In today’s job market, every company is expecting its candidates to have a large number of job skills and/or experience, especially for entry-level jobs. Although this might be beneficial to the hiring company, it stacks the deck against the next generation who are actively looking for jobs but can’t qualify. In other words, instead of creating a more open job market, many companies are making it more difficult to enter. For this reason, we have come up with a few places people can go to improve their job skills.
Skillshare is a relatively new online learning community that allows individuals to improve their job skills by learning from educational videos taught by professionals in almost every industry. The online platform allows anyone to create videos which are not accredited to millions of viewers. The main purpose of the videos is to teach through an interactive video, not through a lecture.
The primary purpose of Skillshare is to learn a subject by creating a project at the end of each course. This can be as easy as learning calligraphy, or complex as creating a website. Skillshare does come with a subscription, but like many of these services, it also comes with a free trial period.
2. Volunteer Work
One of the best ways for young adults to begin improving their job skills is to do volunteer work during their school breaks. You can easily find nonprofits or universities who would like students to volunteer their time to create graphic design work or write articles for their company. Although you might not be getting paid, it still counts as work experience, and you can use the projects in your professional portfolio. Not many young people can get jobs in their field of study without years of experience, so volunteering can help them get their foot in the door.
3. Freelance Work
Freelancing can be a great start to improving your jobs skills. It may start off as volunteering, as getting your first client is always through a family/friend recommendation. However, once you start getting clients you will find money coming into your pocket from almost every direction. Freelancing is especially beneficial for individuals who already have a small portfolio to show clients. Not only will you obtain a small income per client, but you will also be able to show those projects as a part of your portfolio. However, freelancing is a little trickier than the others, as many freelancers have admitted it is hard to find that first client.
The last place to improve your job skills is to attend a seminar, workshop or event. Most colleges and universities have these throughout the school year, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one to attend. One of the benefits of finding it through school is that the schools usually give a pretty good discount on the ticket prices, especially if you are in the faculty program that is hosting the event. Besides this, it is highly beneficial to attend these workshops because you never know who you are going to meet.
There should be a few industry professionals at the networking event that you can speak with. All you have to do is get a few minutes with one in order to pick their brain about their expectations of new grads, etc… Also, meeting professionals in the career you want to pursue is a great way to know which skills you should be focusing on more.
5. School Projects
In college, sometimes you have to work in groups on a task that takes many skills. If you need to create a professional portfolio, you can easily ask the group if you can work on a specific section because you need it for when you graduate. For example, if you are working on a business plan, you can ask to create the graphic design for the logo, because you would like to add it to your website later. Most likely your group will not mind, and now you have a piece of work you can show to employers and clients.