It’s hard to live a satisfying life if without constantly learning. This isn’t just true for me. Knowledge and experience are key elements of personal satisfaction in life. However, many people find it difficult to keep learning at a meaningful rate, especially if they are working full time, and if their chosen field of study does not directly apply to their job. This is a Catch-22 for millions of people. Do we push ahead into the areas we are most interested in, at the expense of income and job security? Or do we plug away at the job we are in, in the hopes that it will one day pay off in personal freedom and financial independence?
It’s not necessary to fully commit to either option. But in order to find a middle way, you’ll have to be savvy. Luckily, the internet makes it easier than ever to increase your skill sets, creating options for the future and making life a little more interesting to a smart person like yourself. Here are a handful of ways.
- Take Classes. There are many free education opportunities online. This Udemy coupon is an easy freebie from me to you, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is out there. Whether you take on official classes for which you get credit, or you just look up lectures and tutorials on Youtube, it’s always possible to make the didactic process worthwhile.
- Apply the Learning. If you are going to go through all the trouble of learning a new skill, or specializing in one you presently have, it’s important to put the skill to work. It’s even more beneficial to long term retainment if you can find a way to monetize the skill in question. This can be done a number of ways. There are many places online which offer forums where freelance work is available. If you can find an easy job, even a one-off, to do on the side, you can start building a new resume and get better work later.
- Meet People. One of the best parts of the internet is one of the most infrequently discussed. There are people like yourself who spend a lot of time online. If you find ways to communicate with like-minded individuals, you’ll start to find out how to better your skills in one of the most important ways: the social aspect. Through meeting other professionals online, who are doing what you want to do or want to become better at doing, you can get the inside track on important growth opportunities. Relationships may motivate you to move to a hot spot for your industry in question, to be offered a new job, or to find out tips on how to be a lot better at your thing.
The takeaway from this should be that you can learn nearly anything you want online, but that you’ve got to do the work and be strategic in order to make it happen. This may require staying up a little later in the evening, working a little harder on your lunch break. But you can manage it and change your life.