Joining the workforce has always been in the plans for me, ever since temporarily retiring back in early 2000s to grow our family. Now that the kids are older, more independent, the attraction of joining the adults who have successfully balanced work and family becomes more tempting every day. If they can do it, I can do it too, right?! But, how do I make my skills more marketable and attractive to prospect employers after being out of the workforce for so long? Are my skills even current? The first thing they will see is my resume. Is my resume attractive enough? Does it convey the skills and assets I can contribute to my future employer? Well, I found some assistance in that area and it’s free!
Lynda to the rescue
I first learned about Lynda from my local library during a free 2013 Microsoft Excel tutorial class I took at one of the local branches, just to pass the time. Being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years, I have a huge gap in my resume that I need to fill. Well, Lynda offers educational online courses for free! This is a great opportunity to review a previously learned skill or learn new skills. Read more below what this site offers. (Not a sponsored post.)
Here’s one of the ways to access Lynda.com, for free. You must:
- have a public library membership (VB public library membership is free to residents, minimal fee for visitors)
- have your public library offer free access to the site
- have access to a computer and internet, which is free at the local libraries, or at the comforts of your own home with your own computer and available internet provider
Here’s another way to access it for free:
If your local public library does not offer free access to Lynda.com, the website itself offers a 1-month free trial, after which a $29.99/month membership fee is required to access the available courses. ($24.99/month, if paying a lump sum for the whole year.) A 30- day free trial is a great opportunity to see the benefits of using Lynda.com.
The online classes available at Lynda.com are grouped in 12 Categories. They are as follows:
- 3D + Animation
- Audio + Music
- Education and eLearning
There are a plethora of interesting online courses available with skills levels ranging from beginner to advance. It may take a while to finish one or all to completion, but how fast or how long will be dependent on the time and effort dedicated to it.
Once logged in, just click on the course you are interested in. Courses are broken down into segments. It’s not a one-time-must-do-in-one-sitting type of deal. You may take a course at any time, pause at any time, continue at any time.
Some courses also have Course Assessments and Exercise Files to provide real application of information learned. Courses may also be downloaded for offline viewing, which should be an advantageous option to pass time during long drives, providing you’re a passenger, of course.
Once logged in, you will find the following on the top right hand side of the screen:
- Profile. Information about yourself inputted upon sign in. You may edit this at any time.
- Playlist. Add courses you want to watch here so you don’t have to keep on looking each time you log in. It also shows how much of the course has been completed, how long each course is and how many videos per course there are.
- History. This shows the course(s) you have watched, finished or not, regardless if it’s in your Playlist or not. You may add or remove the video(s) at any time.
- My Goals: On the initial log in, you will be ask what topics interest you. These keywords will be saved here. You may remove and/or add keywords at any time.
- Recommended. These are courses recommended based on your My Goals keywords.
- Certificates. Certificates of Completion are available for free for most, but not all, courses. You must finish the course to earn a Certificate. You do not need to finish the Course Assessments and/or Exercise Files to qualify for a Certificate of Completion. (Note: This is not the same as a degree program or a software certification program.)
- Bookmarks. Honestly, I have not figured this one out. Every time I add a course, it just places it under My Playlist. I have nothing under this tab.
- Log out. Sign out here.
On the top left side of the screen, hovering over the arrow beside the Library tab will show the following:
- the Categories I mentioned above
- the Topics available
- the Software available
- the Learning Paths available
You may click on any of the listed items at any time.
Note: Clicking on the actual Library word will give you an alphabetical list of all the courses available on the site. Then you can just click on what interest you.
The Authors are also listed on the left side of the screen per category, as well as the Skill Level and Closed Captioning options.
My advice to you is keep yourself marketable while taking time off from your career because some day when the kids become more independent, you may need something to fill in your time. While I must admit, a second income would be very welcomed, I am happy that my husband is laxed and very supportive about me going back to work only when I’m ready. My library just saved me $29.99/month by offering Lynda.com for free. This is a magnanimous offer for me who has no income, currently, coming in. I am definitely taking advantage of this, especially since I do want to build up my resume, perhaps also increase my pay grade and confidence along the way. If anything else, it will help keep the mind sharp. Check your local library if free access is available to you. If not, consider the free 1 month trial to check out the free resources provided on the site yourself. (This is not a sponsored post.)
I’m interested in knowing how you keep yourself marketable in the workforce. Do share your tips.
Until next time.