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4 Ways to Build Skills for a Better Job

Most people enroll in expensive college courses to learn skills they need to secure high-paying jobs. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that a degree secure for you an interesting position that pays you a good salary.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the experience that hiring managers look for when hiring new employees, you can be a tightwad cheapskate and get the same results. Try these four options if you want to build skills that will help you secure a better job and increase your salary potential.

Take on More Responsibilities at Your Current Job

If you already have a job, you can often build your skills by asking a manager to give you more responsibilities. For instance, if you work in retail, perhaps you’ll get put in charge of managing inventory or making sure the store is clean at the end of the day. As long as you perform well, your employer will notice and continue to give you more challenges. Eventually, you could gain management experience as a team leader. Even if you only oversee a few workers, you’re still learning important skills that will make you attractive to other companies.

You might even get promoted to a position that you enjoy and commands more money. After all, employers within the United States promote about 9 percent of their workers from within.

Lead Volunteer Projects


Image via Flickr by danielthornton

Volunteering is a great way to improve your community while learning new skills. When you start, you’ll have to follow another person’s lead. After you’ve gained a few months’ experience, though, you can offer to lead your own project. It doesn’t matter whether you’re picking up trash on the side of the road or building homes for families in need. You’ll gain management experience that looks attractive on your resume.

If you aren’t sure what kind of volunteer opportunities would interest you, contact nonprofit organizations in your city. You can also find opportunities through websites like VolunteerMatch and United Way.

Learn About Sales by Working With Amway

Working with Amway can help you build new business skills without stepping into a classroom or signing up for an online course. When you sell Amway products, you become an independent contractor and you get to make your own decisions. It may take a couple weeks to get the hang of it, but you’ll quickly essential business skills:

  • Managing money
  • Growing a client base
  • Improving sales strategies
  • Increasing revenue

If you eventually decide to apply for another job, you can show the hiring manager that you learned plenty of sales and business skills by running your own small business. Few companies will want to turn down an applicant with that much motivation and experience.

Don’t forget that working with Amway will also earn you money. You won’t find many opportunities to make money while you learn important business skills, so take advantage of it.

Enroll in Online Courses

Online courses have become an easy — and often free — way for people to learn new things. The online educational company Coursera offers a range of online classes, so you can learn new skills in practically any subject:

  • HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Business negotiations

You can even take courses in history, music, and literature.

All courses through Coursera are free, but you may have to pay a small fee if you want to receive a certificate for completing classes. Whether you choose to get a certificate depends on whether you want to show potential employers that you completed the course.

Coursera isn’t the only option. Most colleges and universities now have online courses. If you go through a specific school, though, you will probably have to pay for the class. The fees can vary substantially, so compare your options before you enroll.

If you want to get out of a dead-end job, you have to build new skills that will make you interesting to other companies. Any of these options can help you develop traits that hiring managers look for in new recruits. Review your options and choose one that fits your interests and future goals.



  1. Volunteering has been fantastic for opportunities and learning new skills for me. Great ideas. Going back to school is not the only way to get new skills.

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