Ideally, learning should be a lifelong process for every professional. But the working populace often finds it difficult to search or manage the relevant learning opportunities. It is observed that the more qualified a professional is, the more is he/she inclined to seek learning experiences. On the other hand, newly appointed employees are not fully aware of the learning opportunities that can be availed conveniently.
Whether you are working in the BFSI sector, IT company, education industry, or any other domain, there are many effective ways to learn while making a living.
Given below is a glimpse of some smart learning options for newbie professionals:
Enroll in Workplace Training Programs
Most of the reputed organisations provide training programs for skill development and career advancement to their employees. These programs may be in the form of workshops, mentoring sessions, seminars, on-the-job-training, etc. This training can relate to any functional area like technical skills, soft skills, business management, marketing, project management, safety measures, leadership exercises, etc. While some companies make these programs mandatory for the employees, some others offer optional facilities for the same.
If you have long-term plans to establish a career in your current workplace, it is a good idea to enroll in their training programs as it will not demand much of your extra time outside work. Besides, even if you switch from one company to another, but continue in the same field, your acquired knowledge will boost your chances of faster and better promotions.
Take up Side Projects
Side projects present an excellent way to infuse your interests with learning opportunities. It can be a personal project or a professional one. The purpose of taking up a side project is to stay motivated and grasp new skills simultaneously. This will be especially useful if your major source of income does not serve your ultimate career goals.
For instance, some professionals work on their dream projects alongside their regular jobs. Similarly, some youngsters carry on remote work or internship projects besides their full-time jobs.
These side activities may or may not lend monetary benefits, but will help in the accomplishment of your real aspirations. You can choose short-range or long-range side projects, but make sure that they align with your final career objectives.
Attend Local Events
Industry events, conferences, and workshops are often conducted by organisations and educational institutes in various cities. Some of these events are also held online on video conferencing platforms. These sessions provide a valuable chance to learn from the top industry leaders, as well as strengthen your professional network.
Here, the experts and experienced professionals discuss and teach about the latest trends and changes in the industry. Further, the connections you make at industry events can prove significant in the attainment of your career goals.
You will get to know about these events from the local news channels, social media, and similar websites. You may also follow the local industry leaders and similar people on social media sites, as they frequently post about the important events they are going to address or attend. Hence, keep yourself updated about such events and attend the ones that dwell upon your chosen career path.
Opt for a Work-Study Position
Several first-time job seekers prefer to take admission in the universities or colleges that offer work-study programs. These programs are basically designed to let you attend classes while you are working in a flexible manner. In other words, if you have joined a work-study program, your class schedules will not conflict with your work timings. Thus, it will be really easy to manage learning and earning at the same time.
Though the work-study positions are primarily meant for individuals who need financial aid for their education, they serve as great learning alternatives for all sorts of student learners. However, you need to fulfill certain eligibility conditions to get into a work-study program.
Pursue Online Courses
Online learning is considered the most efficient way for working professionals to continue their education. Today, online courses are available for every field and specialisation. A number of renowned organisations and universities extend educational programs in alliance with e-learning platforms.
For instance, upGrad, one of the best online education companies, offers post-graduate programs in collaboration with top companies like HDFC, PNB Met life, Sales Academy, etc. These programs belong to various in-demand disciplines like insurance, sales, marketing, etc. Post completion of these certification courses and internships, the students are wholly qualified to seek technical, sales, or banking jobs in high-ranking companies.
In the case of paid internships like the PG program in Life Insurance with TATA AIA or HDFC, the learners are guaranteed full-time jobs with the respective companies. upGrad’s programs are equipped with fully interactive and live sessions, case studies, and one-on-one mentoring from industry experts.
Use Your Time Productively
When you are working and studying together, you must use your spare time productively. Apart from learning informal ways, you may also incorporate certain informal ways to build a regular learning habit. For example, spend your free time reading good books, articles, magazines, and newspapers. In addition, you can subscribe to newsletters and blogs relevant to your industry to stay abreast of the latest developments.
Eventually, your enhanced knowledge and skills will improve your overall profile and secure your future career. While there is no dearth of jobs for freshers and experienced youth, yet if you wish to bag a lucrative salary package and witness a spurt in your career graph, inculcate learning as a way of life. Thereby, you open yourself to an enormous scope in all suitable sectors, including education, engineering, IT, management, and insurance jobs.
Further, you must always monitor your learning progress and test the related skills periodically. This will allow you to remain focused on your priorities and stay on the right track. Lastly, remember to keep your employer informed about your learning initiatives. Employers are generally appreciative of the employees who work towards upgrading their skills and hence, will extend cooperation in helping you balance work and study.