Creative Ways to Expand Your Horizons
The pandemic has led to many of us spending a significantly greater amount of time in our homes. It has also led to renewed interest in learning new skills or hobbies, both for personal enjoyment, self-sufficiency, and even as a launching pad for a new small business. Keep reading to learn more about some new skills you can pursue.
Ready access to online training tutorials and educational programs has opened doors to learning for everyone. Rather than sign up for classes and drive to a location once a week, lifelong learners can now access everything from professional development programs and educational opportunities to tutorials on DIY projects, allowing for the exploration of new interests. In addition to the freedom to learn from anywhere, opportunities also abound to connect with new people, family and friends, and others with similar interests, all in a virtual environment. If you’re going to learn online, take steps to improve your focus by keeping an organized and clutter-free home.
Pursue New Skill Sets
Perhaps you're interested in expanding your educational horizons by getting a degree or learning new workplace skills that can help you advance in your current profession. According to Robert Half, online learning resources can help you master anything from a new project management software program to proofreading, job coaching, or even leadership and management skills. You might also consider attending professional development seminars or going to industry conferences and meeting people in person. As long as you’re comfortable traveling and being in crowds, this can be a good opportunity to refresh your social skills.
Learn About Other Cultures
Learning about other cultures is a great way to expand your knowledge about different parts of the world. Take virtual tours of far-off places, learn how to prepare a traditional meal of another country, or explore a new dance or language rooted in history. This is a great project to embark on as a family and can lead to a deeper understanding of how other people live, learn, worship, and celebrate. According to Baylor College, learning about others is the first step in promoting acceptance and building a diverse group of friends. It can also set the stage for post-pandemic travel.
Take Up a Hobby
Have you always wanted to learn how to play electric guitar? Or how to make a perfect, bakery-style chocolate chip cookie? Maybe you’d like to restore old cars, learn to sew, or practice yoga or tai chi. Perhaps you’ve always loved stained glass art or wanted to know how to roast coffee beans and make custom barista flavors. Now is the perfect time! Hobbies are great pastimes that allow us to use the creative sides of our brains in a relaxing, or stimulating new way. It’s also an opportunity to connect to others with similar interests, or to bond as a family.
Start a Business
You may find yourself so taken by a new skill or hobby that you decide to morph it into a small business. Many companies got their start in a basement or garage, and if you have an idea you could profit from, all the better! You’ll want to start by establishing a limited liability company, or LLC. An LLC will protect you against some forms of liability, give you flexibility, and make it easy to file taxes. You can file the papers yourself, pay a pricey attorney, or use an online formation company. LLC formation typically requires five steps depending on your state, so learn your state’s requirements in advance.
Learning new skills flexes different parts of our brains, and can provide a sense of accomplishment. You’re never too old, or too young to learn something new. Follow your passion and get started today!
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