Just because you are already out of school doesn't mean you can't still learn valuable career skills! There are tons of things you can still learn and most of them you can do by teaching yourself in your free time! The more valuable skills you learn, the better chance you have at standing out from others when applying for a job or promotion. So put some of your free time aside to learn some of these valuable career skills you can teach yourself!
2. Artistic Skills
Whether you're in a corporate office position or a creative position, it is always helpful to learn the basics of designing. Photoshop is a great program to know how to do some basics in and Lifehacker.com has a section dedicated to learning the basics of Photoshop for free! It's a great idea for anyone to learn how to make your own graphics and images as they could be useful in presentations or reports! Lifehacker.com also has sections dedicated to the basics of Photography, Video Editing, and Digital Painting! So if you want to learn to be more creative, these are great career skills to have under your belt for almost any position.
3. Build Your People Skills
Effective communication skills are extremely important in the workforce as well as in a job interview. If you feel like you need to learn better communication skills, leadership skills, or problem solving skills, sites like Mindtools.com are there to help teach you! They have tests, videos, and training designed to teach you essential workforce skills. Everything from effective ways to make decisions to learning some new strategy tools, everyone can benefit from learning valuable people skills.
4. Learn a Language
Knowing how to speak another language can be incredibly useful in the workplace as well as look great on your resume. However, most of the courses that teach you are super expensive and time consuming. Instead try checking out the BBC's language resource! This free website offers courses in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and many others! They offer a 12-week beginner's course which includes weekly emails offering tips and encouragement as well as an end of course assessment! And yes, it's all completely free!
5. Expand Your Vocabulary
Subscribe to wordsmith.org's Word A Day to get new words and definitions delivered to your email every day. It is extremely useful to have a large vocabulary, especially when it comes to writing or reading corporate documents. The more words you know, the better your writing will sound and the easier it will be for you to understand what others write. Another great way to expand your vocabulary is to start reading eBooks. There is usually a feature that allows you to highlight a word you may not know and see the definition.
6. Speed Typing
In a world filled with computers, it's a good idea to know how to type quickly. Many jobs even ask how many words per minute you can type. There are some websites such as typingweb.com that offer free typing tests, courses, and lessons in order to help you to type faster and more efficiently. Even if you think you're a fairly fast typist, try one of those sites out. You may be surprised that you still have more to learn when it comes to fast typing!
7. Technology Problem Solving
I have been very lucky with my knowledge of technology problem solving as I grew up learning about it. Now I feel like I am the person my friends and family come to when they need one of their electronics "fixed." When you have a problem with your computer, phone, etc., you should try to troubleshoot it yourself online. Searching Google usually helps, otherwise there are tons of YouTube videos explaining how to solve something technological. This comes in handy at work when your boss or coworker has a technology issue. Instead of spending their time waiting for IT, you've become a valuable asset to them by saving them time when you know how to solve their issue!
8. Free College Courses
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an amazing website called OpenCourseWare where the majority of their courses are put up online for anyone to learn for free! Everything from Business to Psychology and even Medicine! There are tons of different courses that will help you in your chosen career path. Plus they offer both undergraduate and graduate courses to match your education level! There is also a website and application for Khan Academy where you can learn almost anything in your career field as well! It's amazing to me that more people don't take advantage of gaining free knowledge like this!
The reason many people fail at learning skills on their own is because they don't have the discipline to set time aside to learn. Many of these skills can be the deciding factor for you getting a job over someone else or even a promotion! If it's not costing you any money, why wouldn't you at least try? Who knows, you could find your new passion! What skills have you taught yourself that ended up being useful in the workforce?