No matter what your standing is at your job or in your career, it’s important to continue learning and developing new skills. Most people know this, but it’s often easier said than done.
When you’ve hit a stride at work, it can be difficult to step outside the habits you’ve developed to actively pursue continuing education. Between deadlines, meetings, family life and everything else in between, there isn’t much time for a career-boosting class.
In order to keep up with the ever-evolving job space, however, it’s important to dust off those pencils and books to invest some time in continuing education. Here are a few ways to jumpstart your career development:
Brush up on Your Computer Skills
If there’s one area that’s always changing, it’s computers. The digital space is chock full of new apps, websites and programs for you to learn.
If these, or other digital skills like Photoshop, SQL and CSS are appealing to you, there are a ton of resources out there, including websites like General Assembly that have online courses you can go through at your own pace. That means flexibility to learn on your own schedule — and a price that won’t break the bank.
Find a Mentor
Often, we think of coaches and mentors as people who come into our lives in our formative years. Athletic coaches, guidance counselors and academic mentors can be the most influential people in our lives during those years, but when it comes to our careers, we don’t have the same ideas.
Career coaches and mentors are underutilized in a lot of industries. Really, having a coach can have the same impact on us in adulthood as it did in our adolescence. After all, top athletes have coaches in their adult careers. Why not you?
Having a coach or finding a mentor can help you work on the skills you need, and they can give you an objective point of view on how you work. This person doesn’t have to be someone you pay, either. Look for connections in your field you admire, and ask for their advice. It’s that simple.
Take a Public Speaking Course
Few jobs out there require you to be absolutely silent. Even in the ones that do, chances are you’ll come across a reason to be eloquent and confident in public.
Taking a public speaking course is an easy way to enhance your career. Even if you aren’t making speeches in public or sitting on panels at conferences, speaking is a skill you’ll utilize in other aspects of work.
For example, you might need to learn to speak with authority when managing people or to express confidence when asking for a raise or promotion. Each of these situations utilizes techniques a public speaking class or coach will give you. It’s a smart investment in all areas of your career — and in your life as well.
Get Additional Certifications
If your job requires you to be certified or to have a specialized degree, don’t think that once you have it, that’s the end of your training. Certifications tend to evolve over time, and as you progress in your career, it’s important to stay up-to-date.
Whether you’re looking for a broad certification or something more specialized to bring focus to your current career, there are a ton of online resources that offer courses specialized to your state and existing license. Some of them are even free!
Boosting your career with continuing education doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, nor does it have to be expensive. By doing a little research and some thinking outside the box, you’ll be ready for your next career challenge in no time.