy as well as a career move.
Take night classes
Traditionally, night classes were the main mechanism by which employees managed to learn and while there are other forms of learning available now, night classes are still very popular.
Taking a night class is perfect if you have a full-time day job, as it means you don’t have to ask your employer for time off. And while they do require some level of time sacrifice, often night classes are held just once or maybe twice a week – meaning you’ll still have time to spend with friends, family and loved ones as well as studying and holding down your job.
And if you live in a rural area, don’t worry. It’s worth getting directly in touch with a university or college in your local large town or city to ask if they offer night classes in your area or a short journey away. In these sorts of areas, many institutions offer mobile lessons perhaps held in a local library or community centre.
The internet is changing the way we do many things, from ordering food to watching TV, and distance learning is no exception to the change. By using websites that provide education resources, learners can acquire new knowledge in the comfort of their own home. It works around your schedule, meaning you can manage your time effectively. This way of learning is becoming increasingly popular, and thousands of students of The Knowledge Academy are successfully gaining business related skills from their online courses.
What’s more, employers up and down the country are now beginning to find that online learning is beneficial for them, as it means no staff time lost for travel if an in-person course is miles away from the workplace.
Train under senior staff
While it may not take place in a classroom or around a table, learning on the job is a possibility – especially if you follow the example of role models in your organisation. That could be as simple as remembering to monitor how your bosses behave in meetings or when they’re speaking to others. It could also include asking for a training session delivered by those with more experience and expertise so that you can pick their brains and find out the key to their success.
To formalise the arrangement a bit more, why not approach your line manager and ask if it would be possible to have a mentor in your organisation? For example, you could suggest that you receive a monthly catch-up with a mentor who is not your manager to discuss your personal development. Your employer will like this suggestion as it’s not as costly as a training course, while you get direct and practical assistance and advice.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to brush up on your language skills, learn first aid or engage in some continuing professional development. In today’s world, there’s a course and a new skill perfect for everyone – and with distance and online learning increasingly popular, there’s no reason you can’t build up your skill portfolio and enjoy a career boost.