When planning for your future, it’s easy to get lost in what’s happening now, and not so easy to look ahead. Setting your goals for your personal and professional life can be complicated. But there is one key element, according to Lori Dowhaniuk, Instructor for Microsoft Programs at Fraser Valley Continuing Education based in Langley, BC.
Lori says the number one thing to consider, perhaps for any type of career is, “…Definitely flexibility. You want to know that anything you put time or money into now, will keep your options open for the future.”
She advises, “It’s more than just choosing classes because they’re on some sort of checklist. You want to be strategic, and choose training based on how it will set you up for your goals. If you can see that something will open doors, and that you can use it for multiple types of jobs at various types of companies, or in different industries, then it is definitely worth your time. Plus, it takes commitment to complete any type of certificate, and potential employers will appreciate that.”
Learning to use software is great, but don’t stop there. Ms. Dowhaniuk is clear when she points out, “Software is just a tool. We need to be more well-rounded, with soft skills that help us to become better leaders. Even if you’re starting at the bottom, a person with the right stuff won’t stay there long. Planning for your future means acquiring lateral skills, like knowledge of social media, coaching skills, a tiny bit about websites, perhaps even a solid accounting background and so on, will all make you very easy to promote.”
As they say, when planning for your future, it’s best to plan for the worst, but hope for the best. Many of us have spent the last couple of years coping with more uncertainty than ever before. Lori concludes, “Just ask yourself, ‘Will this give me more choices?‘ And if the answer is yes, it’s a good investment.”
Lori teaches a variety of Microsoft and introductory computing classes in our computer lab at Fraser Valley Continuing Education, based in Downtown Langley, British Columbia. You can learn more about her classes at our website, FraserValleyContinuingEducation.ca.
Lori has over 35 years of teaching experience. She received her Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta and started out as a high school typing teacher. A move out west led her to software training and consulting specializing in Microsoft Office. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with her students at all levels.