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Digital Tools for Professional Development

In an age of constant change, the only way we can stay relevant is through continuous learning. Luckily, with so many online resources available, learning is no longer restricted by time and location. Whether you want to develop a new skill for work or enhance your professional knowledge, these flexible tools will help you get from where you are, to where you want to be.

Pick up a language

Intercultural competence is a must in today’s global market. The best way to enhance cross-cultural communication? Learn a foreign language. Offering one-on-one online language lessons, italki allows you to browse instructor profiles to find the one that best suits your needs. What makes it special, however, is its community of over five million users. Rather than focusing on memorisation of spellings and grammar rules, the platform’s community features make it possible to put language learning into practice – you can share your notes and writings, ask and answer questions, and find language partners from all over the world.

Learn to lead

If you’re looking for tips on how to lead a team, the podcast series Decide to Lead: Leadership & Personal Development Hacks by renowned leadership guru Russ Hill will offer valuable insight. Drawing on his experience coaching senior executives from some of the world’s biggest organisations, including three Fortune 10 companies, these weekly episodes explore topics relatable to CEOs, entrepreneurs and managers alike. Think productivity, workplace trends and best practices in business management. Expect a mix of personal stories and interviews that will inspire you to be a better leader not just at work, but also in all aspects of life.

Improve communication effectiveness

Want to make better presentations? Overcome your fear of public speaking? Or simply improve your interpersonal skills? Take a cue from Silicon Valley communication coaches Marc and Blythe Musteric, who run the podcast series Communication Snacks: Tips for a Successful Professional Life. The weekly audio show covers everything communication related, from grammar and writing to interviews and cocktail party social skills. The bite-sized episodes are usually under 10 minutes, perfect for quick commutes or short breaks.

Hone your digital skills

No matter your age, background and industry, having digital skills beyond the basics can open up tremendous opportunities for your career. Consider taking a MOOC (massive open online course) on FutureLearn, which boasts an entire category of university-level courses dedicated to technology. You’ll find practical courses on topics such as boosting your online presence and improving your remote team communication, or specific skills like programming, cryptography and business data analytics. The advantage of using this platform is that you can learn at your own pace (the video lectures and course materials can be accessed at any time), while still being able to interact with your instructors and fellow students during the course period.

Further your education

A graduate degree can be a powerful tool to gain specialised knowledge in your field, but not everyone can commit to going back to school full time. Here’s where distance learning comes in. Take MOOC platform edX’s Master’s Degrees, for instance. These accredited university programmes offer the same levels of quality and interactivity as their on-campus counterparts, but in a much more flexible format thanks to technologies such as live-streaming lectures and video conferencing tools. Each programme takes one to three years to complete, so if you’re unsure whether this is for you, check out their MicroMasters courses for a taste of the programme first.

Ready for your next breakthrough? Then take these expert interview tips to land your dream job!
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