How To Develop Your Skills Online (At Home Or Wherever You Are)

The brighter you are, the more you have to learn. -Don Herold

I have been working in the digital world for more than 7 years but there are still so many things I need to learn.

Good thing is, I love learning new stuff. I could still remember the day I discovered how to create a blog. I was still using Blogger then and I couldn’t stop using it. Until I discovered WordPress.

Fast forward today, I’ve managed a lot of blogs in different niches and I have learned how to do simple coding, use keywords, create infographics, manage social media, setup ads and write a long form content.

From Nursing to Digital Nomad

I will never get tired of sharing my story on how I discovered that I could make a living at the comfort of my room.

Back then I didn’t like to travel. I get sea sick and I didn’t want to leave the country. I wanted to always stay in my city. I was never that person who aimed to leave their laid-back life and move to the fast paced life that big cities has to offer.

But when my mom brought me to my first trip abroad, I was hooked. The first country I visited was Vietnam and we took a bus to Cambodia.

I was a newly grad nursing student, jobless and don’t have any idea about adult life.

I applied for regular work but it is so hard to land a job when you don’t have any experience.

I started using the internet to search for job opportunities when I stumbled upon oDesk’s (now UpWork) website.

Ahh, good times.

After I created my profile, I started doing research jobs, simple admin tasks and rewriting. I got scammed and didn’t get paid a couple of times but I charged that to experience. I’m thankful though because I became more cautious and chose my clients wisely after that happened.

Then I started developing my skills.

I read articles and books. I watched videos and then eBooks started sprouting. Some are even offered for free. Now, one of my favorites mode of learning is listening to podcasts.

When I developed my skills, I started to earn more. I started writing and doing more complex jobs. I got into content marketing and that helped me out a lot.

Then I discovered traveling. My first major trip was in Finland and it was also the first time I experienced snow. So magical. Having seen snow only from pictures, TV and the internet, experiencing my first snowfall was amazing. I literally braced the cold and walked barefoot, laid down and did a snow angel.

After that I didn’t stopped traveling. But I always go back home for a while and pack my bags again so I won’t miss my family so much. I’ve been to most countries in Asia, Dubai, Japan, Australia and recently to Poland and Czech Republic.

The journey wasn’t easy (especially with the visa applications!). Sure as heck was worth it!

How to develop skills online

1. Read, read, read

I love reading. But I select what I read. I don’t read the news a lot simply because it’s usually a downer. I like to focus on self-development and enhancing my skills. If you’re not a big reader, try audiobooks.

2. Listen to podcasts

I’m so happy podcasts exists. It’s like having a personal teacher. You can listen to it while you’re on a break, while relaxing in bed and even when you’re cleaning or doing house chores.

3. Find three skills that will help you be more effective in your line of work/business

I always believe that being the best in one thing is better than being good in many things. That doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to polishing only one skill. But find one skill and master it.

4. Put your skills to test

If you want to know how good you are in what you can do, then test yourself in that area.

For example, as a writer, I read and write A LOT. It’s an every day thing. No matter what mood I’m in, I always try to read and write every single day. I send out a pitch to different sites and see if it gets accepted. I submit articles and wait if they’ll publish it. I submitted three articles to Thought Catalog and two articles got published. The one they didn’t publish wasn’t bad but it wasn’t in line with the articles they publish. When a pitch or a proposal gets accepted, it motivates me to work harder. When it doesn’t it motivates me to develop my skills even more.

5. Find and follow people that inspire you

Who inspires you? Who is your model? If there is one person you can sit down with and ask anything, who would it be? Is there anyone who picks you up when you’re down?

One of my favorite go-to persons is Shawn Achor. I really love his Ted talk about happiness. Whenever I listen to it, my mood always shifts up. If I need a mood booster at work, I listen or watch Tony Robbins video. For entertainment, I love watching Hat Films and Funhaus.

6. Join online communities and interact with like-minded people

I’ve heard about online communities but I haven’t really joined and participated in any groups until recently.

I’m glad I did.

Although some people can be quite harsh when you ask for feedback, it’s also a good place to learn. Some people share tips and their experiences. Some share their expertise and help other people learn.

There are other people who are trying to develop the skills you want to develop too so it’s a great way to connect and exchange ideas.

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