The world we live in is changing rapidly and we can no longer rely on the established educational institutions to prepare us for all the professional challenges the modern economy might have in store for us. Whatever your degree might be, it’s inevitable losing a fraction of its relevance and the only way to be up-to-date and ready for the day-to-day challenges of the twenty-first century is to take care of your learning needs on your own. So what could you do?
Follow Highly Specialized Blogs, Websites and Forums
The internet is full of highly specialized information and there are tons of people with tons of experience that are sharing it with the world free of charge (as it is being done on this very blog as well). This is an invaluable treasure trove of knowledge and experience that is right here for the taking. All you need to do to take advantage of it is invest a bit of time to find the valuable resources out there and to make following them part of your daily routine. People are extremely generous in the way they share information so you just need to find the right blogs, websites or online communities to learn from.
Find and Online Course or a Tutor
Besides the heaps of free information that is available online, you might want to be even more proactive and get yourself some online courses or tuition. Despite the fact that they would not be free, they are much cheaper than the traditional methods of expanding your expertise professionally. For example, if you want to learn more about big data, you can enroll in an online course about it or you could even find a math tutor who is proficient in statistics that could teach you a lot one-on-one. Either way, finding those opportunities online is much easier than it has ever been and you will be able to learn more than you can imagine all at very affordable prices.
Adopt a Pet Project
Learning new things by studying the theory can only get you so far – if you are really adamant about your professional development, you should start learning by doing. What you can do is start your own pet project within your field of work but outside the company you are working for. Just make sure there is not conflict of interest and consult with your superiors if you are uncertain. Worst case scenario, they will be impressed by your motivation and would keep you in mind for new more challenging projects inside the company.
Find a Job in a New Industry
While the first three suggestions we have here don’t require you to quit your current job, this one does. When you keep working in the same industry, sooner or later, situations that contribute to your personal development with valuable professional experience become a rarity. If this is already the case with you, it might be a great idea to search for a job in a different industry that still fits your current qualification. This will allow you to start encountering new challenges on regular basis and you will grow as a professional.
Find a Job in a New Country
While changing the industry you are working in might sound adventurous and brave, you could go even further by leaving your current job and finding a new one abroad. This might sound a bit scary but it will certainly benefit your professional career a great deal. Relocating to a different country will allow you to broaden both your personal and professional experience a great deal and will change you both as a professional and as an individual and you will certainly learn a ton of new skills.