Career Training: Learning from Podcasts, Audio Books or Audio Files

Career Training: Learning from Podcasts, Audio Books or Audio Files

Today we have a guest post from Tamara M. Williams who  is an EzineArticles Platinum Level Expert Author. On EzineArticles her topics are in categories such as Computer and Technology and Email Marketing. Visit her profile page on EzineArticles to learn more at this link: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

If you are taking career courses or using resources on a specific topic to learn a new skill or improve an existing one, then you need to maximize your days to make the most use of your time. One great method of learning is using podcasts, audio books or audio files from the course site, blogs or websites. You can download the files on your mobile devices and listen to the lessons during regular activities; such as on your commute to and from work, while exercising or even when doing household chores. This gives you more time to learn and the more you know, then the more your skills will be in demand. This opens the opportunity for more promotions and an increase in income.

Audio Files are Convenient Because They are Portable and Save Time

Career development takes time and studying new material is one important aspect of that. Training could be done online by using your PC or mobile phone or with you physically present in the classes. However, balancing work, personal life and studies could be tedious if you do not manage your time properly. Therefore, making use of audio files or podcasts is very convenient.

Audio files are convenient because you can multi-task and complete other activities while you listen to the information. These activities would be simple tasks that do not require intense concentration, for e.g. travelling to and from work, and eating meals during your lunch hour. You can also listen when doing exercising, travelling to and from stores, or when doing chores at home such as washing dishes or dusting. Thus, you are able to make the most efficient use of your time.

Finding Audio Files Online

If you decide to use course resources, then you should check to see if a video or audio file is available. You can download these directly onto your PC or mobile phone. You can listen to the audio from the video file. Another option is to convert the video file to an audio file; which reduces the file size, thus taking up less storage space. Or you can subscribe to podcasts related to the topic of interest from sites such as Apple iTunes, PodOmatic or LearnOutLoud. You can also listen to audio books from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Audible. Likewise, blogs and other learning websites will have a download page which allows you to download various materials. If audio files are not available, then you can just record yourself reading the material. You can use software such as Audacity to create your own audio files.

Career development is important to progress further on the career ladder and even when you wish to transition into a new career. Learning new material is important so that you can develop new skills or enhance your existing ones. This could be accomplished by listening to podcasts, audio books or audio materials which will be very beneficial since you can download them to your laptop, mobile phone or other mobile devices. This makes you more marketable as you are able to complete more advanced tasks in a wider variety of projects. This will open the door for greater career advancement in your job such as a promotion or increase in income.

About The Author:

Tamara M. Williams is an EzineArticles Platinum Level Expert Author. On EzineArticles her topics are in categories such as Computer and Technology and Email Marketing. Visit her profile page on EzineArticles to learn more at this link: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

Are you a good leader? Time for a Mini- Stocktake!

The five dimensions of Meta-leadership as deve...

We all like to think we are good at what we do, don’t we?

I usually work on the assumption that most people take stock of how well they are doing, at least occasionally.  (Sometimes I wonder, though.)  Anyway, here is my checklist for all you leaders out there.  I hope you will take part. So pen and pad at the ready;

  1. To start with – what do you think is special, unique and distinctive about you as a leader?  What marks you out from the crowd – in other words – why should you be the leader?
  2. Ok so now for results – let us start with the positive!  What impressive or striking results have you achieved over the last year, six months, three months, the last month, the last week?
  3. Now, let us go to the other extreme – what did you do that you regretted over the last year, six months, three months, the last month, the last week?
  4. So what lessons have you learned recently?
  5. When did you first become interested in leadership and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) since then?  Has this further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to leadership? What insights have you gained?
  6. What have you done with that learning and how are you managing your own self-development?  When was the last time you undertook any kind of formal self development?
  7. What are you doing to share your learning?  Have you spoken or written about your insights and how has this been received?  If you have not shared, why not?
  8. How do you go about getting feedback on your leadership style anyway?  Do you welcome feedback – would you welcome it from your own team and do they know that?
  9. Where do you go from here – is there anything you need to change about your leadership style for the future?  How will you do it?
  10. Now what are your goals as a leader over the next year? What are your development goals and what development goals do you have for your team? How will you, and they, know when you reach them – how will things be different?

I’d love to think that you would share the results of this mini-review with someone.  But that is asking a lot of a leader isn’t it?  What might happen if you showed your weaknesses?  Would the sky fall in if you admitted there is room for improvement?  Well that is a good review question in itself isn’t it.

Anyway I wish you luck because leadership is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, but in my view, it is quite the most satisfying!
Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 

Identifying transferable skills; a core ingredient of a successful career change

Today’s guest post is from Sian Case of Nail That Job.  With a small and friendly support team, they can help you at every stage of your job search journey.

I’m a recruiter and trainer of recruiters who also supports job seekers from a wide range of industries to present themselves effectively to prospective employers.

I think that most job seekers are aware that they have transferable skills but are rarely confident about identifying or describing them clearly. This is vital when you are looking for work in new fields and have to convince a recruiter that you can achieve tasks in unfamiliar settings.

Let’s start with a definition: transferable skills are effective behaviours and application of knowledge and understanding that you have learned from all your life experiences so far. You are used to displaying them in one particular context and are perfectly capable of transferring them to new contexts.

I often recommend the STAR technique, described in Wendy’s blog on CV writing, part 2:
Situation – describe the situation/issue you were dealing with
Task – what, specifically, did you have to do?
Action- what action did you take?
Result – what was the outcome/impact for your organisation/team/customer/end user of your service?

I’ve found that a useful way to identify transferable skills is to apply the STAR format to 4 or 5 examples of achievements from life experiences, not work experiences. I’ve heard some cracking achievements described from time spent on travelling, childcare, supporting elderly/vulnerable relatives, voluntary work, organising social activities, running sports or interest societies, local community campaigning, etc.

The key learning from this exercise is to discover just how many core work skills, (e.g. prioritising, decision making, managing stress, planning and organising, influencing skills, leadership experience, team working, budgeting, etc.) you learned in a non-work context and currently use those skills daily in paid employment. It also demonstrates to a potential employer that you understand how to assess, describe and evaluate the transferable skills you have to offer and that you are still learning.  You have the capacity to build your skills further in new contexts in response to new demands.

I’d really encourage all job seekers who are looking to change direction significantly to build at least one core skill into your CV that you first practised in a non- work environment. Try it and see how it enhances the issues of flexibility and versatility on your CV.

Sian Case

Email:  sian@nailthatjob.co.uk  Phone: 01789 740948

Website  http://www.nailthatjob.co.uk

  • >Transferable Skills (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing Your CV Part 2 Making Choices (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees! (leavingthepublicsector.net)

Achieving that high performance – excellence and why I don’t play the piano!

Aristotle, the philosopher, had it exactly right 2000 years ago: “We are what we repeatedly do.”  Experience shows that by relying on highly specific practices, we can dramatically improve skills ranging from empathy, to focus, to creativity, to summoning positive emotions, to deeply relaxing.

Anders Ericsson is one of the world’s leading researchers into high performance. For more than two decades, Ericsson has been making the case that it’s not inherited talent which determines how good we become at something, but rather how hard we’re willing to work — something he calls “deliberate practice That notion can be wonderfully empowering. It shows we can be in control of at least part of our own fate.   But it is also daunting. One of Ericsson’s central findings is that practice is not only the most important ingredient  in success, but also the most difficult and probably the least enjoyable. Excellence requires dedication and focus.  But it worries me on other fronts!  Do I want to be excellent at one thing or good enough at a range of tasks that help me lead a rounded and satisfying life?  I suppose I want to be more than good at something so that I can make a real contribution to the world! Call that egotistical but there it is!  But I want to be pretty good at a range of things and I want to be broad enough to take to take the helicopter view over the world that makes for a good leader!

Anyway if you want to be pretty good at something and still keep your wider perspective here are some pointers!

  1. Lead with what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance. Choose as your key skill something you really enjoy and love doing
  2. Do the hardest part first. Learning anything is part grind and grunt! We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice first, before they do anything else. Dedicate the time in the day when you have most energy to the part you like least.  Do it well and get it out of the way!
  3. Practice, practice,practice without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. But don’t spend all day! The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day. And you need the rest of the time for wider pursuits and other interests
  4. Seek feedback, but not too much. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too often, overwhelms and erodes confidence.  Find people you trust, who like you, to give honest feedback in the right doses!
  5. Take regular breaks. Just like in the gym, relaxing after intense effort provides an opportunity to rejuvenate. But it also allows you to metabolize and embed learning. It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, so you could so something creative during your break and find a whole new world of interests.
  6. Build you practice into a ritual . Researcher Roy Baumeister has found, that very few of us of us have huge amounts of will and resolutiont. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to build rituals — specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.
  7. Review, review, review Be prepared to take a step back sometimes and review your progress.  How does the skill you are acquiring fit in with your rounded life?  How is it going to contribute your future success and happiness?  Be prepared to change your plans in the light of your learning.

As for that piano, my aunt was a pianist at concert performance level!  When I was a small child she attempted to teach me to play.  She became incredibly frustrated because I would find every excuse not to practice.  I never did learn to play!  But her lesson that the hard work gets done first has stayed with me throughout life!  I regret not being able to play but I value my creative childhood!  I spent my time exploring and that is a valuable skill that has stayed with me throughout life!