Updated: Sep 9, 2021
From a new career to a new hobby, why NOW is the time to learn a new skill to change your future!
Bored out of your mind at work? Tired of paying someone else to write for you? Do you love the idea of being a computer programmer, but have no idea where to start? Loved photography as a kid, but haven`t seen a camera that isn`t an iPhone in years?
If you have an “I wish I could” or an “Oh no, it`s Monday again” dragging you down, then you could be ready for a new challenge. And NOW is the best time to get started, thanks to the Internet, an Online Course could be just the thing to kickstart the new you!
And before you start with the excuses, let me kick things off with some of my own…
I can`t afford it
I work full time (in that job I hate, but I`m trapped)
I have kids to look after
I`m too old
I don`t know where to start
I`m not smart enough
And that`s just some of the reasons people use, and I included myself in that for so many years that it`s embarrassing. I was too old 10 years ago, but 2 years ago I decided enough was enough and did it,
I was in a full-time job, so I blamed being tired after work, and I had kids to feed, so it was better the devil you know, “it`s a wage, I can`t complain”. I knew I was smart enough, but I knew I couldn`t afford it.
Summer was too hot, I can`t learn in the summertime. It got dark early in winter, who wants to be reading coursework in winter?
I could find a reason a day to NOT get out of the rut, it was a comfortable rut, and I knew my place in it. How depressing is that?
If any of this is sounding familiar, it`s because it should. It could be you too. And it WAS me. But I finally realized that the only person holding me back was myself. I also realized that nobody cared whether I succeeded or not, apart from me. Once you figure that out, you can do anything you put your mind to, you only fail if you don`t start!
I used to have a saying, it was ridiculous, but I have always been very competitive, so it stuck with me. Whenever I sulked about losing at something, monopoly, lottery, football, anything, I would chirp “find me a good loser, and I will find you a loser”.
In other words, if you don't HATE losing, and just accept it, you must be a loser. And yet year after year, I just accepted my place, I was too old to re-train, too dependent on my wage to do anything else, stuck in that rut.
Finally, I took the plunge and looked into what I could do about getting my life back on track, and that's where I found online training platforms, and everything clicked.
And I did, I took courses in web development, writing, marketing, the lot, if I thought it was relevant to me, I did it, if I was interested in that subject, I did it. And so can you!
Fed up at 40? Pretty much broke every month? Didn`t get the grades you were hoping for? Get a new career! There is literally nothing stopping you, except you! Courses on Udemy are always having special offers, you can get started for less than $10 for a course, ranging up to $200. I paid about £13.99 for my first course, and learned how to program in Python, spent another £13.99, and learned HTML and website development, just because they were subjects that interested me, and they have both been helpful in my new career.
Skillshare is another great platform for online learning, costs as little as $168 (£123) for an annual pass, with access to THOUSANDS of courses(27000 and counting!). Thousands of ways to learn a new skill, thousands of ways to change your direction. You can pay monthly too if you like, and take a month free at the start, test the waters to see if it’s for you. I pre-planned and absolutely abused the first free month, cunning devil that I am, thinking that if it wasn't for me, I would have got loads of free content. I re-subbed for a year! And building not just my knowledge, but my confidence, which was just as priceless.
If you feel more secure about a course that can give a recognized qualification, check Coursera out, with prices ranging from $29 to $99 for a course, or $399 for access to all of their individual, specialized and professional courses.
You could be taught by a qualified instructor from one of 170 of the world's top universities, gaining industry-recognized qualifications that can super-charge your career, or massively increase your chances of getting a new one. 87% of Coursera students say that they boosted their careers, or achieved promotion, or got that career change they desperately needed (source: Coursera)
So why not YOU? Why not NOW?
If there is one issue with online learning platforms (if you can even call it an issue), it is that there is just SO MUCH content to learn, you can find yourself flitting from course to course without sticking at something, and before you know it you can be back to square one.
It's important to make sure you have done your research before taking the plunge, know what you want to do, and why you`re doing it.
Are you looking for:
A new career?
A new hobby?
Expanding on a skill you already have?
Adding to your resume?
Relearning a forgotten skill?
Once you know why you need to know the what; what do you want to learn, what do you love doing? What do you THINK you would LOVE doing?
Udemy is great for buying that one course you know will add value to your plan, Skillshare is great for finding a range of teachers that cover your new subject, but as you have access to the entire library, you could have signed up to learn web development, but come out at the end as a social media photographer! Coursera can give your resume that polished look, the qualification that takes you to new heights.
Is it just a fad? Surely post Pandemic will see everyone back in the classroom?
No, e-learning is here to stay, it's cost-effective, and that goes for businesses as well as you at home, it`s efficient, easily updatable, and you can learn around your work, you can learn on the go too, mobile e-learning is a massive resource in 2021. The value of mobile learning has increased from $7.98 billion in 2015 to $22.4 billion in 2020, with an estimated rise to $80 billion by 2027! (source: Globe News Wire). Even as early as 2019, the UK communications regulator Ofcom stated in their 2020 Online Nation report that adults over the age of 18 spent an average of 3 hours 29 minutes online a day, and 71% of that was on a smartphone, imagine putting that time to learning something useful rather than what the Kardashians ate for breakfast!
Businesses are also jumping on this lucrative bandwagon, 77% of US organizations used online learning as a training platform in 2017, but 98% were planning to by the end of 2020.
Online learning retention is up to 25% more effective than classroom learning, and platforms for learning are everywhere. E-Learning Industry estimates e-learning helps students retain information by up to a factor of five! From home cooking to health and safety training, from inductions for new employees to training that new office software, e-learning is here to stay because it WORKS.
These stats just go to show the value of online learning, and its continued integration into society, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. More and more people are using this amazing resource to better themselves.
Forbes states that the e-learning market will be worth up to $325 billion by 2025, and I don’t just throw that statistic in to impress you, I throw it in to impress upon you just how relevant this learning medium is going to be to your future.
If you don`t see what you like on Udemy, Skillshare, or Coursera, take a peek at Mindvalley, where you can really flex your brainpower. Or if you love a bit of celebrity interaction, head over to MasterClass and learn your craft from a Celebrity teacher! Bake with Gordon Ramsey? Learn filmmaking with James Cameron? Why the hell not!
Showing up to a job interview for a job you really want? Would you hire the person who comes in and says:
“I would love to work here, I have no experience in this role, but I’m SUPER CONFIDENT!”
Or the one who walks in and says “I would love to work here, I have no experience in this role in the workplace, but I did three courses online, I have built an extensive portfolio of examples, all of which I can show you today, I have learned so much, I now want real-world experience in a role I have come to love!”
#Nobrainer? Yeah, it isn’t much of a choice, is it? You will find you even went in with more confidence too, after all, you have already learned key skills that are transferable, you’ve shown initiative and a willingness to learn, something EVERY employer wants to see.
Now really is the time for you to take the next step, build on your personal development, and that will inevitably seep into your professional life. You can learn around your work and family life, at a pc, laptop or mobile device, the cost simply isn't too much anymore, oh, and you're never too old...
I was out of excuses, and maybe you are too?
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