For Fun and Profit: Benefits of Learning a New Skill

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For Fun and Profit: Benefits of Learning a New Skill

For Fun and Profit: Benefits of Learning a New Skill

For Fun and Profit: Benefits of Learning a New Skill
Learn a new skill

The great thing about a resolution is that you don’t have to wait until a new year to make one. If there’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, the internet has an abundance of resources for helping you pick it up affordably or free, on your own or with a group of friends. All you really need is a computer, a reliable internet connection, and a willingness to learn. You can pick up a foreign language, learn music, find out how to draw, or acquire a computer-based skill that can lead to a lucrative career. If you’re interested in improving yourself, building self-confidence, and acquiring an enriching new skill, read on.

Musically inclined

If you enjoy singing in the shower, don’t listen to your critics. You may have a genuine talent, and even if you don’t, learning music offers significant cognitive benefits that can boost your mental health and improve mood, leaving you feeling accomplished and hungry for more. There are many opportunities to learn music, from vocal to instrumental music and even music theory. Part of the fun is looking in a brick-and-mortar or online music store for an instrument that’s right for you and which you’ve always been interested in playing. Whether you see yourself as a guitar, saxophone or violin player, there are online resources that can set you on the road to learning and help you find instructors in your area.

Sew cool

Sewing is becoming a lost art form, which means it’s a service that’s in high demand. From hemming pants to creating custom designs, there’s money to be made in the sewing business. All it takes to become a seamstress extraordinaire is sewing machine and some hours to dedicate to learning how to operate it. Check consignment and thrift stores for a good-quality, second-hand machine that won’t break the bank, and seek out online guides and tutorials that will teach you everything you need to know.

Spreadsheet savvy

Have you ever been asked to set up a spreadsheet at work, and right away, started figuring out who to ask for help? If so, learning Excel could be the perfect new skill for you. Excel is a robust and widely-used business management tool, but it is loaded with commands and options that are difficult to intuit. It takes some time and experience to learn, so jump into one of the many online resources that will help you tackle this valuable business skill.

Language learning

Parlez-vous Francais? If not, why not consider learning a second language? There’s an abundance of websites with robust programs designed to teach you to read, speak and comprehend a foreign language. You’re not restricted to French, Spanish or German like you were in high school. There are many online resources that will teach you to speak Welsh, Finnish, or Mandarin Chinese, if that’s your interest. Many of them, like Duolingo, are free to use and allow you to work and learn at your own pace as often as you’re able. Invite a friend to join you so there’s someone to push you to keep learning.

Do you art?

If you’ve been told you have a flair for drawing or some other art form, take the praise and start looking for online resources that can help refine your skill. Learning to draw isn’t brain surgery, and many websites take a simple, non-threatening approach, beginning with basic shapes and gradually working toward more challenging subjects. Websites like Drawspace offer instruction at many levels, from beginner to advanced.

Learn to cook

Looking for a way to impress your in-laws? Everyone loves a good cook and, in spite of what happens on cooking reality TV shows these days, it’s a fun and well-respected skill. It’s also a great way to have fun learning a useful skill with a group of friends. You can learn together how to make things like gravy or custard from scratch as well as how to cook the perfect turkey, an invaluable skill that’ll help get you through the holidays. 

Learning a new skill can bolster your earning power or give you a fun new hobby that can be enjoyed with friends. Whatever your motivation, make sure to pursue a skill you can enjoy for years to come.

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