Diversify your streams of income with free online learning during lockdown

Diversify your streams of income with free online learning during lockdown

In the second of her series, our iMoney Guru looks at ways in which people can make use of free resources and learning portals during the pandemic to make themselves more employable and to multiply their streams of income.

One of the ways you can ensure you come out of national lockdown having made the best of use of your time and with increased earning potential is by upskilling in an area that you’re not so comfortable with. Did you always think that budgets were a mystery or that spreadsheets were an enigma?

During the past year, I have accessed many free online courses, some to add to my skills and knowledge to do with education, but others just out of curiosity and interest- one such course was on Project Management. Having previously been an Open University Student, I used the trustworthy and accredited site OpenLearn, run by The Open University, where you can access around 1000 courses at different levels, with a great range of subjects: Health, Languages, Science, Technology, Law and Politics.

Upskilling help

There are many advantages to upskilling using this site, and others like it:

  • You can start immediately as there are no start and end dates, and you can study at your own pace, keeping track of your learning.

  • You can learn skills for work or a new industry that you may be considering moving into.

  • You can get a certificate of participation to add to your CV – helping to increase your employability. Research suggest those who are commit learning strengthens your appeal to hiring managers and recruiters.

  • Learning something new is also great for your overall wellbeing. And this is all for free and it ties in with my ethos of lifelong learning. It really is never too late!

One of my favourite sites that I’ve used in the past year is Duolingo. I’ve persevered with Spanish, not missing a single day since May 2020 – it helps that I can access it on a phone App, too. The Bureau of Labour Statistics projected a 22 per cent increase for bilingual professionals by the end of the decade. Knowing Spanish, one of the fastest growing business languages, can be particularly helpful if you work in healthcare or education.

If you are bilingual, you will be more marketable and have more career choices than your monolingual counterparts. Globalisation, with its accompanying free trade agreements, is shrinking the business world, and those who know more than one language will definitely have the edge.

New horizons

So how does this translate into deeper pockets?

  1. Being upskilled allows you to excel in your current role and potentially get promoted
    Showing that you’re committed to learning can be particularly helpful when applying for new jobs and roles. In my time in management, I was always drawn more to candidates who showed a thirst for learning and applying that new knowledge.

  1. Do the work you enjoy, especially as we spend a third of our lives doing it
    The pandemic has been a time to reflect for a lot of us, and might be a time for us to turn our hobbies into an income stream. Your love of arts could lead you into setting up a fruitful side business, selling your beautifully handcrafted items on websites such as Etsy.

  1. Diversifying streams of income pays off in times of uncertainty
    In an era of furlough and redundancies, having multiple sources of income can go a long way on a rainy day. Throughout our working lives we are likely to change and add to our careers.

Saroj Joshi is a money saving expert. In this regular iMoney Guru series for ‘iGlobal’, the Derbyshire-based adviser shares her wealth of experience in investing, saving, and the property market of providing support to the local Indian community with her handy tips.

*For specific queries or money saving tips, you can reach iMoney Guru at info@iglobalnews.com

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