If your income hasn’t kept up with inflation, the need to upgrade your skills to better support your family may have grown urgent. Not everyone can take time from their current job to take in-person classes. The tips below can help you learn new skills.
Squeeze In Study Time
Take a hard look at how you spend your free time when you get home from your job. Is most of your time spent caring for children before you collapse in front of the television? Could you swap those TV shows for YouTube or another data source that will help you learn?
If you’re allowed to use earbuds on the job, you may spend the day listening to energizing music. Could you swap out one hour per day for an audiobook that can provide you with new skills? One audiobook on building efficiencies through better habits could actually free up a lot of time that you can then use to study. Skills that can improve your home life can really benefit your career.
The same earbuds can be used in the car to extend your study time. If you’re tired of the radio argument between or with your children, use your earbuds and allow everyone to settle down and be calm for the whole commute.
Train On The Job
You may have a manager who is terribly overwhelmed or is just willing to teach. Offer to help. Getting paid to learn is one of the greatest gifts that a job can give you, so sign up for free or on-the-job training each time you have the opportunity.
If you see postings for training or have the chance to sign up for online classes, brown-bag your lunch and spend your break watching a new video or learning a new skill. If you spend part of the day on the computer, use your downtime and breaks to learn new skills in word processing or spreadsheet creation.
Be Willing To Shadow A Professional
Your chosen career may take more schooling than you can currently attend. See if you can shadow someone in your chosen profession to better understand what they do each day. If you want to be a nurse but don’t have the time for college right now, check into LPN programs in your area and ask for their recommendations.
You may want to shadow someone in the trades. If you know of a carpenter, plumber, or electrician who works weekends, ask to spend a Saturday shadowing them as they work. They may decline, either because they’re not interested in teaching or because of liability issues. However, if you can follow a sole practitioner around, you may learn skills that will help you plan your next round of training.
Study The Market
As you strive to build the skills needed to be an electrician, take a hard look at the market in your area. If you live in a region that is mostly populated by homes of a particular vintage, it’s a good idea to know when to expect electrical problems, such as old knob and tube wiring.
If you’re more interested in carpentry or interior finish work, consider experimenting with how to repair palm plaster or update trim in newer homes. During 2020, many people chose to start updating their homes but backed off when supply prices went up. You may find that many folks are itching to get custom repairs were done that are beyond the DIY skillset.
Sign Up For On-Line Classes
Should you be interested in a career that will take more classwork, look for online options. Such classes may require you to turn everything in on Sunday night. It will be tough, but if you can commit even half an hour to coursework each night, you may be able to finish up on the weekends.
Your family may be able to help you out with this. If you can set up blocks of quiet time each day and on the weekends, you may be able to enjoy uninterrupted time. Use a timer and, as possible, post your schedule. Your hours may be rather crazy until you finish your coursework, but by getting your children to support the process, you may find that your family is closer by the time you graduate.
Our jobs require us to swap our life hours for an income. The more you can make for each hour you work, the better off your family will be. If you’ve been working two jobs to make ends meet, a career upgrade can mean an upgraded family life.