- Showing that you are continuously improving your skill set shows initiative and self-discipline. What do ALL employers love? Initiative and self-discipline!!
- Attending a workshop or seminar is an ideal opportunity to network and meet peers or experts in your industry.
- If you are up to speed with current trends and breakthroughs in your industry, people around you will start referring to you as an expert on certain topics - serious boost for your personal brand!
- If you read or study to grow your skill set you can improve your performance at work as you learn. Any employer will love seeing you apply new knowledge to the benefit of the company.
So some of us have the funds to do a new course or programme every few years, but what about those of us who don't? You may even still be paying off your student loan. Here are the cheap ways to keep up with the experts without paying for a academic qualification:
- BLOGS: You know it! There are blogs for almost every industry available online. If you have Internet access you can subscribe to regular blog posts and they'll be delivered straight to your inbox. No need to browse for hours, the information comes to you in short relevant chunks - for free!
- SEMINARS: I follow an HR company that regularly hosts networking breakfasts and seminars for minimal attendance fees. They often feature experts in our industry who share their knowledge and allow time for questions, and I am always motivated to grow after spending time with them even for one morning.
- BOOKS: Books aren't expensive. Books are easily accessible. Books can even be more current than old school academic qualifications. Reading will distinguish you among your peers when you can make relevant and valuable contributions to a project at work.
- MENTORS: Do you have a mentor? This one one of the most powerful free tools to keep you learning at all times. If you do have one, see if you can schedule meetings at regular intervals and come with questions. If you don't have a mentor, here are some tips to help you find one.
Sure, reading books or attending seminars might cost you some of your free time, but it will pay off before you know it! You can also have a look at this post on extended learning beyond your campus years.
Any tips for juggling work and continuous education from my readers?