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7 Career-Advancing Courses That You Can Take (And Actually Finish)

7 Career-Advancing Courses That You Can Take (And Actually Finish)

Have you ever thought that you would like to have a better career? Have you thought about taking courses, but figured that you don’t have time to go back to school? Well, whether you are an entrepreneur who is busy running a small business, a stay-at-home mom who is busy with kids, or a business person who wants to learn new skills and advance in your career, there are courses that you have plenty of time for. Here are seven great options to get you started.

1. Search Engine Optimization Training

seo training

    This is a great course for small business owners. It will teach you how to do SEO through courses that are tailored specifically for you and your needs. It doesn’t matter if you are already an expert with SEO or if you are just getting started, this training is going to benefit you and your small business. Your new knowledge will mean your marketing will be much more effective and you will get more visitors to your website.

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    2. Communicating Strategically

    communication

      If you are a professional who has trouble communicating with those who are not well-versed in your line of work, this is the course for you. You will learn how to communicate effectively with non-professionals who may not understand business or scientific terms as well as you do. You can take the class for free, and if you want a PurdueX Verified Certificate, it is just $50.

      3. Speechwriting 101

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      speech

        Have you been asked to write a speech but you have no idea how to do it? If so, here is a great course with 10 lessons that have been created for beginners to help them write great speeches. Lessons include “How to Write for the Ear (Not the Eye)” and “One Speech Structure to Rule them All.” The course is 10 weeks in total, with one lesson per week.

        4. Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager

        law

          Here is a course that will help you to understand the basics of legal issues that surround businesses. This intermediate-level course starts with the basics of business law and then moves into the second half, which includes various issues, including intellectual property, business disputes, bankruptcy law, reorganization, international trade, and more. There are 21 lessons for a total of 32 hours of study.

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          5. Learn Java

          java

            This is a free, comprehensive guide to Java, which is one of the most popular programming languages today. These lessons are fast and easy, and you will be able to complete your work in under three hours — with no need for previous experience in programming. Upon completion of the course, you will be able to write code quickly and easily. You will be guided step-by-step, and you can even compete with peers from other parts of the world.

            6. Public Speaking

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            public

              A lot of people know their stuff inside and out. But, if questioned about it, they freeze up and can’t speak. Or, they are not able to effectively relay the information. If this sounds like you, you need this course. Through lectures and the textbook, you will learn about every aspect of public speaking and what it takes to be an effective public speaker. There are also videos that show the various aspects of public speaking.

              7. The Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator

              illustrator

                In order to take your designs to the next level, you need to be using Adobe Illustrator. If you have never worked with vectors, anchors, brushes, symbols, etc., this may seem a bit scary. However, once you take this course, which only takes a month to complete, you will be an expert. You will learn how to take a project from concept to completion, even if you are just a beginner.

                Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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                Jane Hurst

                Writer, editor

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                Last Updated on October 13, 2020

                How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

                Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

                • Taking a job for the money
                • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
                • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
                • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
                • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

                There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

                One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

                Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

                1. Be a Mentor

                When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

                “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

                This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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                This can get you stuck.

                Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

                “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

                With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

                From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

                Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

                Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

                Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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                1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
                2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
                3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

                Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

                2. Work on Your Mindset

                Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

                “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

                In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

                Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

                Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

                3. Improve Your Soft Skills

                When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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                Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

                  According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

                  You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

                  Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

                  Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

                  Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

                  The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

                  4. Develop Your Strategy

                  Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

                  Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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                  Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

                  Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

                  The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

                  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

                  • Why do you do what you do?
                  • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
                  • What does a great day look like?
                  • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
                  • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

                  Define success to get promoted

                    These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

                    Final Thoughts

                    After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

                    Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

                    More Tips on How to Get Promoted

                    Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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