Invest In Yourself: 3 Skills to Help You Level Up

May 19, 2020 | Teresa L

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Have you found yourself with a bit more time and wanting to work on yourself? Are you working from home, recently laid off or looking to change jobs? Using this time to figure out what skills you can learn or improve on can help leverage yourself for success. Learning or relearning skills can help with a smoother return to work or open doors to new opportunities.

Person using a laptop
You can get many helpful ebooks and online courses from the library.


The nature of the job market keeps shifting. The Conference Board of Canada recently published a report called The Future Is Social and Emotional. This report forecasts the most in-demand skills into 2030, with the goal to help Canadians future-proof themselves. They include:

  • Technical skills
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Cultural competence
  • Resiliency
  • Problem solving
  • Collaboration


Personally, I find that learning one skill can already be a challenge. The idea of working on seven can be very overwhelming. So I've chosen to highlight three skills that I've recently wanted to work on in this post. Below you'll find online library resources that you can use from home to help develop these skills.

Note: Most of these resources are free to use with a library card to sign in. If you don't have one, resources that are part of the OverDrive collection can be accessed with a temporary digital card.


Technical Skills

Technology has always shaped our job market. Expectation is increasing in today’s workplace that almost everyone should have basic technical skills. This includes the ability to navigate the web or use software like Microsoft Office, for example. offers over 3,500 video tutorial courses on various technical skills. You can access for free with your TPL card. To view the following courses and learning paths, you will be asked to sign in to LinkedIn Learning for Library (formerly You can choose videos based on specific technical programs or skills such Microsoft Office Suite or HTML coding. Or choose based off one of the many different creative, technology, or business learning paths. Some examples of learning paths are How to Become a Video Editor or How to Become a User Experience Designer.

Safari Tech & Business Books Online offers books and video from technology and business publishers. Topics include Digital Media, Information Technology & Software Development and more.



Good and effective communication are essential to understand others and be understood. This is especially important due to the increasing amount of information we receive and process.

Try learning or brushing up on a new language using Mango Languages. It offers interactive courses in over 71 different languages, including English as a Second Language. (I'm currently trying to pick up basic Spanish myself, ¡hola!)

Gale Courses has instructor-led courses on technology, business, personal development and more. Try Keys to Effective Communication or Mastering Public Speaking for more of a learning challenge. Gale courses have specific start dates.

The Great Courses are audiobook and digital video collections of university-level lectures. They cover a huge range of topics delivered by professors. They are available via RBDigital audiobooks or Kanopy. Check out these lectures on communication:



During these unprecedented times, resilience is especially important both in your personal life and at work. Work can be very stressful. Improving resilience can help manage stress and overcome workplace challenges and conflicts.

LinkedIn Learning for Library also offers resources and learning paths to improve resilience. Individual courses are great when you're strapped for time, but learning paths are more comprehensive learning and offer a certification of completion.

You can also find many ebooks and audiobooks on resilience and managing stress from OverDrive and Safari Tech.

Work Without Stress

Work Without Stress by Derek Roger


Emotional Agility

Emotional Agility by Susan David



If this has motivated you to upgrade your skills during this period, I'd love to know which ones you're interested to work on. Share in the comments below! Skills take time and the journey can be challenging. I hope that seeing each other's comments can be a source of encouragement that we're all in this together. Be gentle with yourself and best wishes!

Edited May 6, 2021 at 4:10pm to update resource links for LinkedIn Learning for Library (formerly