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Valuable Skills to Learn at Home During Lockdown

With current events forcing people to stay indoors and to distance themselves socially, we have lots of extra time to fill. To avoid getting bored and to stay entertained, why don’t you dedicate some of that extra time on your hands to learn a new skill (or two) at home during lockdown, such as learning a language, improving your culinary skills or even perfecting your photography?

To find out the best skills to learn from home during lockdown, The Knowledge Academy asked 431 HR specialists to name 10 valuable skills individuals should learn to aid day-to-day life and their CVs. In addition, we also sought to find out how long it will take to reach a beginner’s level in each of the 10 skills cited by HR professionals. To do this, we asked a number of specialists within each field how long they believe it would take for the average person to grasp each skill, if practiced for only one hour a day.

10 valuable skills you can learn at home:

1. Yoga

Learning yoga is a great way to spend your extra hours. Not only is it great for your body and mind, but if you are willing to spend the time and effort into perfecting it, you can turn it into a full time job or a side hustle by becoming a teacher to earn some extra cash.

To learn this skill, all you need to do is practice! There is plenty of information online and helpful tutorial videos that will guide you though your journey.

Time to learn the basics: 5 months

2. Coding

Today we’re living in a world that is dominated by technology, so it’s a good idea to know how to use it. Coding in particular is a great skill to know if you have a business, as it can incredibly expensive to hire a web developer, so why don’t you learn how to do it yourself?

If you are not a business owner, becoming a developer or programmer is a very well paid and rewarding job to have. You don’t need a degree to become a developer, and you can learn the basics easily from the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking to become a web-developer, there are plenty of programming online courses that can help you learn the basics, as well as plenty of apps. 

Time to learn the basics: 4.5 months

3. Writing

Writing is a beautiful way of expressing yourself. If you want to become a skilled writer, it requires some practice and determination. Whether you want to start a blog or improve your writing for the sake of your business or social media, the best way to improve your writing skills at home is to practice, practice, practice.

The best advice for anyone trying to improve writing skills whilst at home is to ensure you are writing every day. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. If you can, get a friend or family member to read your work and offer any suggestions on where to improve. If you can’t do this, you can use an online editing tool such as Grammarly to find out where you may need to improve.

Time to learn the basics: 4 months

4. Cooking

If you have some free time in your schedule, a great way to use it is by perfecting your cooking skills. This will not only help you have a better diet and lifestyle, but it also is a great way to learn some transferrable soft skills, such as time management, organisation and problem solving.

If you become particularly skilled at cooking or baking, you may want to turn it into a full-time job. Cooking is an incredibly important life skill; there is no downside to learning how to cook!

Time to learn the basics: 3 months

5. Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a great way to reach an enormous audience and have your voice heard in a saturated world. It’s an important skill to know as it’s not only cost effective compared to other traditional marketing methods, but it’s also very easy to measure.

Digital Marketeer, Victoria, explains why digital marketing is such a valuable skill to possess:

Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses, both large and small, use digital channels such as search engines, social media and emails to connect and engage with current and prospective customers. Because of this, digital marketing is a highly valuable skill that is useful for a variety of career options, thus a great extension to your CV.

There are a variety of different digital marketing types out there, but the most popular include, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), content marketing (blog posts and digital PR content), social media marketing and email marketing. The skills earned in each of these digital marketing avenues are transferrable to just about any modern role.

As a result, in an age where people have more time on their hands thanks to Coronavirus, many of us will be trying to keep ourselves busy and entertained. During this time, learning key skills relating to digital marketing is something to consider.

To reach a basic level, digital marketing can be learnt in as little as three months – the perfect amount of time to get stuck in whilst in lockdown. The best way to do this is to follow an online Digital Marketing course and soak up all of the resources available online from well-established brands such as Moz, Ahrefs, HubSpot and CMI to name a few.

If you happen to enjoy immersing yourself in learning all about digital marketing, the next step is to follow another course that builds upon your basic knowledge. This can help to give you greater knowledge of the topic, thus preparing you to get your foot in the door for a long and successful career.

If you would like to find out more on the subject, have a look at our blog post: How to get into digital marketing.

Time to learn the basics: 3 months


6. Language Learning

We can use the extra time at home to invest into expanding your horizons, such as through learning a language, which is a very valuable skill to have. In fact, a study from the New American Economy (NAE) has revealed that the demand for bilingual workers has doubled in the past five years!

While learning a new language by yourself may seem a bit overwhelming, there is plenty of material online to help you though it, such as courses, online groups and even apps, such as Duolingo.

Time to learn the basics: 2 months

7. Gardening

Planting can be easily learned if you have the time and patience. With some practice and understanding of different plants, soil types and growing conditions, you can become a dab hand at gardening and be able to bare the title of green fingers forevermore in as little as a month.

Gardening is not only a healthy, fun and fulfilling activity which can have a positive effect on your mental health, it will also help you to develop new skills and expand your knowledge about the science of growing. If you are feeling confident in your abilities, you may even want to start growing your own food and vegetables, which will not only be rewarding, but highly cost effective too. 

Time to learn the basics: 4 weeks

8. Photography

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat… these are just a few apps where millions of people post pictures every day. If you enjoy taking pictures, why not take it a step further and learn how to do it professionally? There are plenty of online photography courses and online resources detailing the best tricks and tips for novice photographers, all you need is a vision and a camera.

We spoke to Yossy, who has 3 years’ experience in photography, to explain how she learned the basics:

Learning the basics of photography whilst self-isolating is very possible, with the help of YouTube, blog posts and eBooks. In fact, within weeks you can teach yourself how to use your camera. Everything from learning what ISO is, to the best settings for taking pictures at night, it's all online and it's all free so now is the perfect time to dust your camera boxes off and get practising using the people you're self-isolating with as models.

Starting off with learning the basics of aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed and exposure is best, as it's something you'll always need to know in photography. Depending on how often you practise, these are things you can learn as a beginner in a week but learn to perfect over months.

Time to learn the basics: 2 weeks

9. SEO

If you don’t know what SEO is, now is the perfect time to learn! An easy way to put it is that if you have a website, in order to make it rank on page 1 of Google, you will need to know the basics of SEO. There are plenty of online SEO courses, online resources and online forums where you can learn from other SEO professionals around the world.

We spoke to SEO professional Oliver, who has 6 years’ experience in the subject, to find out how he learned the basics of search engine optimisation:

SEO is vital for the long-term success of nearly every business. The results can be exponential and unlike other types of paid marketing, can help generate traffic, sales and/or enquiries for months or even years to come.

There are so many great resources and guides out there on how to start improving the SEO of a website. The basic things like meta title optimisation, internal linking and initial page speed improvements can all be learnt within a reasonable amount of time.

I would say if you are reading the right material, you could learn this in 10 days or so. To master SEO however will take considerably longer. Google's algorithms are constantly changing so you will have to keep on top of that and some things, like learning how to earn the most powerful links, will take considerable time, resources and creativity.

Time to learn the basics: 10 days

10. Pottery

If you want to use your time in a productive way, one activity to take up is pottery. Online courses promise to teach you the basics in just one day!

You can start mastering your skill by practicing and watching online videos, and if you become particularly skilled, you may even want to start a business of your own one day selling your products.

Time to learn the basics: 1 day

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