How can we grow in our fields when we are unable to put the money and time into going back to get a new degree? Many of us desire to grow in our discipline or change fields but do not have the time or the money to go back to school due to our current life circumstances. Below are a few ways to gain experience without uprooting your life!
There are many online courses and certifications online that you can take to gain knowledge and add experience to your resume. These courses can be taken online and during your free time outside of work. This article outlines some websites to take classes for little to no money!
Volunteer your Time
Find someone you want to learn from and offer to do some work for them/ask if you can serve as an apprentice. Check out this article on ways to network and find people to learn from in your field. It never hurts to ask. Even if you only have a few hours a week, this time can provide you with valuable knowledge to further your career. Although you may not be making money, the experience you will gain can be key to career growth.
If you don’t have the flexibility to leave your current job or take time off, try to find an opportunity to do some part-time work outside of your regular job. This job does not necessarily have to be directly doing the work you want to learn more about. If you want to learn more about recruiting, but you can’t get a role without previous experience, you could work as the Secretary or Administrative Assistant at a recruiting firm. Doing so exposes you to recruiting and helps you learn about the process.
Companies value experience when hiring, not just degrees! Include any courses or experience you gained on your resume, even if they were not full-time jobs or classes that led to degrees. Go forth and pursue your interests!