Thursday, October 1, 2015

Online and Offline Learning For Work At Home Freelancers and Some Events To Attend this Q4

Our progress as a work at home freelancer depends on our hands. Nobody will tell us to do this and that. Hence, we have to design our own career path. While we are enjoying the flexibility of our work and freedom from any corporate rules and policies, let us not forget that we are still doing business.

We have to change our employee mindset to being a business owner or entrepreneur. We need to understand that we have to take charge to where our business is going.

For our business to grow and for us to improve, we need to prioritize our education. It could be through self-study or attending seminars or workshops.

If we have problems, we can always talk to our friends. Regarding our business, we need to talk and learn advice from people who are experienced and expert in our field. Many of our concerns are not the concern of our family and friends. So, basically they won't understand what we are going through. Some people may see that we are lucky because we work at home or we are freelancers--we don't go to the office, we don't have to face the traffic and we don't have a boss. But they never know our difficulties with regards to finding a place to stay with reliable internet access, finding coffee shops that are open 24/7, comfortable seats or work space, paying our monthly contributions, handling distractions at home (like uninvited guests, phone calls, kids, chores, etc.), marketing ourselves, finding new clients, and getting enough sleep.

Online Learning

Everything that we need to learn is now online. Almost any topic that you can possibly think of is searchable. And what amazes me most is that you can consume all the information for free. In the past, we have to spend thousands of pesos to buy books and encyclopedia. And, gosh, they are heavy and they accumulate dust. Now, learning can happen in our finger tips.

We have to thank SEO and Google's algorithm that makes relevant content easy to find. You can just type your keywords and in just a matter of seconds, Google can give you thousands of searches. Of course, you don't have to browse everything. Often, we just click the first few pages of the search results. Well, not unless if you are desperate enough to check the next 50 pages.

Google's product Youtube is a go-to site for learning. Often, I check the site for documentaries, full movies, TEDtalks and tutorials. From basic stuff to other complicated things in the planet like make-up, MS Excel and programming--it's all in there.

If you find reading and watching tutorials less interactive or fun, you can opt to join webinars and subscribe to some skill or industry-specific e-learning courses. One of the trusted partners that you can find online courses is Learn more about their courses by clicking on the banner.

Joining Google Hangout sessions of your favorite blogger, author, resource speaker or industry expert is a good learning option too. This is a chance to throw your question you've been dying to ask and get real-time answers.

With all of these resources available to us, there is actually no reason for us not to learn even at the comforts of our home. The only problem that most of us busy adults face is when to do it.  This is especially true to us work-at-home freelancers who have work and personal lives all mixed up. Seriously, it takes an amazing self-will and discipline to work at home in strict schedule.

Offline Learning

Before things migrated to the internet, we do it all offline. We meet people face-to-face. We talk about our lives to people that matters to us during coffee breaks or meals and not just posting them on walls (I'm talking about Facebook). Tweets are sound of the birds when we go out for a morning walk and not a 140-character message. Training can be through a class, seminars and workshops.

Though we can learn online at our convenient time, there is nothing more exciting to meet real people outside the digital world and our homes, interact with them, and get to know like-minded individuals who can potentially be your business partners or collaborators. That is meeting people the organic way, right?

Last September 26, I joined the Work-at-Home Expo at the Bayanihan Center, UNILAB in Pasig City.  I missed the morning programs and attended the afternoon specialized talks because of my schedule. Nevertheless, I was happy I went there. It was great hearing entrepreneurs and freelancers talked about their work experiences, lessons they've learned and tips they willingly shared.

If you missed that expo, there are still other events you can attend towards end of this year.

Seminars, workshops, conferences and classes are not for free, You have to shell out some hundreds to thousand of pesos. But it is a worthwhile investment. It is just like spending so much for out tuition fee during college, now we are enjoying the benefits of being an educated person (Education is an investment and we have to consider the ROI.)

Here are some events in the Manila Workshops this Q4 that's worth checking:

Talino Talks: The Freelancer Guide to Government Tax & Benefits

Persuasion and Influence

Personal Branding Workshop for Freelancers and Solo Entrepreneurs
New date: November 7, 2015 - November 14, 2015

Check out too to find some groups and events for work at home, freelancers or entrepreneur within your area. You can join some groups with people of the same interests. It is a great way of meeting people and expanding our network.

Is there anything you wish to add or say? Feel free to write your comment below.

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