5 Lucrative 'Second Skills' You Can Learn Online
It's possible, and sometimes necessary, to be a master of two trades.
These days, it's no longer enough to be good at just one thing. We're in the 2020s, and fortune favors the multi-hyphenates—the professionals who specialize in different skills and can blend those skills into something truly unique and highly valuable.
Thankfully, it's never been easier to learn new skills and pursue passion projects. Just look online, and you'll almost certainly find an interesting learning opportunity for you. Consider learning such a skill, and then using them to take on side hustles alongside your day job. Doing so not only earns you extra cash, but also provides you with new perspectives that can complement your existing set of skills and your main line of work.
Here are a few new things you can learn to this end:
Brush up on your communication and presentation skills
Wherever you go and whatever you do, communication is key. Speaking, writing, and storytelling are the bridges between ideas and reality—these skills allow you to persuade people and to make things happen. A LinkedIn study once showed that communication skills are the soft skills that employers want the most. It makes sense, then, for professionals of any field to continuously brush up on these skills. Writing skills in particular can be especially lucrative, because businesses are never not in need of good copy, and freelance gigs aren't too difficult to come by. There are many tutorials for writing and public speaking online. Get back to the basics first: read more, write more, and boost your vocabulary.
Learn another language
Anywhere you go in the world, but especially here in the Philippines, doing good business involves making good connections. And when you're doing business on an international scale, with people from countries where English is not the most common tongue, learning another language can go a long way in helping you earn trust and forge stronger connections. Thankfully, there's an app for that. The World Economic Forum also asserts that while English is still the planet's most powerful language, Mandarin, French, Spanish, and Arabic are next in line. But more than being able to communicate with others, there's been evidence to suggest that bilingual brains think different, and it's hard to overstate how valuable that can be.
Develop an eye for design
Engaging visuals are key in the social media age, as more brands take advantage of platforms like Instagram and YouTube to get their messages across. That's why it's worth considering classes on basic photography or graphic design—skills that can help you present ideas better and also give you a different perspective, which can inspire your work. There are also courses for PowerPoint design, a skill that can make the difference between an effective presentation and a failed one. Understanding design and design language can also give you a better grasp of brand theory, which is crucial for anyone in a field remotely related to marketing.
Learn how to effectively market ideas and products online
The ever-shifting online landscape is an exciting yet tricky field in which to sell ideas—so much so that digital and social media marketing has become its own skill. Marketing today requires a special understanding of consumer behavior and the inner workings of online platforms, and it can be a steep wall to climb. How well can you navigate Facebook Analytics and the Creator Studio? Can you measure how a YouTube video is performing, using the tools at your disposal? Do you know the ideal video duration per platform, the best image dimensions and SEO guidelines? Fluency in these matters is difficult to achieve, but if you’re able to learn it, you can do part-time social media management for other brands or start-ups, or even market your products and services online.
Learn to cook
Here's something a skill that's more practical and never not useful, but one that can also be lucrative when you know how to parlay it properly. Learning to cook, of course, can be done on YouTube, as there are plenty of free recipe videos that allow you to develop the skill on your own. Then, once you're confident enough in your abilities, you can try meal preparation services, starting with your network: cook a few meals for friends and officemates and see how it takes off from there.
Success is a blend of hard work, the willingness to learn, a variety of skills, and the drive for excellence. It's no longer enough to apply these things toward a single pursuit; today, it's about collecting, combining, and synthesizing different skills and passions.
In this regard, success is not unlike whisky, in that the best kinds are harmonious combinations of different flavors. With Chivas Regal, for instance, notes of honey, hazelnut, and butterscotch blend to deliver an extraordinary taste. Chivas is a drink that celebrates the unconventional success that can come from a blend; a whisky that understands the value of plurality, and how the best things in life are combinations.
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