Bored in Lockdown? Here’s what you can do!

The following article was written thanks to Charlotte Chase, our newest GOFISH volunteer.

With the slow easing of lockdown, it seems like classes and seminars (that actually take place indoors!) are on the horizon. But did you know that there is still plenty of time to take advantage of the skill and development courses available online? I’m going to run through a few websites and social media platforms that can help you to learn new skills, develop the ones you already have and build a network of people to show those skills off to!

LinkedIn

What’s cooler than your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You may not have thought it, but the answer is actually LinkedIn. It’s the hotspot for professionals, collaborators and employers and is one of the most helpful platforms you can get on if you want to market yourself as the person to hire. Creating a profile on LinkedIn is easy and free and gives recruiters an idea of what you can offer and likewise what they can offer you.

But that’s not all! LinkedIn also provides additional services to quench your thirst for knowledge. LinkedIn Learning is a platform where you can sign up for courses to gain and improve a variety of different skills. What’s so special about LinkedIn Learning as opposed to other online courses? After building your profile to include your employment experience and skills, the courses available are tailored specifically to you. In a position where you have to supervise employees? There’s the course “Building Resilience as Leader” that might be right up your street! Working from home? Learn how to “Organise Your Home Office for Maximum Productivity” so you’ll no longer get distracted by the telly. There’s something for everyone whether you’re business savvy, creative-led or just looking to learn how to finally use Excel!

LinkedIn Premium and LinkedIn Learning both offer a free month trial so don’t worry if you’re unsure about what’s on offer and if it’s worth it. Give it a try and see what you can learn (remember to cancel it if you think it’s not for you. I’ve made that costly mistake before!)

Skillshare

YouTube likes to bombard me with ads for Skillshare and honestly, it’s grabbed my attention. Skillshare offers a free week to check out what they have to offer in their in-depth online classes, categorised as “Create”, “Build” and “Thrive”.

“Create” courses are for the potential tinkerers in art, music and design. If you want to learn how to draw something other than a stickman, taking an illustration course will get you there! After becoming this generation’s next Picasso, you can share your projects with other students to like, comment and celebrate what you have achieved.

“Build” courses are for the entrepreneurs, marketers and leaders. Learning skills such as budgeting, SEO techniques and team management, you will learn how to build a business from the ground-up (maybe put some of those creative skills to use, as well!) and how to make the most out of your business potential.

“Thrive” courses are for anything from learning how maximise use of your wardrobe to learning Spanish! These are for those who want to change-up their lifestyle and productivity for the better. Feeling the stress? Introduce yourself to meditation. I personally want to know to how stop my plants from dying; maybe I should take “Gardening 101”.

These courses are led by experts in their industry in concise, step-by-step lessons. If you have a business, you can also opt in for a team plan. Some of the biggest companies are using Skillshare so you know that the knowledge is top-tier, but remember that you can read the reviews from like-minded individuals who have taken the course to get their opinion before you take the plunge yourself.

FutureLearn

World-class universities are now taking their courses to the internet with FutureLearn. Course providers include educational institutions such as the University of Bath and Cardiff University, and various organisations within the NHS, Samsung, and the British Library have partnered with FutureLearn so you are spoilt for choice!

There is a spectrum of different subjects you take lessons in, or you have the option to take a short and flexible course to add something new to your skillset. Then, after you’ve done that, you can take that new skill to the next level in a specialist ExpertTracks course so you can tell to your friends (and employers!) what an expert you are.

FutureLearn is unique because it’s biggest providers are worldwide universities and so learners have the opportunity to earn a degree in a flexible home-studying environment. Free taster courses are available so you can try out the course before opting in for its entirety which is great especially when the same subject can be taught so differently between providers. It’s also a good idea to look into what the qualification can do for you and what companies recognise it beforehand. Find the right course for you!

There are different plan options depending on what you are looking for. If you want to take one course, the option is there to take it for free for a limited time. Otherwise, you can pay a monthly fee for access to all of them for an unlimited time.

Now that I’ve told you what’s out there… What are you waiting for?