While working at home can have its advantages such as flexibility and no commuting, it also means that you won’t have easy access to professional development resources and workshops that may be offered at some companies. In any case, professional development is an important part of any career, and finding a way to incorporate training into your schedule while working at home is a wise idea. There are many ways to do this. Although some things you can do on the fly while trying out a new type of work, you can also learn new skills more intentionally. This will help you keep ahead in your industry and be competitive.
Here are some great ways to keep up to date in your professional development while working at home:
Online Courses: One of the great resources in this day and age is the internet. You can learn just about anything online. The only problem is this often involves sifting through scams and not so trustworthy sources of information. Coursera is a great site that can help you avoid the task of sifting through the chaff. This site offers FREE online courses through universities across the globe. Courses are offered in a wide array of subject matter and even in different languages. Coursera is a gem – offering knowledge and a wonderful resource in a learning community. The courses do require time, so be ready to make an investment when you sign up in order to reap the benefits offered by completing the course.
Research: An alternative to taking an actual online course is to keep up to date with trends in your industry on your own. Following reputable blogs and industry leaders’ websites can help you keep your knowledge and skills up to date. For writers, following sites such as dictionary.com provide interesting information that will keep your writing tip-top. The site offers a word of the day and blogs that clarify common grammar mistakes and word mix-ups. Finding a site like this to keep you on your toes for the industry you work in will ensure that you are continually learning and improving as a professional.
Nearby Universities: Of course for those of us who work at home, it may get monotonous to include our professional development online as most work at home is also done on the computer and online. If you’re looking for an inspiring break, interaction with others and professional development all wrapped up in one, consider looking into nearby universities and local training services. There are often community courses available as well. Depending on where you are, prices may be quite reasonable. If money is an issue, consider asking the professor leading the course if you can simply “sit” the course, meaning that you will complete assignments and attend lectures, but not receive official accreditation for completing the course. Depending on your professional goals, this can be a very reasonable alternative that will give you all the knowledge, but keep your finances in order.
Remember, just because you work at home doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax as the work flows in and out. Continue to develop yourself professionally and try to improve your knowledge base and skills every day.
Do you have any other tips?