How to boost your career and learn new skills online

If you're anything like me, you'll be staying at home more now that the evenings are darker and the days are chillier. So, rather than slumping in front of a boxset, why not do something to boost your career during the extra time you're spending at home? Here are some ideas to help you learn some new skills...

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The good news is that you don’t even have to leave the house to take a course, complete an internship, go to a careers fair or to learn a new skill because all of these career-boosting activities are now available online. I’ve done a few of these myself during the past 20 months in order to expand my industry knowledge and really enjoyed it.

If you want to make a career change, taking an online course is a great idea. After all, you’re probably already busy with your full-time job. Fortunately, online schooling offers flexibility. If you’re thinking of changing your career, going for a new role in your current company or are even just starting out in the world of work after completing your studies, there are still plenty of things you can learn online that’ll add something extra to your CV.

Remote internships

Often, when you’re starting out in a new industry, it’s a good idea to do the job before you apply for a job, so that you can put practical experience on your curriculum vitae. But how can you possibly get any experience if you don’t have the job? Try an internship!

It’s not only an excellent way to gain practical industry skills and insider knowledge, it also allows you to try out a career and see whether it really IS the one for you. Usually, you’d need to travel to a company and work in an office to complete an internship but it is now possible to complete remote internships online.

Many internships are unpaid AND you have to splash out to travel to a city, or even move to a new destination and pay for your housing and expenses yourself, which doesn’t always make this a viable option. However, if you choose to do an internship remotely, you would usually pay a fee to the internship provider and then have no further outgoings.

This not only saves you time and money on travel, but it also allows you get experience of working in different countries and cultures too. You’re not limited to working in your own country with a remote internship – you can work in the best location for your specific industry, such as interning in Paris for a career in fashion.

Virtual careers festivals

Many students who are leaving college and starting out in their careers would benefit from visiting a careers event. Many of these large careers shows are held in national venues, so you’ll have to travel to attend and you may be so overwhelmed by the event that you don’t get as much information and practical advice out of it as you would’ve hoped.

The good news is that there are now careers festivals being held online – a quick search will bring up some relevant ones for your preferred industry. For example, this week until the 18th November, there is a free careers festival online with Springpod and My Tutor, that features a range free live webinars with key speakers. Attending these livestream events will help to shed some light on university, apprenticeships and picking a career, and you don’t even have to leave the house!

Online courses

Did you know that it’s possible to study accredited courses online through your local college? If you want to update your skills or even learning something completely new, have a browse of your local collage’s adult learning courses. You may find some free online classes, leisure learning courses or even full qualifications that can be taken online.

For example, college nearby to me offers full courses, hosted online and guided by a professional tutor, completely free – as long as you agree to do all the assignments and complete the course. If you aren’t able to complete the course, they will charge you the full course fee. But if you’re determined to complete your studies and know that you have enough time to commit to the course, it IS possible to study for free.

Last year, I studied a Personal Money Management course through the Skills Network via my local college and was able to take all the classes and complete the assessments online. I gained a CPD certificate without even have to leave the house and I’m definitely going to do more classes when I have a little extra time over the winter.

Skills streaming

You don’t have to be studying an academic course to benefit from all the skills classes that are available online. You can learn anything from a new language (I’m studying British Sign Language) to a craft skill online, and all of these things add interest and skills to your CV. Wouldn’t it be an added bonus to be able to add a language, creative writing or finance course to your list of achievements, or to jazz up your hobbies and interests with a photography class?

This year, I’ve learnt how to knit online with my tutor Alice via online video classes. I can re-watch the classes whenever I need a recap, and she also provides 1-to-1 sessions to help you with projects. There are countless classes you can find to study online and it certainly gives your CV a boost to have interesting extra-curricular activities that you can discuss in interviews or on application forms.

I hope these ideas will help you to improve your CV and skills without having to go out in the cold dark winter nights. Let me know if you come across any other online courses or training providers in the comments below, I’m always up for learning something new! 🙂

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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