Whether you’re working from home or are looking to boost your skills outside of your work environment, there are ways you can build experience, knowledge and connections without having to go outside. Taking some time to work on your professional development in your own time can be rewarding and set you on the right part to meet work goals.
If you’re looking for ways to expand your skills and career opportunities, here are six ideas.
You don’t have to be in a traditional learning environment to pick up something new. There are thousands of online courses available that could broaden your knowledge and improve skills. Here there are a few things to consider, where would your efforts best be focused? Would it be worth paying for a course or choosing a free option? How will the results help your career? With so many different options available, narrowing down your choices can be the difficult part here. As a result, understanding what you want to get out of an online course and how it will further your career aspirations are important.
Networking opportunities can be invaluable. From establishing connections to renewing existing ones, having a network can mean you’re more likely to hear of opportunities you want to take advantage of, learn about industry developments and boost your own profile within the profession. Whilst gathering might be off-limits for a while, this is where social media platforms can step in. LinkedIn is the obvious choice for professional networking, but engaging with others on Twitter and other platforms can be just as useful. Don’t simply follow or connect with others but find some common ground and strike a conversation, as you would at a traditional networking event.
When you’re working from home, one of the things you can miss out on is interesting discussions with colleagues and other professionals. Fortunately, there are spaces online where you can connect with others. Whilst building a social network can be useful, as mentioned above, being involved is just as crucial if you want to raise your profile and receive a career boost. Whether you join an active group on LinkedIn or Facebook or step off social media to participate in forum discussions, being part of a wider conversation can provide career development opportunities.
When you’re away from the usual working environment it can be easy to ignore the news and information you’d usually pick up, whether from reading sector media or just chatting at you make a coffee. Make keeping up to date part of your usual tasks and set time aside to search and review information. It’s a step that can help ensure you remain at the top of your game and you can implement new ideas or process based on this. It can be as simple as spending 10 minutes in the morning searching through industry news sites.
One of the good things about the lockdown has been a huge explosion in sharing information online. It’s something we’ve seen across a massive range of industries with everyone from well-known experts to entrepreneurs sharing their insights and tips. Whether you wanted to cook like a pro in the kitchen or join an online exercise class, the lockdown has shown what’s possible, and not just for entertainment either. Taking part in a career or skills-focused workshop can help increase your current knowledge, provide direction for the future and build connections too.
There are plenty of opportunities to learn online from others, but what about sharing your own knowledge? Hosting a webinar, producing a slideshow to share or starting a debate can help raise your profile, allow you to connect with other professionals. It’s a chance to review what you know, increase your understanding by explaining to others and a chance to identify where you can continue to make improvements.