Hunter's Woods PH

Rebuilding Your Career? 4 Coursera Courses You Need To Take

HuntersWoodsPH Coursera Success Branding

Did you apply for the DOST Coursera grant because you were determined to rebuild your career after taking a hit during the COVID-19 crisis? Are you on a mission to make the most of this rare opportunity to emerge on the other side of the pandemic with new skills, ideas, and a renewed sense of purpose?

 

Me, too!

 

I initially applied for the grant just thinking, “Well, why not?” But as I slog through the courses I’m enrolled in, I’m realizing more and more what a great gift this really is. The insights and inspiration I’m getting from many of these courses have made me determined to get my life in order, really drill down into what I want to achieve, and set clear next steps for the months and years ahead. Mind you, I’m not saying I have my whole life figured out, but I’m feeling like the future has so much potential.

And I don’t know what courses you’re taking or what field of work you’re in, but there are four courses that I’ve completed in Coursera that I would really recommend for anyone who’s feeling like they’re in a crossroads right now. Later in the post, I’ll talk about them some more — what they’re about, why they’re worth your time, as well as the important little details like how many quizzes they have and whether you need to do a peer-graded assignment to get a certificate, and there’s a link to each course at the end of the post — but first, here’s a little wake-up call.

You Need to Start Now

You know that thing they always say, that the best time to start was yesterday and the next best time is today? Yeah, so, aside from that, there’s also the little matter of the deadline for getting Coursera certificates on December 31 if you’re a DOST Caraga-Coursera grantee.

 

I know, I know! Too much to do, too little time. But that’s why we need to start now.

 

When DOST Caraga Division Chief Noel Ajoc said, “Enroll lang ng enroll” during the Coursera grant orientation on Facebook, I took his advice at face value and literally enrolled in over a hundred courses, with subjects ranging from Roman archaeology to financial planning to psychological first aid to equine welfare and management. They’re all courses I’m honestly really interested in — seriously, even the one about taking care of horses, even though I’m unlikely to either own a ranch or find employment as a groom — and I’ve actually finished and earned certificates for a few of them (23, as of last count).

 

I would learn and master all of them if I could.

 

But.

 

I know that’s not possible.

 

With exactly 7 weeks to go before our grants expire on December 31, it’s time for us to go through our course list with renewed focus and start prioritizing those courses that will set us up for success.

 

So let’s go!

Hunters Woods PH | Coursera | Career Rebuilding Courses | Time Management | Branding | Purpose

Rebuilding Your Career: Get on the Road to Success with These Four Coursera Courses

These four courses are for everyone, no matter how old you are or what work you’re in. Coursera has a lot of career-specific courses that will assist with professional advancement — in fields like programming, management, creative writing, etc. — but these four courses are for reconfiguring your internal road map. They will help you answer questions like:

 

“Am I where I should be right now?”

 

“Is this the right career for me?”

 

“Is what I’m doing now the best use of my talents and strengths?”

 

“What do I really want to do in life?”

 

“How do I get from here to there?”

 

These are very important questions because, without the “why” of your life, it’s very easy to veer off course and lose sight of where you really want to be.

 

And so, without further ado, here’s the quick list — and be sure to read the sections that follow to find out why these courses will jumpstart your journey on the road to success.

 

  1. Introduction to Personal Branding 
  2. The Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know 
  3. Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most 
  4. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity 

Introduction to Personal Branding

What?!” you might say. “Branding?! I don’t want to be an influencer!

 

Hear me out first.

 

A lot of us have misconceptions about branding. We think it’s superficial, or fake, or only for people who want to have followers. I admit I kind of thought it would be a shallow topic and decided to check it out only for my blog.

 

I never expected it would actually cause me to do some soul-searching and reexamine my life.

 

Branding isn’t about choosing the right colors and the right font, or having a signature line and a signature hashtag.

 

It’s about communicating to other people who you are and what you can do.

 

The instructor puts it this way. You decide to host a party. You put a lot of effort into preparing it: cleaning your house, cooking great food, setting up the lights and decors and music. But on the day of the party, no one shows up. Why? Because you forgot to send out invitations.

 

“Everyone has talents. Everyone has gifts. But if you don’t tell people that, if you don’t share that knowledge with the world, people don’t know how to find you and they don’t know that you have these gifts to give.”

 

Pearls from the course:

  • To deny the world the gifts that you can give is a disservice to it.
  • If you don’t let people know what your gifts are, they won’t know that you’re the right person for what they have in mind.
  • Personal branding has an internal and external aspect:
    • Determine what’s important to you, what your values are, and what kind of work you want to do.
    • Put yourself out there and make it easy for the right people to find you for the right kinds of work.
  • Knowing what kind of work you don’t want to do is as important as knowing what kind of work you want to do.
  • Reputation management and managing your digital presence are just ways to present your best self (like taking a shower and wearing professional-looking clothes to an interview).
  • Authenticity is important. It means that your brand should be a truthful reflection of your values.
  • The three little words and the mission statementthese, I really want you to get from the course because it’s super-important.

 

Course quick facts:

  • Offered by the University of Virginia
  • Takes approximately 6 hours to complete
  • Divided into 5 weeks
  • 20 short videos
  • 3 quizzes
  • 0 peer-graded assignments

The Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know

What do the most successful people do differently? What beliefs are holding us back? These are some of the questions that this course tackles head-on.

 

I actually kind of rolled my eyes at this course initially, because the instructor kept talking about how IQ is not the most significant predictor of success — like, come on, we already know this! And then they were saying success means different things to different people — but then the studies that they cite measured success in terms of income or position, which, given, is the conventional way of measuring success, but was that all lip service then, about having your own definition of success? So I was definitely a bit resistant to this course at first.

 

But it gets better as it goes on, so definitely stick around if you find yourself feeling the way I did at the beginning of this course.

 

Pearls from the course:

  • When we are engaged in work that is personally meaningful to us, we:
    • Take greater pride in it
    • Feel more responsibility towards its outcomes
    • Handle work-related stress better
    • Are more likely to stay motivated
  • A sustainable career is one that:
    • Fits our values
    • Provides enough financial security for our needs
    • Can evolve as our own interests and seasons of life evolve
    • Acknowledges that our family and community matter to us and may affect our career decisions
  • We need to be cautious about measuring our worth based on external measures of success — such as titles, degrees, income, and awards — because this can be hard on our self-esteem.
  • Internal measures of success are what we decide matter to us and could include getting to make a difference, taking pride in what we do, alignment between our work and our values, genuinely liking our colleagues and our customers.
  • “Imagine you’re 96 years old and you’ve led a very good life. Your loved ones ask you how you would define success both personally and professionally. Looking back on your life, what would you say?”
  • Predictors of success include:
    • Conscientiousness – holding ourselves to high standards
    • Grit – passion and perseverance toward a long-term goal

 

These are just some of the valuable lessons from the first part of the course so definitely finish it to gain more insights and, along the way, build your resolve for accomplishing your own goals, towards your own idea of success.

 

Course quick facts:

  • Offered by the University of Michigan
  • Takes approximately 11 hours to complete
  • Divided into 7 weeks
  • 18 videos
  • 5 quizzes
  • 1 peer-graded assignment – a Personalized Action Plan for one of your goals
Hunters Woods PH | Coursera | Career Rebuilding Courses | Time Management | Branding | Purpose

Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most

This was one of those courses that really surprised me by both its depth and its practicality. Sometimes you read a course title like this and you think, oh, this is going to be one of those fluffy, self-help thingies. And it’s a course that does seek to help and motivate — but in the sense of getting you to really think about and crystallize your goals and your overarching mission in life.

 

It’s especially helpful for people who have gone through something traumatic or tragic. There’s a bit about Frankl, whose experience in Nazi concentration camps led him to write the book Man’s Search for Meaning. There are other bits of philosophy too — Nietzsche and Camus and so on — but they’re all done in a sweetly short, conversational, accessible way that won’t intimidate or bore people like myself who are not really the type to engage in philosophical discussions. Seriously, take this course — it’s both stimulating and inspiring. I promise it won’t be a waste of time!

 

Pearls from the course:

  • “He who has a ‘why’ can handle almost any ‘how.’”
  • What are you like when you’re at your best? This question is an easy way to get started on thinking about who you are and what your purpose is. When you’re at your best, are you courageous? Funny? Kind? Dependable? Calm? Creative? Caring?
  • Having a purpose is important so that you can dedicate your resources — time, energy, money, etc. — towards the things that matter most in your life.
  • If you were to die today or tomorrow, what would you want people saying about you? What legacy do you leave behind?

 

Course quick facts:

  • Offered by the University of Michigan
  • Takes approximately 7 hours to complete
  • Divided into 7 weeks
  • 36 short videos
  • 4 quizzes
  • 0 peer-graded assignments

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

Who doesn’t need to improve their time management skills?

 

It’s definitely one aspect of my life that needs upskilling because I feel like I never have enough time to do all the things I want to do, and yet I’m always reminded that I have exactly the same number of minutes per day as everyone else.

 

During this pandemic, especially, when I’m mostly stuck at home in government- and self-imposed quarantine, I feel like time is strangely both at a standstill and moving too fast.

 

Yes, I’ve heard of time management methods like the Pomodoro technique, which a lot of people I know find really effective. I also find it helpful to use online time tracking tools like Clockify. But I still took this course because it’s a short one, anyway, and I feel like it’s always good to get tips from different sources because what works for one person may not work for you, and you never know when you will come across a time management hack that simply “clicks” for you.

 

Pearls from the course:

  • Time is the one resource we can never have more of.
  • Spend your time in the way that helps you get what you want from life.
  • There’s such a thing as unproductive work or “busy work” — when you’re doing something, but it’s not something that’s actually helping you achieve your goals.
  • Make a work plan: the things you need to do, their respective order of priority, an estimate of how long they will take, when you plan to start on them, and when they’re due.
  • The best way to know where your time goes is to keep track of how you spent it. List down everything you do over a certain period of time — you might be able to spot things that you never realized you spend so much time on.
  • Have a “strategic reserve time.”
  • Some “little” things can make a big impact on your ability to manage your time effectively. Examples:
    • Making correct estimates of how long it will take us to finish something. We often underestimate how long something will take. We can improve our estimates by looking at past records or asking subject matter experts.
    • Understanding our most and least productive times of day. If, for example, we are not very productive in the morning, we can allot that time for simpler, more routine tasks. We can then save our most challenging tasks for the time of day when we are at our best.
  • Managing email:
    • If you receive a lot of email, don’t look every time one arrives. Come up with a system that lets you manage your communications efficiently.
    • If possible, only allot specific times of the day for checking your inbox.
    • Delete it, do it, or file it in specific folders.
      • Delete whatever isn’t important.
      • If it’s something you can take care of in less than two minutes, do it right away so you can get it over with.
      • If it needs action but it will take more than two minutes to get done, file it in an “Action” folder and put it into your calendar or work plan so you don’t forget it.
      • If it doesn’t require you to take action, but it isn’t a closed issue because you’re waiting for something like a response from someone, file it in a “Pending” folder and make a note in your calendar to remind you to follow it up.
  • On multitasking
    • When you skip from task to task, you’re not as effective as when you just concentrate on one thing at a time.
    • “Switching cost” is the time it takes for you to transition from one thing to another — to reacquaint yourself with the task and get back into the flow.
    • If it isn’t possible for you to avoid multitasking, make a note about where you were and what you need to do next to reduce the switching cost.
  • “Create a plan that supports you and your goals and helps you use your time in the best way possible.”

 

Course quick facts:

  • Offered by the University of California, Irvine
  • Takes approximately 5 hours to complete
  • Divided into 4 weeks
  • 7 videos
  • 4 quizzes
  • 0 peer-graded assignments

What are you waiting for? Sign up for — and start! — these 4 courses now.

I’m not saying that if you take these four courses, you are guaranteed to be successful. There’s a lot more to success than that. You need to work hard, you need to focus, you need to persist when the going gets tough. But these courses will help you set up internally and create a mindset that will steer you through the road to success. So here’s the list again, with links to the courses on Coursera:

 

  1. Introduction to Personal Branding 
  2. The Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know 
  3. Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most 
  4. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity 

 

Good luck!

I know I’m not the only one who’s been inspired or motivated by a Coursera course — so please share!

 

Please let me know in the comments which courses you recommend and why. And we’re encouraged to celebrate small wins so if you want to “flex” your Coursera achievements in the comments, please go ahead. Let’s cheer each other on!

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