It is the responsibility of each of us to develop, maintain and update our own skills and expertise. Of course, some companies constantly invest in developing their employees’ skills, but for the most part, unfortunately, this is not the case. Everyone should understand how to train and maintain their skills systematically in order to keep up with the world and thus remain attractive in an increasingly demanding professional talent market.
Developing new competencies by no means entails that you should now jump from this seat to some paid course or start taking some new University degree. This article lists a few highly qualified channels that are our favorites and in our constant use. To a large extent, these channels and the best content are in English, but you will be able to find more and more quality content even in your own native language.
This still ongoing pandemic is also bringing forward a much-needed change. Many experts and trainers are now clearly active in online courses and webinars because there are no alternatives if they want to remain active in their business and generate some income.
So here we go:
You can find everything on Youtube, practically anything. Usually, Youtube is the first place to get to know something new quickly. You want to know more about practically anything? Simply throw in some keywords in the Youtube search box, and you have a long list of videos in front of you on the subject. Sometimes you will find an entire playlist with a full free course.
On Youtube, pay attention to the number of views and the release date. A number of views, in the sense that if there are a lot of them, you can imagine that there’s a true expert behind the video and the release date because the information should be updated enough. Many top experts upload free videos to Youtube, which really provide a lot of information already, and then finally try to hook the person to get to know and delve into the topic even more. Usually, there are also paid courses available as an alternative if the free part was convincing enough for you and you want to get much deeper.
There is really a lot of things to be found on LinkedIn when you start looking. LinkedIn Learning is one of them, and it is a great platform to develop your own skills when you can find hundreds of thousands of video-based learning packages on various topics, conveniently divided into small parts. The quality is really high, so we greatly suggest them.
LinkedIn Learning is not entirely free, however, but if you already have a premium account, then LinkedIn Learning is included in the price. LinkedIn Learning is based on a previously existing service called Lynda, which LinkedIn purchased for $ 1.5 billion (!) in 2015.
Once you are logged in to LinkedIn, you will find the Learning section at the top of the page under the “work” tab.
Udemy is already available in many different languages. The range of courses on offer is quite insanely wide. Udemy is a paid channel, but at a relatively low cost, you get to buy great courses, especially when you put in a little effort and first research what you are going to buy and study. With most courses, there are several free clips of the course that can be used to verify that the whole style of the classes is what you are looking for and of your liking.
Reading is arguably one of the best ways to learn more. Often the only problem with reading is that there is no real-time anymore nowadays! The world is going every day faster, and stuff taught at Universities is starting to fall sometimes years behind.
Knowledge is becoming obsolete much sooner. In many respects, one could argue how relevant are certain fast-changing subjects nowadays and if it isn’t more beneficial to study at home the most updated sources of knowledge about that subject. Marketing and, for example, programming is often like this. Life is getting every day more and more hectic, golf clubs have not been touched for years, and it would sometimes be nice to visit the gym. Books that you planned to read have been lying on the bedside, accumulating dust for who knows how many months (or should we say years?).
Fortunately, Blinkist helps us precisely with this. There are thousands of books that have been pre-chewed and condensed into 15 minutes easy-to-absorb-chunks. That is, in 15 minutes, you will get the most important information about the book and the essence of its message. Most also have an audio version and are therefore easy to listen to, even in the car on your way to work. Remember the good days when we actually went to work?
Podcasts have conquered the world for a long time, and in recent years they have shown that they are here to stay. Twitter and Instagram showed the world that short or no text is the way to go, but ironically, long two- or three-hour interviews from podcasts are the Rock Star of the category.
Podcasts are audio recordings released in a digital environment. Much similar to Radio Programs or Live Interviews that are recorded for you to listen to on-demand, whenever you prefer. They can also be compared to radio programs, but they are not broadcasted live or on radio channels but are listened to, for example, via a mobile phone or computer.
The best thing about podcasts is that most of the time, they are free, and you can listen to them just when it suits you best. So, you might want to download a podcast app to your phone and start researching what you can find there for those topics that interest you.
And that was already five, but let’s put one more:
Google has a huge role in the online business world, and they have so many things that most people are not even aware of. For example, at Google Skillshop, you will find free courses to help you understand and use tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Business manager, Youtube, etc. Especially for those whose work has to do with marketing and online business, we strongly recommend visiting the many free packages available on this valuable platform.
We often talk to acquaintances and strangers about the continuous development of our own skills. It is also one of the questions we always ask the candidate in interviews. Too often, we get an answer with something very circular that ends with the conclusion that “there is no time”.
There’s no person who is that busy and unable to find even 15 minutes a day to develop their own skills. It’s mainly about the attitude we choose to adopt and the fact that if you want, you can make learning part of the routine of your day.
I myself have been in a situation where genuinely I could not find those free slots in my day to place some learning into it. I remember well a time when I listened to podcasts on the treadmill while running on topics related to digital business and transformation in Spanish. Training and maintaining basic fitness are something I cannot give up, but at the same time, this way, I could also find time to improve my Spanish every day and my digital marketing skills. Training three different areas at the same time. If you really want it, it’s possible.