Get educated

Sarah Blinco on how to discover free ways to get inspired, learn new skills and maybe even change career this year

As I followed a distracting trail of ‘new year new you’ stories in January, I stumbled onto something that ended up actually being useful – Udemy’s professional online training site. Intrigued, I browsed through all on offer, from digital marketing as a ‘side hustle’ to video editing, coding and counselling. I was tempted, and for a small fee I did invest in a couple of short courses – one to upskill, and another to try something brand new to me.

I thought how lucky we are to be able to learn from anywhere. There are so many excellent possibilities at our fingertips for upskilling, changing career or taking up a new hobby. I’m here to insist you (no matter what your situation) don’t let them slip through!

A key component of a women in business event I was at recently, was all about inspiring more women to move into technology and creative careers. Significant industries of the future were discussed, and what the most in-demand jobs will be (coding is where it’s at, by the way – and I wrote about this in the December issue. Basically, we need more chicks in tech, but the problem is, many employment advisers do not understand what is on offer (let alone what’s on the horizon), and how to forge a living out of it locally and abroad. It’s hard to get advice sometimes, because the knowledge on careers of the next decade isn’t as solid as it was in past decades. Things change every day.

confidence is key - know your worth


Now, more than ever before, we have a chance to pursue our passions, but it could be in a form you’d never considered. A fun example to explore lies in the world of fashion. If you love it, you won’t necessarily end up literally creating garments. But, career options have vastly extended offline and in the digital arena. You can buy, blog, sell, advise on trends, work in publishing, create social media and digital content, direct fashion shoots, produce events, design (clothes or websites!), film and photograph. There’s a myriad of both traditional and unconventional ways to weave stylish dreams into a sustainable income.

Importantly, don’t let a lack of experience deter a decision to grow and learn. Attitude over experience will secure you opportunities at any age, and you can teach yourself the skills – as I was reminded. Get curious, dip your toes in: you’ll be surprised what starts showing up after that.

Whatever you do, keep educating yourself. Things are changing all the time, and new opportunities are arising. Be excited, not intimidated – change can be great!

You could take a step towards change today by enrolling in a massive online open course (Google ‘MOOC courses’), presented by universities from all over the globe – many are free and flexible to fit with your time availability. Or, advance your knowledge without breaking the bank by skill-swapping at a nearby co-working space. Find someone who is happy to train you in their area of expertise, while you barter talent in another.

There’s a world of possibilities out there, but they may come in a form you don’t recognise. Don’t blink and dismiss. Get educated and inspired about what learning options are available to you – your unique world of fulfilment, profit and enjoyment might be just a few mouse-clicks away.


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