Stuck in a rut with your career? It’s a common problem – many workers find themselves in a job they find unchallenging, but lack the means to climb further up the career ladder. One way to improve your job prospects is to learn a new skill. Most people have busy lives outside of work, and don’t necessarily have spare time to devote to learning. However, there is an untapped source of free time in the working day – the lunch break. The most successful business people use their breaks for self-improvement. An hour might not sound much, but if you study a new skill for an hour every day, the time soon adds up into something significant.
Skills You Can Learn On Your Lunch BreakSo, are you ready to bust out of your career rut? Check out these awesome skills you can learn on your lunch break:
1. Learn To CodeMany people believe that programming is impossibly difficult to learn. This is a misconception - not only is it relatively simple to understand, it’s also quickly becoming a highly desirable skill. There are plenty of sites available which can help you learn how to code. Some, like the Mozilla Developer Network , are theory-based, which is ideal for those who already have some experience. For those who are completely new to coding, an interactive website is the best way to learn the basic skills. Try Codecademy or Dash – these have been designed with lunchtime learners in mind, and offer easy-to-follow tutorials and instructions in bite-sized chunks.
2. Become An ExpertBeing good at your job won’t automatically land you a promotion. The best way to advance your career is to become an expert in your field. Don’t allow yourself to grow complacent – the most successful people are constantly challenging themselves to learn more. Keep up to date with the industry news. Following the Twitter accounts of authoritative publications and experts is an easy way to stay informed, as they will often tweet about the latest developments and opinions. Read around the subject. There will be blogs and sites – and potentially even books - dedicated to your profession, regardless of the industry. You could also ask relevant questions on Quora to build your knowledge. Once you know enough about the subject, you can answer other people’s questions.
3. Learn A LanguageBeing proficient in another language can be incredibly beneficial to your career. Sites like Verbling and italki allow you to join ‘virtual language classes’, or match you up to a language exchange partner. You can then use the onsite video and IM services to learn your new language from a native speaker – although expect to teach some English phrases in return. Once you’ve grasped the basics, check out high-quality foreign news websites. Le Monde is a good site for French learners, and CNN Espanol is useful for Spanish students. These cover the same international stories as English-language news sites, so you can check the details before trying to translate them. If you feel daunted by the prospect of learning a language from scratch, revisit a language you learned at school. You’ll be surprised how much you can remember – and already knowing the basic grammatical structures will help you to progress quickly.
4. Open An E-BusinessOpening your own ebusiness is a great way to learn new skills on-the-job, and earn a little extra money alongside your salary. Use your existing talents. If you’re artistic, open an Etsy shop – crafts like knitting and sewing are easy to do at your desk. If you speak another language, you could start a small translation business. You can still set up an e-business if you don’t have any marketable talents. You could buy and sell items on eBay, or start a blog and sell advertising space to companies. Running your own business, no matter how small, can help you to develop new skills – which could increase your value in the job market. When learning a new skill, it’s important to choose something that interests you, as you’re more likely to keep studying if you enjoy what you’re learning. To stay motivated, set small goals – challenge yourself to finish a section of lessons on Codecademy, or learn a set number of new words. It’s always best to check with your employer before embarking on some of these activities, particularly if you’re using them to generate extra income. However, many employers will be happy for you to use your lunch break for self-improvement. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles:
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