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10 Online Courses That Professionals Everywhere Can Use

10 Online Courses That Professionals Everywhere Can Use

The Great Recession may be behind us, but years of economic instability have left their mark on the workplace. Now, more Americans are freelancers or working on contract. Meanwhile, managers have yet to hire new employees at the pre-recession rates, leaving current employees with multiple responsibilities and job titles. What does that mean for us worker bees? We have to constantly improve our skillset, develop professionally and stay on top of our game to remain valued and employable. Yet many of us do not have the time or the money to participate in a traditional college or continuing education course.

Online courses are becoming more popular, and what was once seen as a questionable credential is now recognized as quality education. According to this infographic from Vista College, an estimated 25 million students will take at least one online class this year, and 77 percent of academics rate online courses equal or superior to the bricks and mortar classroom. No matter your profession, it’s critical to stay current with best practices, skills and technology. Here are 10 online courses that professionals everywhere should consider:

Intro to Social Media, Constant Contact

social media online course

    Is Facebook a mystery to you? Do you hear colleagues talking about the company’s digital footprint but have no idea what it means? If you were hoping Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media sites were just fads that would quickly disappear, you are mistaken. And everyone from family owned businesses to multinational corporations are working to improve their online presence and reputation through these sites. Social 101, an online course put together by email marketer Constant Contact, explains popular sites, blogging, QR codes, email marketing and more.

    Project Management Course, Vista College Pro

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    project management courses

      Vista College’s online classes are perfect for busy professionals. This course can help enhance the skills needed to be successful in project management, including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing. This course can also prepare you for the project management professional certification through the Project Management Institute. If your boss has been reluctant to put you in charge of a project, take this course to sharpen your skills.

      Google Analytics Academy, Google

      SEO and analytics

        Website analytics have advanced well beyond merely counting the number of visits. By taking this course, you’ll learn how the data collected by Google about those visiting your website will help you direct advertising dollars, grow your e-commerce, and create in-depth analysis. Just by adding the analytics code to your website, a whole new world of big data will be open to you.

        Time Management Class, Franklin Covey

        Time To Learn

          Franklin Covey is famous for its courses in productivity and business skills. Their Time Management Essentials online course can help busy professionals learn to prioritize responsibilities, think through problems more efficiently and make good decisions. These courses also teach students how to use technology to make life more productive, instead of adding distractions to an already busy schedule.

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          Writing Course, Utah State University

          writing course

            Clear and well thought out writing is hard to find. Even in an age when it seems everyone is a blogger, or at least a microblogger, quality writing is rare. Yet it’s necessary to get ahead in the workplace: presentations, emails, proposals and even employee reviews all depend upon a solid writing foundation. Take this course to help understand and develop writing skills.

            Photography Training and Tutorials, Lynda.com

            photography online course

              Photography is a wonderful personal skill that can take a family photo album from dull to inspiring. But a few photography skills can also help set you apart at work. Facebook posts with photos enjoy a higher level of engagement than those without. The annual financial report is read by more people when a compelling photo is on the cover. The company website is always putting out calls for event photos. By taking photography classes, you can set yourself apart at home and at work.

              Public Speaking, University of Washington via Coursera

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              Communicate Definition Magnifier Showing Dialog Networking Or Speaking

                Do you get knots in your stomach when presenting to the Board of Directors? Does the idea of representing your company at a trade show terrify you? Then it is time to take a public speaking class to get over your fears and advance in the workplace. This course is a partnership between the University of Washington and Coursera, and will help you become more succinct, persuasive and confident in your speech.

                Finance and Capital Markets, Khan Academy

                Finance

                  Even the most artistic among us has to face the reality of a budget and bank balance. So while this coursework may not apply to your job right now, as you move up the corporate ladder you will also be responsible for an office budget one day. Learning about interest, debt, accounting basics and financial statements will set you apart from colleagues who’ve never heard of the word “amortization.”

                  Business Etiquette, The Emily Post Institute

                  business course

                    One poorly handled work lunch or a flubbed interaction with the CEO can set any employee back. On the other hand, when a boss sees you handle a potentially awkward or stressful situation with grace and ease, you’ll be commended. The Emily Post Institute offers classes in business and workplace etiquette, communications for business professionals and dining tips for business dinners or events. Sure, you may know your company inside and out, but do you know how to make the best impression?

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                    Sewing Class, Craftsy.com

                    hobby classes

                      OK, maybe it won’t be sewing for you, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box when looking for an online class. If you talk on the phone all day, it is relaxing to take a sewing class in the evening and work your creative skills. Maybe for you it would be an online course about car repair, an online cooking class, instruction in a foreign language or a DIY home repair course. These outside interests will give you something to talk about at work, and show the boss that you are a well-rounded employee. C’est bon!

                      It may seem like you have no free time during which to take on an additional class, but putting time into your professional or personal development will reap benefits for years to come. If you won’t invest in yourself, who will? Sign up for a professional development course today. What course have you taken to aid in professional development? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

                      Featured photo credit: Aleksi Tappura via unsplash.imgix.net

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                      Last Updated on March 12, 2019

                      20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

                      20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

                      There is normally a lengthy list of things you need to consider when starting a business, and if you don’t manage them properly, your excitement can quickly turn into overwhelm. What can support you to stay inspired and on the right track when starting out? You guessed it: this is your vision statement.

                      What Is a Vision Statement?

                      A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.

                      A vision statement provides the direction and describes what the founder wants the organization to achieve in the future; it’s more about the “what” of a business. It is different from a mission statement, which describes the purpose of an organization and more about the “how” of a business.

                      If you were to take a photo of your future business now, what would it look like? What do you want your business to be recognized for one day?

                      You need to have a crystal clear vision when you start out, otherwise you can get easily lost in deciding the best way forward. When you are making strategic decisions for your business and even daily operation decisions, your vision statement will give you the inspiration and targeted direction you need.

                      The Importance of a Vision Statement

                      Without a vision statement, your business will lack motivation to keep going.

                      If you don’t aim for anything, you might not hit anything. The more specific and clear you are, the better your chances are at seeing your vision turn into reality.

                      The importance of a vision statement cannot be overlooked; not only does it provide long term direction and guidance, but it also gives you the inspiration and the necessary energy to keep going when you feel lost.

                      Always keep your vision statement alive by revisiting it regularly and communicating your vision with other members of the team, to inspire and motivate them as well.

                      How to Craft an Inspiring Vision Statement

                      1. Dream big and use clear language

                      An inspiring vision statement should inform a clear direction and priorities for the organization, while challenging all the team members to grow together. Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you:

                      • Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years.
                      • Infuse the business’ values in the statement.
                      • Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business.
                      • Write your vision statement in the present tense.
                      • Use clear and concise language.
                      • Ensure the statement is easily understood.

                      There are many different types of vision statements and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most important thing is to resonate with it. It will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.

                      2. Get inspirations from the successful companies.

                      Having researched on a number of successful companies’ vision statements, I’ve shortlisted 20 good examples for the new startups:

                      Short vision statements made up of a few words only:

                      1. Disney

                      To make people happy.

                      2. Oxfam

                      A just world without poverty.

                      3. Ikea

                      To create a better every day life for the many people.

                      Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:

                      4. Microsoft

                      Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

                        5. Nike

                        Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

                          Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:

                          6. Ford

                          People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

                          7. Avon

                          To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.

                          Competitor based statements – this type is becoming less common, but famous examples are:

                          8. Honda – in 1970

                          We will destroy Yamaha.

                          9. Nike – in 1960s

                          Crush Adidas.

                            10. Philip Morris – in 1950s

                            Knock off RJR as the number one tobacco  company in the world.

                            Role Model Vision Statements – using another company as an example:

                            11. Stanford University – in the past

                            To become the Harvard of the West.

                            12. Reach for Success – in the past

                            To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.

                            Internal Transformations vision statements:

                            13. Apple

                            To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.

                            14. Giro Sport Design

                            To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.

                            15. Tesla

                            To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

                            16. Sony

                            To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

                            17. Facebook

                            To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

                              Longer and more detailed vision statement:

                              18. Walmart

                              To give customers a wide assortment of their favorite products, Every Day Low Prices, guaranteed satisfaction, friendly service, convenient hours (24 hours, 7 days a week) and a great online shopping experience.

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                              19. Coca Cola

                              To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

                              Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

                              People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

                              Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

                              Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

                              Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.

                                20. Heinz

                                Our VISION, quite simply, is to be: “The World’s Premier Food Company, Offering Nutritious, Superior Tasting Foods To People Everywhere.” Being the premier food company does not mean being the biggest but it does mean being the best in terms of consumer value, customer service, employee talent, and consistent and predictable growth.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Remember, always keep your vision statement up-to-date to direct your company’s actions.

                                Remember, once you reach your vision, it needs to be changed. General Motors overtook Ford as #1 automotive company in the world because once Ford’s goal was reached, they never updated it.

                                Keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

                                Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

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                                To your success!

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