As you are probably one of the millions of people who are currently stuck at home, why not use this time to learn new skills and expand your knowledge? Maybe start thinking about how to ensure you’re in the best position for when the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
As a first step, look at where you are now career-wise and where you would like to get to. Set yourself some achievable goals (don’t go overboard) and start thinking about how you can get there.
Is there a certification that would help with your current role or future career choices? A webinar you wanted to follow but something always came up? A publication you’ve been putting off reading because of a lack of time?
There is a great deal of content on the AXELOS website aimed at helping you continue your professional development and there are also plenty of additional sources of content throughout the web.
- Courses and certifications
A quick internet search around a specific topic will yield plenty of results for various online courses. From short to long-term courses, you’re bound to find one suited to your needs. There are many free ones that you could do within a few hours if you’re short on time and there are also longer ones that can be divided over a few weeks. Once you’ve completed the training some organizations provide you with a certificate.
My colleague Emily Holbrook (AXELOS Commissioning Editor) recently attended a virtual PRINCE2® course and had this to say about the experience: “Having only ever sat in-classroom courses, I wasn’t sure what the virtual learning experience would be like. However, advances in technology mean remote learning is almost identical to the classroom, the only difference is that you can learn while sitting on your couch!”
Online courses are great as you get to do them from your own comfortable environment, you can manage your time better and learn at your own pace. Think about what you are looking to achieve and how much free time you have before deciding which course best suits your needs.
- Online events
Many organizations had to cancel their events or – and this now fits with your CPD – moved them online making it much easier for people to attend. This is actually really great because you don’t have to choose between sessions as everything is recorded.
Webinars are another great form of online events to learn from. AXELOS’ Sue Keyse states “as an Event Manager by profession I need to hope for live events to come back and quick, but I’ve always tried to take part in short webinars on a particular topic of interest as a way of sharing information from within the industry and amongst peers.”
They tend to be recorded, meaning you can listen to them again and again when needed. The great thing about webinars is that in most cases, you get to ask the hosts any burning questions you may have if you’re watching it live. In the case of our AXELOS webinars, we always leave time at the end for questions from our viewers. We also have a ‘resources’ section to provide you with more information relating to the topic including downloadable PDFs and links to relevant blog posts and papers.
- Discussion forums and groups
Forums are a great way to learn from like-minded professionals and share advice and experience on various topics.
Akshay Anand, AXELOS ITSM Product Ambassador, is very active across a number of groups and states: “One of the highlights of conferences is the networking and learning opportunities. We need to find our comfort zone when engaging in cyberspace. There are many platforms that cater to different tastes and needs, from My AXELOS, to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Reddit. Remember the basics etiquettes and principles of communication also apply online – the lack of face-to-face interaction doesn’t excuse bad behaviour.”
Many organizations have forums you can join through their website. If you’re on social media, there are also hundreds of groups you could join. We have three AXELOS-managed groups on LinkedIn that provide support for PRINCE2, ITIL® and Academia (for educational institutions looking to include product syllabi and certifications as part of their courses). Peers can ask each other any questions they have, get advice from one another and share any relevant news and articles they’ve come across.
There is a multitude of content out there designed to help you build on your existing knowledge and develop your career further. Set a plan for achieving your goals, and start learning! Now is the best time.