The Art of Continuing Education

The Art of Continuing Education
"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning." - Benjamin Franklin

To grow is to live, to stop growing is to die. I like plants, both inside and out. I nurture them, talk to them, prune them and enjoy them. If I neglect them, they wither, get diseased and eventually die. Our careers are like that. Once we stop growing through continuous training and education, we become obsolete in the job market. Nothing in today's world is static. That includes your job skills.

In my former life one of the hats that I wore was that of a Certified Career Development Facilitator. I learned some "tricks of the trade" that I want to pass on to you:

1. Don't be afraid to tackle new learning projects, even if they might seem outside of your area of expertise. Those new skills might come in handy. Don't neglect continuous training in your chosen field, but chose to grow in other ways that stretch your base of knowledge.

2. The more training certificates that you can achieve, the better your resume for your next job hunt.

3. Be a proven pro-actor rather than re-actor. The initiative and responsibility that you take for your career proves that you are a highly motivated worker.

4. Today's top skill that recruiters are looking for is emotional intelligence. So, work on your personal development as well as your skills development.

You can jump start your growth in several ways: follow blogs or read articles from others in your field to learn what the new trends are, make a career development plan (you can find free templates online), take training courses offered through your employment, take online college courses, take free online courses.

LinkedIn and Indeed are excellent online places to post your resume and hunt for jobs. They are both free and each allows you to create an account, post your resume and apply for jobs. LinkedIn also allows you to ask your network friends to add letters of recommendation to your account and to assess your skills. You can follow companies, blogs and receive suggestions for jobs to apply for. LinkedIn owns Lynda, a learning website. Through Lynda, you can take courses in IT Security, Web Development, Business Skills, etc. If you pass the courses, you'll earn a certificate that is posted to your LinkedIn account. Here's the really good news: Saline County Library offers free access to Lynda's library of course materials! Go to the library's webpage and click on the Resources tab; then click on the Online Research tab. Find Lynda and click on the link. Sign in with your library barcode number and pin number. It's that easy!

Need help building your resume and learning job interview tricks? Saline County Library offers another free database called Brainfuse Job Help Now. Follow the directions above but click on Brainfuse Job Help Now instead of Lynda. This is an excellent tool for job hunters. During this recent economic downturn, many will be looking for new jobs once the economy is reopened. This is a great time while we are home to refresh our resume, stay up-to-date on current market trends and learn new skills. Take advantage of the many offerings available through Saline County Library's online database. Nurture yourself and your career!

- Yvonne

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