How to Ride the Wave of Self-taught Success

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

New technology = new roles, many without recognized qualifications

Gaining knowledge and experience in a new field is not as overwhelming as it seems

The most common path to a career reinvention involves doing something on the side — cultivating knowledge, skills, resources, and relationships until you’ve got strong new legs to walk on in exploring a new career.

Herminia Ibarra

  • Have a look for free (or low-cost) online courses, for example on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, YouTube, and others. Invest some of your free time (and not necessarily your money!) into learning, and make sure you take notes that you can revisit.
  • Build a network. You can do this by connecting on LinkedIn and Twitter with people in the field you want to break into, or by reaching out to other people in the comments of the online courses you’ve chosen. Take advantage of social media, and get your name out there.
  • Portfolios are the new resumes — if you can show that you’ve done a good job of whatever you’re working on, companies will be interested. Offer to re-write a friend’s website pro bono, or design a newsletter for your local coffee shop. Document your process, and use design tools like Canva to present your portfolio in an eye-catching way. Keep building your portfolio as you do more work.
  • Write a blog about your new knowledge. You can either start your own website from scratch, or join Medium’s partner program for free, and earn money from writing about your self-taught skills. Reach out to publications and other writers in the same niche to further build your network.

Success takes time, but it happens.

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