(BPT) - Skills are like kitchen knives, over time they can get dull. By continuing to refresh your skills and experiences, you may find your way into a new job or career path. With our day-to-day routines changing and evolving, it’s more important now than ever to invest in your skills to grow both professionally and personally — whether that’s brushing up on what you already know, adapting to the changing job market, or learning something new. According to a recent survey by LinkedIn, almost one-third of professionals in the U.S. are planning on learning new skills.
Here are four ways you can get started with online learning.
1. Set aside time for learning
Oftentimes, online learning is associated with changing roles or brushing up on skills for a job interview. While these are key areas where learning can be useful, you’ll get the most value from learning if you make it part of your everyday routine. LinkedIn Learning courses are “bite-sized,” making it easy and convenient for you to add online learning to your daily schedule. For example, you can watch an hour-long course in 10-minute segments, so consider committing 10 minutes a day to learning over your morning coffee or lunch break.
2. Discover courses for in-demand skills
LinkedIn Learning gives you the flexibility to search for courses, skills, videos and instructors across hundreds of topics and industries. You can “follow” skills that you want to learn more about, discover learning paths to start a new career and receive suggested courses to stay sharp based on your current role. It’s okay if you don’t know where to start — focus on what you need to learn to do a specific job, and for inspiration, LinkedIn will show you trending courses that are popular with other learners. If you’re currently working remotely, which requires a slightly different skill set, LinkedIn released a free learning path to help you adjust to your new environment and tips to be more productive.
3. Boost your job search
Job searching can be stressful, especially in today’s job market, but there are lots of ways to discover new opportunities and stand out. Whether that’s creating a search plan that connects you to jobs based on your skills and experience, leaning on your professional network for referrals, making a lasting impression during your interview or mastering ways to negotiate salary, there are a number of best practices to learn to get your job search on the right track. LinkedIn’s learning path for job seekers is also available to help you get back on your feet when facing challenging times.
4. Make learning fun and collaborative
Learning has become much more social in the online world as people lean on their community to share courses and collaborate. Those who learn together often feel more energized and connected. Also, consider posting about the online courses you found valuable on your LinkedIn feed, or suggesting courses for individuals within your network to help them reach their goals. There are more than 16,000 expert-led courses on LinkedIn Learning, ranging from managing a diverse team, how to develop resilience, incorporating mindfulness into your routine, demonstrating executive leadership and more. Sharing best practices with others helps strengthen relationships, which could lead to opportunities down the road.
You’ll spend approximately 90,000 hours working throughout your career, so it’s important to think about what you’re “in it” for. Many professionals fear they don’t have the right skills for their job, or haven’t simply taken a step back to ask themselves: “Am I in the right job?” Asking yourself these important (sometimes difficult) questions, and committing to learn and enhance your skills, will help set you up for success, no matter where you are in your career.