Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting Trained for Free

I met a fellow named Rick recently who told me that he liked to cook. We shared several conversations about food and cooking. It was great to talk with someone who knew what fond was and who could point me to some local foodie shops.

He mentioned that he learned how to cook by taking a job cooking. But after several conversations, he explained further.

He decided that he wanted to learn how to cook. So, he approached a local restaurateur and offered to work for free. The restaurateur allowed him to work at one of his local restaurants and boy, did he learn. After about 6 months, he was offered a paid position at one of the other restaurants.

He turned the job down, but that's because he wasn't looking to work as a chef, he just wanted to how to really cook for himself.

My first thought was, well, good for you, it must be nice to have a luxury of not earning a living for six months. But then I realized that I have friends who have been laid off and they're not working anyway. They could be using this time off to learn something new.

The one thing that I've figured out recently is that creativity and hard work means more than anything else when you're trying to navigate this tough economy.

So, if you know of a field where you can work for free to learn about it, I say go for it - you never know. Employers are also dealing with a tough economy and they might love to take you up on your offer.

If you don't know of any companies to approach, or need more skills before you can make such an offer, consider taking online classes. Below is a list of some great universities and a couple other companies offering free courses online.

Free Online Classes/Courses
Learn That

Hewlett Packard Free Classes Online

No comments: