Lockdown Lowdown, Uncategorized

Lockdown Lowdown – 3 ways you can make the most of Learning At Work Week – 21st May 2020

It turns out there’s a lot going on this week! As well as being Mental Health Awareness Week (click here for a little exercise you can do for that), it is also Learning At Work Week. Whilst many of us are currently either off work, or at work but swamped with essential duties to carry out, I believe it is still well worth taking advantage of. These themes actually ties in quite nicely with Mental Health Awareness Week, as lifelong learning is a core part of promoting good mental health.

If you are on furlough or waiting until things settle down before looking for work, now could be a great time to think what skills you’d like to develop by the time this is over to help you in your current job, prepare yourself for another role you’ve had your eye on or just engage in the joy of learning something new that interests you. And if you’re working at this time, asking your employer about learning at work, if appropriate, could be a good way of keeping your spirits up and refining your skills.

Here’s a few things I’d recommend checking out if you’re keen to make the most of this special week – though it’s worth pointing out, they aren’t looking to go away once Learning At Work Week is over so keep a cool head as you consider your options!

Enrol in an Online University course

There are many websites that have partnered up with universities and other learning providers to offer a staggering range of courses for you to engage in. Many of these courses are totally free to access, but you may need to pay extra in order to get a certificate from the course provider and to have the course materials available to access after the course’s end date. FutureLearn and Coursera are two sites I’d highly recommend. These courses, do vary, but they are generally quite low intensity, requiring just a few hours per week, where you read articles, watch videos, do quizzes to test learning and even engage with learners and course providers through various virtual spaces on these sites.

That said, if you wanted, you can always go straight to the source and check out the universities themselves. Even the likes of Harvard are currently offering completely free courses that anyone can access at this time!

Catch up on some accreditation

There may have been some point (or many points) in your career when you’ve looked at a job role you think you’d be perfect for, but were then dismayed to find your didn’t have the right accreditations. If you’ve got some time on your hands, you could be getting some essential and useful accreditations added to your CV. Whether it’s IT, Business, Management or GCSE or A-Level top offs, you can get all of these and more online available at sites like Learn Direct.

Take a Masterclass

If you really want to up your game and learn from the best of the best, this could be the perfect time to check out Masterclass. Masterclass has arranged a phenomenal amount of talented people together and produced video courses allowing you to say learn how to cook with Gordon Ramsey as your instructor, have Serena Williams as your personal tennis coach, learn the art of comedy with Steve Martin or develop your writing craft with Neil Gaiman. As you’d expect, accessing these courses isn’t free, but it’s also far from expensive – paying a fee of £14.17 a month (billed annually) will give you access to the many video classes they’ve got available.

And there you have it! My suggestions for making the most out of Learning At Work Week. Just remember, it takes longer than a few days to master a skill or learn enough to become an expert so please don’t restrict your learning to just this week. If there is anything special you’re doing for Learning At Work Week or any interesting courses you’re already engaged with, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

(Image from Pexels)

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