Using Education Benefits During the Pandemic
The most imminent indicator of success is an individual’s willingness to turn adverse conditions into opportunities. For many working from home, a new supply of hours in any given day appeared overnight. Less time commuting and preparing for the workweek means time added to the clock. While the allure of hobbies or inertia is strong, there exists a focused means to take advantage of the time. The fortunate among us that have access to education benefits and can use this opportunity to expand our horizons.
With the great migration of college coursework to online platforms, the quality and accessibility of online educational programs has never been better. In the past, online learning had an impersonal feel and was the specialty of a few select institutions that made it their sole focus. Now there are thousands of higher education institutions that have made the leap. Employees with access to education benefits have never been in a better position to maximize the education they can attain from their network of institutions. One of the previously most unused benefit offerings, the largest deterrent for most recipients was the time cost. With this barrier down and online education opportunities in abundance it is the perfect time to pounce on the chance to expand horizons.
It’s a great time to reconnect with the core of what makes you passionate about your work. For many the lockdowns have been a blessing: working from home means fewer workplace distractions, an ability to focus on long-forgotten talents, and alleviation of some social dynamic pressures. With a renewed focus on the work itself, there has never been a better time to hone your craft and skills through an employer-sponsored education benefits program.
This is also a natural transition to a new economic reality. The change in public health reality is causing major ripples in the national and global economy. With these changes still lurking beneath the surface, it’s the best time to position yourself to be the most adaptable to the unforeseeable reality that is taking shape. Making use of employee education benefits to acquire new skill sets or transition to a new career path is a tactical and advisable move. The future is unpredictable, but those who have spent time now to be in a strategic position will be in the best shape.
Access to employer-sponsored education benefits is a real leg-up in the world to begin with. And as one of the most under-utilized benefits, taking advantage of educational opportunities can put you ahead in a very tangible, unique way. Whether it lends credentials to an existing set of skills on a CV or diversifies it, grounding professional skills in credibility is essential to economic growth through these challenging times.
So no matter the scale or cost of your education benefits package, one thing rings true: Every penny that you spend on higher education that your employer matches is worth it. Taking this opportunity doesn’t subvert the urgency and gravity of the situation. But acknowledging the opportunity that is looking us square in the eyes will set apart those who succeed and those who do not when this is all done.