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Working-from-Home Tip: Learn New Skills

Don't we all wish that we are knowledgeable and skilled at everything - where a prospective client approaches us and we can confidently accept the job offer because we know how to do it?
No wasted opportunities! More money for us to spend, invest and save! But hey, reality-wise, that doesn't happen much. The online job market has become competitive in the last few years and keeping up with the demand and competition is something we have to prioritize if we want to make working-from-home really WORK for us. We have to take the initiative to improve, learn and develop new skills.

Oftentimes when browsing the job board on oDesk I find myself wishing that I am also proficient in
Design and Multimedia, or perhaps even Web and Software Development because they are "in demand" - meaning the job board is filled with job postings under those categories. I am sure some of you Work-at-Home Moms and Dads feel the same at some point in your freelance career. We realize that we should not be limiting ourselves to whatever we are good at doing at the moment. That we should acquire more knowledge so we can do MORE.

Personally, I want to make myself more marketable as a freelancer. I should go back to school to study and learn and like a mantra, I find myself reciting this to myself over and over again. I am resolved to make this a reality and determined to add new skills to my portfolio before the end of the year.

The Right Learning Set-up

Online education or traditional on-campus education?
Considering that I work full-time and have family responsibilities (I have a pre-schooler son and an infant daughter I directly breastfeed on demand.) there couldn't be no other choice. Obviously.  I feel lucky enough that we have an alternative to traditional colleges and universities these days! Ten or fifteen years ago, there wouldn't be no other choice.

For me, online education is more convenient and cost-effective as compared to on-campus. Learning materials are meticulously presented through the use of videos, presentations and other mediums and I, as an online student can take the classes whenever and wherever I want. You can't imagine how much I love the idea of flexibility in doing things at your own pace and this is basically how I'm living my life for the past 8 years.

The Right Course or Training

What is the right course or training for me? A few bits on my educational background: I graduated with a BS in Business Administration major in Marketing back in 2001. I also completed 48 units of Elementary Education in 2009-2010 which makes me eligible to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers here in the Philippines.

Should I have a Roland R-05 and enroll on a music course? Heck, no. Having a great interest in something does not mean you'll do a great job doing it. It's not just the enthusiasm, it's also about capability. Would I be better off taking a graphics and web design course then? Well, perhaps! But design skills take a long time to develop - we're talking about years! Taking Drafting as my vocational course in High School was the only design-related class I can think of. And I was not even good at it then. I don't have the "eye" for design as they call it.

To make the decision-making process easier for me, I went back to the oDesk job board and searched for job postings that are somewhat related to my educational background and expertise. Something that will enable me to command a higher pay rate. Something in the line of Finance or Accounting. But I don't need a course too broad and would take years to master.
I found almost 300 job postings looking for bookkeeping services or someone proficient with Quickbooks, Intuit-Quickbooks, etc. I keep on seeing these postings every day and know for a fact that there is a high demand for this skill set because of the increasing number of small businesses being launched every day. That's when I decided I'll take up bookkeeping classes online, and I chose the one provided by the School of Bookkeeping by Seth David.

The Right Attitude

I am not the most organized person there is and I admit that I drift out of focus from time to time. But this challenge to improve myself matters a lot to me and I am working hard on having a great deal of self-discipline, motivation and time to complete the classes.

I am still on the basics and fundamentals of the course (Bookkeeping Fundamentals with Quickbooks) and honestly, there is a lot of information to absorb but I am having fun learning. Taking an online course such as this can really be rewarding at the end of the day. Though not face-to-face interaction as in traditional classes, there is still enough interaction teacher/mentor-student through discussion forums. The online learning postal uses videos that are high quality and with a clear audio, and downloadable worksheets and premium content.

Parting Words

Learning and acquiring new work skills make a freelancer / Work-at-Home-Mom or Dad more employable and more confident. It opens more career opportunities and will guide you to achieving success in the long run. So work on and devote time to learning new skills. It's never too late!
Disclaimer: An affiliate link is used in this post. If you wish to check out the School of Bookkeeping from a non-affiliate link, please click this URL instead: http://www.schoolofbookkeeping.com

1 comment

  1. I agree that learning new skilld online can be very rewarding as it gives you additional opportunities as a work at home