Sure, you’re trapped indoors for the unforeseeable future, but that doesn’t mean your only options are FaceTiming relatives for the umpteenth time to discover they’re feeling just the same as they were yesterday or binge-watching smart TV.
Instead, learn something new! Believe it or not, there’s plenty you are not aware of. Here’s a list of few how-to tips and links to free online resources designed to teach you skills to both while away the indefinite time in front of you and enhance your quality of life during — and after — quarantine.
With COVID-19 sending everyone indoors, you may be wondering what to do with free time at home. Rather than getting lost in the ocean of social media posts and scary news, turn your attention back to productive work. With many live events going online, and so many more resources already available online, now is the time to get ahead and power your résumé. This is how to learn new courses for free, or you refresh your skills.
Attend Virtual Events
During the quarantine, events that wouldn’t usually be available online are now being offered virtually. Significant events, such as the Adobe Summit and Salesforce Connections, are not only virtual this year but free to register—making them available to you regardless of budget or location.
To make the best of each virtual event, treat each one as you would if you were attending personally:
- Post on online social media using the event hashtag
- Connect with attendees before, during, and after
- Plan in advance to find the talks and workshops that are most useful to you
Coworking isn’t just a way to learn from others; it’s also a great way to beat loneliness and update your résumé with new certifications or get the accountability you need to complete that course.
Most of us have new skills; we dream of learning, but chipping away when we’re stuck at home requires a strenuous act of willpower. We’re used to relying on in-person structures— take a yoga class, go to a dance studio, meet your guitar teacher. These structures provide accountability actually to invest time, show up, and make progress.
Find a friend (or a few) and cheer up each other to use this period productively. Learn, share, and get things done, so when you go back to your office, you’ll be well equipped to take your career to the next level.
Take a Free Digital Course
It’s easier than ever to further your career skills and education with the millions of courses at your fingertips, thanks to portals such as Udemy, Lynda, Skillshare, and much more. With COVID-19 keeping you indoors, now you have the time to dedicate to the beginning and completing a course. What’s more, some course portals are now providing discounts to make learning available to everyone in quarantine.
If you’re unsure which skills to stress on, read job ads for the role you want to get. A brilliant place to begin is with the skills you’re lacking.
Watch a Webinar
Webinars are an excellent way to learn more about a particular topic quickly, usually an hour. Even better, they’re often guided by someone in real-time, so you can ask questions and enjoy that “classroom experience.” While there are hundreds of enterprises and brands that provide webinars, here are a few to begin with if you’re looking for free options:
- Hubspot Webinars (free)
- Career Contessa (free during COVID-19)
- eLearning Industry (paid and free)
- Career Confidential (free with registration)
- Score.org (free with registration)
Earn a New Certification
Take webinars one step ahead and walk away with certification when you’re finished with your learning—getting certified shows that you completed an exam given by a certifying body that you can then leverage when asking for a promotion or job hunting. Depending on your field, there are multiple certification programs, options, and organizations to choose from. For example:
- You can certify with Google Ads, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Facebook in marketing.
- In IT, you can get certifications in risk, project management, routing, or design.
- You can become a CISP (Certified Inside Sales Professional), CSLP (Certified Sales Leadership Professional), and much more in sales.
As in selecting a digital course, consider the areas where your skills are deficient by checking job ads. There are often specifications about preferred or required certifications. When selecting a certifying body to work with, check the credentials of the firm to ensure legitimacy. You can even check with your coworker or boss if you’re unsure.
Why You Need to Learn New Career Skills Now
Use this extra time to boost your résumé and learn emerging skills to help you become an expert at what you do. When you’re able to head back into work, you can leverage those new skills for a hike, a promotion, or even take on a new role, allowing you to make the most of this uncertain time.
The corona pandemic has upended workplaces across the globe with widespread layoffs and shutdowns. And even among those who are employed, many are quarantined at home not to further the spread of the coronavirus.
With so much uncertainty in the workplace, now could be an ideal time to strengthen your career potential and job opportunities by learning a skill or two. Many websites offer affordable or free courses that teach you everything from how to speak German (or any other language) to master spreadsheets.