Broke? Improve Your Skills on the Cheap.

If you’re looking for a job, the competition can be tough. So, getting ahead could mean strengthening your job skills, and maybe even adding some new ones. Taking courses at your local college or vocational center is a great way to improve your skills set and your career, but it’s not always feasible with busy schedules and tight finances. If you need to brush up on a particular subject or simply want to expand your horizon and improve your mind, check out your local library. Borrowing books is a cost-effective way to build your résumé (or your brain) without draining your time or your pocket book.

Your library is a great – and free – resource you can use to extend your knowledge. And, you can learn at your own pace and schedule. At the library, you’ll find books on subjects ranging from computer programs to leadership advice. So, if you’ve ever been interested in graphic design, pick up some books on Adobe Photoshop. If you want to start your own business, read up on becoming an entrepreneur. If you’ve entertained a far-away dream of becoming a chef, realize that your dream could become a reality if you work toward it. Start by borrowing cookbooks like Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

If you’re like some people,  apart from the odd research paper in high school, you haven’t stepped foot in a library since grade school. But, if you’re looking to enhance your job skills, want to accomplish a life long dream, or just need a new hobby, now’s a great time to head to your local library. From gardening, to mechanics, from film making to interior design, your library has books about it all, often including free internet access. So, while you’re there, you can search the web for information and jobs.

Can’t handle the quiet, studious atmosphere of a library? You can schedule books for pickup online at most metro libraries to make borrowing books hassle free. So, head to your local library or visit it online to discover the endless possibilities a book can offer you.


  1. luci

    Somehow I’ve managed to avoid having any ‘Tigers’ for a boss – maybe it’s just luck, or maybe it’s because I’m kind of a “goat” and just wouldn’t put up working for a ‘Tiger’. Actually most of my bosses have been pretty good to work for, but there have been a few that have either ‘Chameleons’ or ‘Ostrichs.
    Both types can be frustrating to deal with, but if you know how to handle them, it’s possible to work with them. The trick is to realize that, even though they supposedly have authority over you, they are motivated by insecurity. Knowing that, if you have the gumption not to be intimidated by the idea of it, you can learn how to manage your boss (“manage”, but not control; never try to control a boss – it would most likely backfire and put you out of a job. Unless, of course, that’s what you want. But it’s risky since it has many possible unforseen consequences).
    All that being said, I think the worst boss I ever had was the one ‘Fox’ who was my foreman in a manufacturing plant. His predecessor had been an ‘Ostrich’ who was a prime example of the Peter Principle: in any hierarchical organization, employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence. Having become accustomed to the old foreman’s incompetence, I had trouble adjusting to working under the ‘Fox’ when he became my foreman.
    A major part of the problem was that the ‘Fox’ was far more competent in an objective sense than the old ‘Ostrich’ had been. And he seemed to delight in his ability to keep the workers on his shift off balance, never knowing what sly tricks he might have up his sleeve to keep us all “towing the line” the way he wanted. After just 2 months working under him, I requested a transfer to another shift, then quit that job altogether another month after that. It wasn’t all just because of him, but the way he rubbed me the wrong way was definitely a major factor in my decision.

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