Reinvent your career, retrofit your skills, Part I

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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for May 2015, the unemployment rate in Maryland was 5.3 percent; Virginia ranked at 4.9 percent; and the District of Columbia posted at 7.3 percent. The figures released by BLS indicated the national unemployment rate at 5.5 percent for the same timeframe.

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Ruth Young Tyler

Unemployment and underemployment is sobering at best. People who find themselves in this situation go into crisis management mode in an effort to keep the necessities intact for their families.

In today’s mercurial employment market there is an increasing need to consistently and systematically retrofit one’s skills to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace and reinvent your career. Be encouraged! A lot of your competencies and interpersonal skills are transferable, which are welcomed by employers.

Take a personal inventory of your talents, skills, and abilities. Consider the emerging and competitive markets and how you can upgrade your skills to meet the need and exceed it. Allow yourself to experience a paradigm shift from just “getting a job” to securing a career. When one is unemployed or underemployed, devise a strategy to stay intellectually engaged and networking with business professionals or entrepreneurs. During this transition, reinvent your career and update your skills by learning new technologies and software.

Career Resources

Identify the courses that are aligned with your career trajectory and training goals and register with one or more of the following online programs:

www.coursera.com— Online courses from top universities in the U.S. and abroad.

www.gymnasium.aqu… Students can learn computer coding, coding for

web design, Javascript and several other computer programming courses.

www.gcflearnfree…. Brush up on MS Office skills and algebra.

www.open2study.com –Earn a nationally accredited online certificate.

www.open.edu – From health sciences to international studies, find a course that is best for you.

A Yoruban proverb says, “When the door is closed, you must learn to slide across the crack of the sill.” In essence, find a way to get in!

Individuals who have earned an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree must remain cutting- edge and competitive. In the age of social media, companies are recognizing the need for an upgrade to a candidate’s knowledge in every industry. The goal is to increase learning, yet still have that human touch and a large network to draw from.

There are numerous online learning tools and each are unique. This style of learning is not designed for everyone. It requires discipline, organization and commitment to thrive. You will have access to trainers, advisers and your online cohorts who are also reinventing themselves.

Upon successful completion of many of the (non-credit) courses, the student will receive a certificate. Use this certificate to your advantage and post it on your Linkedin profile and on your resume.

Taking control of your education and career is a matter of personal economics. Here are five free online, self-pace learning websites ranging from mathematics, science, behavioral sciences and fine arts.

Embarking upon intellectual territory is a challenging yet exciting adventure. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character— that is the goal of true education.”