I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school. Part of the itch is that I’m seeing all my friends from school starting graduate programs, and the other part is that, four years out of school, I think I finally miss the classroom setting. (It did take a solid four years for me to get here, though, ha!) While I’d definitely like to go to business school at some point, it’s not the right time for me.
I may have to wait on jumping into the classroom for a bit, but I’m still ready to keep learning. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of learning new things since graduation. (Dare I say that I think I’ve learned more over the past four years? Between life skills and new skills, probably.)
- 1. Youtube // I’m just going to put this one out there, I don’t think there’s anything you can’t learn from watching Youtube videos. And the best part is that it is free. I have yet to find something that I need to learn that isn’t on Youtube. From how to figure out a tool in Lightroom to how to get a Quickbooks error to go away to how to get my power drill up and running. I probably teach myself how to do something at least once a week from Youtube. It’s such a good place to start when you just need to pick up a small skill, but you can also deep dive if you need to.
I also used to use Youtube tutorials when I was in college for refreshers on how to do complicated math problems. I loved how easy it was to follow along, pause when I needed to, and rewind. A bonus that was not available with my live lectures.
- 2. Private tutor // This might not seem like an obvious choice, especially when there are so many online options, but I think a tutor is a great idea. I’ve always preferred learning things one on one and tutors can be godsends when you need to learn something. I like that it holds you accountable for staying on top of studying, while also allowing you to focus on the things that are holding you up. (Versus having to stay on a group schedule or trying to learn things completely on your own.)
If you want to learn something like a new language or pick up a new skill like photography, it could be valuable for you to be working one on one with someone you can practice and work with.
- 3. Lynda // I am obsessed with Lynda.com. I’m so impressed with both the number and quality of the courses. It’s worth at least signing up for the free trial and poking around. There are courses on business, design, coding, marketing, and more. It’s like an entire university of content in there. I’ve been doing the Final Cut Pro lessons, and I’m picking up tips and tricks I’d never know if I was just playing around with it myself.
Lynda is an especially great resource if you want to brush up on or pick up skills for a new or current job. Think of the skills you’ll be able to master between now and your next review. Or how your resume will stand out now that you’re a pro at Google Analytics or Photoshop.
- 4. Classes like General Assembly // Now if you’re craving a school environment, something like General Assembly is a great choice. There are online courses available, but also courses that are in person in various cities around the globe. Some of the courses are immersive, full-time classes (all-day, every day type things) and others are ones you can take after work or on weekends. Plus, there are frequent free events!
These classes are a commitment, both timing and financially, but also invaluable if you’re ready to pivot your career or take the next step at work.
- 5. BOOKS // With the internet, I think books are vastly underrated now. Some things move too fast for books to keep up with, but there’s something to be said about a good ole fashioned book. Reading is always a good idea. Whether it’s a textbook or a workbook or, maybe, a simple non-fiction book. It’s pretty inexpensive, and the number of directions you can go are unlimited.
KEY TIP: Regardless of where or how you’re learning, the real trick is going to be self-discipline. Commit to learning Spanish, or Lightroom, or Ruby on Rails, or Mailchimp. Whatever you want to learn, you have to give yourself the chance to do it and to do it well. While the pressure of a grade may not be there, it’s up to you to make it happen!
Have you learned something new outside of school?!