Opinion: Five Things To Do Apart From Taking Online Courses

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By Muktar Balogun

Some days ago, a family friend of mine received a certificate from an educational technology platform. He posted the certificate on his social media account and gave it a thought-provoking caption. In essence, he meant “you shouldn’t be a wastrel by spending this period doing nothing”.

Social media influencers, chief executive officers and even students have prioritized personal development during this period. However, I believe personal development should not be necessarily seasonal or periodical. It should take place every day. Whether or not there is a pandemic, personal development should be continual.

Meanwhile, online courses seem to be the focal point of personal development to a lot of people. Personal development is not necessarily about taking courses alone. If you have not found interest in online courses, there is no reason to fret.

Here are five things you can do during this period apart from taking online courses:

1). Attend webinars: According to Dictionary.com, “webinar is a seminar or other presentation that takes place on the internet, allowing participants in different locations to see and hear the presenter, ask questions, and sometimes answer polls”. Since the emergence of the Covid-19, there has been an increase in the amount of webinars facilitated. One thing about webinars people fail to harness is the networking benefits it presents. A lot of people have made connections with CEOs, Directors and Initiators through webinar. This is simple. Be active during the webinar. Request to send them a message on the webinar platform. Such request is very difficult to reject. A webinar is a remote atmosphere where you have access to a pool of knowledgeable professionals. It could be more than that. To have access to webinars, be active on career-driven platforms. Remember, your network is your net worth.

2). Workout: You should try working out. Personal development is not centered on emotional and intellectual prowess. It could be physical too. Some of the benefits of working out has made known by healthline.com, an online platform that connects patients to doctors are: it can make you feel happier; it can help with weight loss; it can reduce your risk of chronic disease. You need to be healthy to live a good life. Your health is your wealth.

3). Read books: For the first time, I read a book of more than a hundred pages and I completed it in two days. It was a career book on the oil and gas sector. Meanwhile, I am not looking at a career in that sector. The second book I finished in that time frame was Chimamanda’s “Purple Hibiscus”. Non-fiction, fiction, romance, career, memoirs, and adventure books are genres you should look out for during this period. There are thousands of them on the internet. Reading makes you smarter. Reading improves your communication skills.

4). Volunteer: Apart from taking online courses to increase your chances of getting profitably employed, volunteering is a viable means of acquiring experience in your terrain. Volunteering has gone beyond the conventional physical volunteering. Technology has changed the face of things in volunteering. Before the pandemic, a lot of people have been volunteering remotely. Personally, my first volunteering experience was executed on Chezuba, a community of volunteers. Chezuba links you, according to skill set, to an organization who needs your service. I volunteered for an Indian NGO via Chezuba. It was a great experience. You can search for platforms that function just like Chezuba. A lot of organizations are seriously searching for volunteers during this period. Volunteering can kick-start your career by showing you already have experience in the field.

5). Attend online workshops: Workshops are practical sessions to learn a certain skill. There are pool of workshops online during this period. Graphics design, writing, public speaking, 3d animation etc are very good skills which can be taught remotely. The great thing about these skills is that they can be taught remotely and money can also be made remotely. This means you don’t have to meet anybody physically to be taught or to be employed. Most workshops give out tips on how to monetize the skills learnt.

In conclusion, students and professionals are being enjoined to engage themselves in personal development during this period. Meanwhile, surviving this period is an achievement in itself. I will be leaving my readers with the encouraging words of Nicole Marie B, “Be kind to yourself. You are doing your best. Don’t let your inner critic tell you what you should and shouldn’t feel. You are only human.”

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