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Life Long Learning

There’s always something new to discover

➔ Remember the college classmate who was on “the seven-year plan”; who derisively was labeled as a “professional student”? As it turns out, maybe he knew something that the rest of us didn’t.

Today the term is “professional learner” and according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, 63 percent of full-time workers lay claim to that title. The Pew study also shows that, in the past 12 months, they either have taken a course or received some additional training.

The good news is that, if you’re presently unemployed, you probably have some time in your day that you can carve out to update your skills. This is especially true for computer skills. Are you current with Word and Excel? Do you feel at all comfortable with ChatGPT or some other AI software?

Above and beyond the more traditional software, there are a lot of new players in the game for the working professional. LinkedIn comes to mind first. It’s an essential component of most every contemporary job search. Are you getting the most out of it? Are you adept at making it work to your advantage in your job search? Writing effective LinkedIn headlines and profiles are becoming artforms.

There are other new kids on the block as well. There are the many offerings from Google beyond search and gmail. Then, there’s: Evernote. One Note. Zoom and Teams. And all the social media: Facebook, Twitter, They all can be useful in your search. Then there are the various extensions – applications that are add-ons to existing applications. For example, there are literally hundreds of extensions to the Chrome browser – applications that can be added to Chrome that can make your online experience far more effective and efficient than you can imagine.

In addition to enhancing your appearance as technologically savvy, improving your skills will help during your job search. Knowing how to navigate around job sites, news feeds, etc., will make your day measurably more productive. This holds true when doing research on companies and/or preparing for interviews.

Wait! There’s more good news. Many (if not most) libraries offer classes – and in some cases certifications – in many of these new versions. And they’re usually… free!

What’s not to like about that?


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