How to Keep Your Skills Current

In “Getting A Good Job Is A Matter Of Luck?“, Minimum Wage asked, “How do you keep your skills current if you have a menial dead-end job?” I believe that despite your situation, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Since I don’t know where Minimum Wage lives and the kind of skills he seeks, I will just cite some common organizations that offer some sort of free job training.

Organizations that offer free job training and some examples:

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more sites that either give you, or can lead you to free training materials.

Additionally, you can also:

  • Ask your manager for more responsibilities. Most employers are willing to provide on the job training, if you are willing to do more without asking for more money immediately.
  • Ask friends and family to help you if they have particular skills you sought after.
  • Go to the library and read books
  • Get online and surf the Web

About the Author

By , on Nov 7, 2007
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance. He is a licensed Realtor specializing in residential homes in the Northern Virginia area. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, and financial literacy author.

Leave Your Comment (8 Comments)

  1. Jonathan says:

    It’s a shame but I think that employers are usually unwilling to invest in additional learning opportunities for staff that can be replaced easily. I think that the home learning through online or local colleges is the best key. There are some great online courses now available meaning that you can study in the comfort of your ouwn home and submit work via email or online learning forums

  2. Pinyo says:

    @Minimum Wage – I am glad you can find something helpful out of it.

  3. Minimum Wage says:

    In my experience, the free government/library/CC training is fairly lame, but there’s a lot of great online stuff here I didn’t know about.

  4. Pinyo says:

    @Patrick – Thank you. Good point about searching out local resources. It a lot of ways, they are better because you get to see people face-to-face.

    I also agree that you need to put in the work to get the reward you desire — great point.

    @Dong – Yes, I always anticipate your next job and train toward that. That’s what I did when I went back for my Master degree and switch track from Biochemistry to Information Systems Engineering.

    @Dawn – Welcome to Moolanomy. It’s never too late. When I went back to school, there were a lot of people who were my senior. The person I admire the most was a father of 7, working two jobs, living with diabetes, and was going for his Master Degree. It was amazing.

    Regarding financial aid, one advantage for adult learner is potential support from their employer. My employer provides tuition reimbursement to all employees, and I was able to get a full scholarship from their executive development office.

  5. says:

    I work in Software Development, so I have to re-learn my job every 3-4 years. Every time a new programming language comes out that my employers decide to use, I get to learn it. It makes life long learning a lot easier since it’s essentially a requirement for my job.

  6. Dawn says:

    Not long after my 40th b-day I went back to school. It was intimidating taking my seat in that very first class, but then it was great. It really is never too late to go back to school. I was really amazed at how much financial aid there for non-traditional students.

  7. dong says:

    I think it’s always important not only to keep your skills fresh, but anticipate what your next steps are be they in your current field or another field. We should always be learning.

  8. Patrick says:

    Great tips, Pinyo. Many communities have employment agencies whose employees will assist with resume making, interview practice, basic computer skills, and even job placement. Some local libraries also offer these services.

    There are many great resources people can use if they are willing to look for them and put in the time to do the work. The difference between settling for your current position and actively working to improve your situation can mean the difference between a lifetime of barely surviving vs. earning enough to pay off debts and save some extra money. It can also lead to a more rewarding work experience, and an improved outlook toward life.

    Great article, Pinyo.

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