Use Online Learning to Help Career
I am naturally curious. I enjoy learning about all kinds of things. But mostly skills to advance my career and writing. Online courses have been my ticket to exploration and career advancement. I take these courses easily from my home. They are convenient and sometimes free of charge. They are fairly accessible with my screen reader.
I remember the first freelance writing online course I took. It was several years ago. A small group of us wanted to learn better ways to write query letters. Our desire was to pitch story ideas to printed publications (online pubs were not the norm back then) that would get the assignment. We had a weekly lesson and later posted our homework for group critique. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.
Online Learning Day
Although this was a long time ago, I have never stop being an online learner. Today, Sept. 15, is National Online Learning Day. This holiday focuses mostly on educational courses and classes for children and young adults but the holiday can also apply to people like me. Those who are much older and have an interest in learning skills to help their careers.
Besides just wanting to learn something new, why do I take courses online? Well, for a couple of reasons. Online courses enhance my job searching. They sharpen my skills in writing and blogging.
Enhance My Job Searching
Recently, I lost my latest freelance job and I have been more assertive about looking for work. It has been a long time since I actively searched for employment. I wasn’t current on the latest job hunting trends and techniques. LinkedIn has been a great resource for this exploration. I have learned about writing better cover letters, what hiring managers want, and the importance of digital networking.
LinkedIn sends me alerts with topics of interest around job seeking. I scroll through the list and take the ones I need the most. These courses are quick little videos but are jammed pack with valuable and useful information. What I learn from these courses I can apply immediately to my job search.
Extensive Online Learning
For a deeper dive, I have ventured into extensive online learning. The latest example was on Google Analytics. I took the course directly from the Google Academy. Each lesson was on some aspect of analyzing data for your website. It was a self-pace course and fairly accessible. You could opt for the video or read the transcript. I chose the transcript option so I could stop and easily take notes . There was a quiz after each lesson where I had to score 80% or better to get my certificate. After completion Google sent me a certificate and provided ways to share my success on social media.
The only drawback was the application examples. There were opportunities to directly apply what you were learning. I struggled in finishing those sections because they were inaccessible and hard to navigate. Besides this issue, I enjoyed the course, learned a lot and got my certificate.
I had a similar experience taking courses with Salesforce. In the spring of this year, I applied to get training with a technology organization. Once completed students would be connected to job opportunities. I had to complete several sales badges as part of the application process. This experience took me through several learning modules and tracks where I had to read the course materials and take a quiz afterward. Although, I wasn’t accepted into the training program, I learned a lot about Salesforce and how it is trending right now.
Sharpen My Writing and Blogging Skills
I have also increased my knowledge of writing and blogging through courses with WordPress and my online writer’s group, The Freelance Writers Den. Both offer instruction in blogging, journalism, SEO and marketing.
The latest course I took was on a LinkedIn marketing bootcamp. The course provided a weekly lesson from constructing your profile, to increasing connections to applying for jobs. These were paid courses and well worth the cost. I have already noticed and increase in my productivity and online visibility because of the skills learned.
Online learning has been an excellent resource for me. I can learn what I want when I want. I would dare to say as technology advances and nontraditional ways of learning become more accepted, we will all see an increase in the availability of online education and courses.