Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Self-Education in Your Free Time

So you find yourself unemployed! You join the ranks of the illustrious, my good fellow, for I too have been struggling to find gainful engagement within our System. Yes, hard as it may seem, many businesses don't seem to feel an inordinate need to hire someone to point out their misuse of quotation marks, suggesting better words to use, correcting their spelling and all sorts of other embarrassing tendencies. I can't help what I'm good at! or that at which I'm skilled.

But being jobless is no excuse to sit idly. After you've struggled with your cover letters and thrown out your résumé to a dozen places that won't condescend to reply, think about self-improvement in other directions. The blessing of the Internet provides us with a plethora, indeed, no dearth of online courses and educational resources. Allow me to review some of the most useful.

Say you're already involved in computers and would like to break into Content Management. It's a great job title, and a lot of places need the Web-based equivalent of a Renaissance man/woman. If you can master Google Analytics, you're going to be valuable to both new and established businesses. Show off your PC prowess with a bunch of handy keyboard shortcuts not many people know about. Social media is the hot thing currently, so get acquainted with the ins and outs of Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Tumblr. If you want to be fancy, learn YouTube's new video editing suite—this could come in handy.

Or if you really want to get down into it, learn how to code or learn web development. Pretty intense! Check out Google Code University as well, for all they have to offer. is an excellent resource for teaching yourself XML, CSS, and many other webdesign languages.

Of course, for general education, there's MIT Open Courseware and UC Berkeley's video and audio lectures. Receive all the benefit of attending their classes, for free and in the comfort of wherever you're logging in from. Attend Khan Academy to learn everything from Art History to Calculus; hone your own critical thinking skills, absolutely essential to reading the news; train on how to protect yourself and your family and assist your community in the face of emergencies and disasters. If you'd like to really show off, familiarize yourself with Wolfram|Alpha and all it's good for.

In general, self-education is an increasingly popular option that's attracting a lot of attention. It takes little effort to find many blog entries or resource lists for autodidacts:
Lastly, if you're actually sick of your old job and want to break into something new, peruse the 100 Best Self-Education Sites for Switching Careers. No matter what, please make sure you act on this information as soon as possible before the government shuts down the Internet to protect DVD sales.

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