Regardless of your job description or the industry you work in, taking the time to improve your skill set shows initiative and drive. It also shows your ability to learn new skills and a willingness to advance your career – qualities that are highly valued by many employers and organizations.
Employees who are willing to develop new skills and improve their existing skill set demonstrate a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. Learning new skills is exciting and challenging and keeps your brain active, while also opening new doors so you can succeed at work.
Improving your skill set takes time and commitment. These days, we’re lucky to have the convenience of learning online. Online learning is a great personal and professional development tool, helping you to meet your goals and boost your job performance. And there’s never been a better time for learning, with so many e-learning tools and online courses available to us – many of them free.
We’ve done the hard work for you and found 5 free online courses you can enroll in to improve your skills in some key areas. Mastering these essential skills will make you a more well-rounded employee and an asset to any company, while improving your own self-confidence and knowledge in these areas.
Knowing how to effectively manage your time, both at home and at work, is one of the most essential skills you can have. Strong time management skills are highly valued in many organizations, with companies looking for high-performing individuals who can work at elevated levels of effectiveness and efficiency.
Being able to perform and function productively with a clear head, even when it seems that you have an overwhelming number of things to do, will go a long way in any organization. In this way, taking the time to become more organized and productive will make your life far less stressful, while gaining results for your employer and your own professional development.
With the online course Learn Time Management, Get Organized and Get Everything Done, you’ll learn how to take control of your priorities, set the right goals and plan your time effectively. The course also contains practical tips on how to overcome procrastination and take control of your schedule. There’s also interesting information on personality types and how this affects the way you spend your time.
With verbal communication skills ranked high on the list of many role descriptions, improving your public speaking skills can be a very valuable step for your professional development.
Strong verbal or oral communication skills show that you can articulate your thoughts and ideas and communicate effectively with colleagues and clients. Many roles also require public speaking from time to time, whether it’s making a speech or delivering a pitch or presentation, and for many of us this can be a source of fear and anxiety.
Spending some time on developing your public speaking skills can also take the stress out of having a presentation or speech sprung on you at the last minute – you’ll feel confident in your skills and prepared for any occasion.
Take a look at How to Master Public Speaking, which has been designed to help you feel more confident while talking to any audience, large or small. You’ll learn how to calm your nerves and feel more at ease while speaking in public.
Even if you’re quite comfortable with speaking in public, an online course can be a way to make your presentations or speeches more effective, helping you to learn more about the use of tone and hand gestures while delivering your message.
Whether it's with a direct report, colleague or manager, difficult conversations can provoke feelings of intense anxiety and discomfort for all involved. You may be passing on negative feedback, assessing an employee’s performance or dealing with a sensitive HR issue – regardless of your role or rank, these conversations can be hard to navigate.
However, often these kinds of difficult conversations are an opportunity for positive change and meaningful discussion, presenting a way for personal growth and professional development to occur.
How to Master Difficult Conversations will provide you with the tips, tools, strategies and solutions you need to initiate and participate in difficult conversations. By the end of the course you’ll feel more empowered and confident, ready to face these conversations without fear and participate in them without difficulty.
We all take part in certain forms of negotiation every day, both at work and in our personal life. Whether you work in sales, finance, project teams or contracts – getting people to do something is a form of negotiation.
In this way, negotiation is one of the most desirable skills in employees, and not just for those in management level. Showing strong negotiation skills within your organization can help your company succeed, as well as advance your career.
Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills is a great introductory course to negotiation, guiding you through the four steps of a successful negotiation strategy and helping you improve your skills in this important area.
You might be a little surprised by this last one, but learning to effectively manage stress can make a huge impact on all aspects of your life, including work. Employees who know how to manage their own stress levels are a positive attribute to any company.
As we discussed in a recent article about the risks of burning out at work, excessive stress can lead to serious impacts for both employees and their employer – organizations can expect to suffer from reduced productivity, higher employee turnover, financial burdens from absenteeism and the possibility of medical, legal, and insurance expenses. For individuals, burnout can contribute to serious mental health issues, such as anxiety, insomnia, hyper vigilance and depression, as well as serious physical health problems.
Through Stress Reduction and Wellness, you will learn to identify stress, establishing what situations, thoughts or feelings stress you out. You can then find ways to reduce this stress using mindfulness meditation techniques. You’ll become more aware of your thinking patterns, allowing you to increase your resilience to stressors, achieving greater calm in the workplace, as well as your personal life.
Ready to get started? Take a look through more great courses, many of them free, in Go1’s marketplace – simply enrol and complete training modules online, at your own pace, in the convenience of your own home or office.