Jan. 28, 2019
For work or for play, LinkedIn Learning helps you develop skills inside and outside the office
Like about 2,000 other UCalgary faculty and staff who use LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), Andree-Anne Parent uses her free account to develop herself professionally with courses like Developing Your Emotional Intelligence and Managing Stress.
But Dr. Parent, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Cumming School of Medicine, says much of the value she gets from LinkedIn Learning comes from feeding what gives her joy outside of work.
Blending work and fun
“I took an underwater photography course because, as a hobby, I like everything about diving and fish,” says Parent, adding that hobbies and extracurricular learning are an important part of boosting curiosity and creativity.
“Hobbies can give you unique perspectives,” she says. “Even if some people don’t see them as important for work, curiosity can give you more ideas in work and in life.”
Some courses Parent says she initially took for fun, like Learning Speed Reading, have become noticeably useful in her day-to-day work. “I read a lot recreationally, and this course helped me fit in more reading at work, too.”
More than just a workplace tool
Jaqueline Vera, a civil engineering instructor at the Schulich School of Engineering, uses LinkedIn Learning to teach others — including her family.
“As much as I try to tell my kid what to do, the best way he can learn is LinkedIn Learning,” she says. “I showed my kid how to use it, and now it’s a tool for him and for me.”
Vera says video courses are a great way to teach and learn, but it can be difficult to find reputable information online. “When I was looking for sources of information I didn’t want to use YouTube,” she says. “LinkedIn Learning is a treasure chest of information.”
Finding the time
It can be hard to balance learning with working, but Vera makes time in her demanding schedule. “I’m a busy person,” she says. “I have two kids and I’m an instructor, but I still find time use it regularly — I have since I started at the university three years ago.”
Parent mirrors Vera’s sentiment, adding because of the flexible course structure and the many video tutorials available, she can fit a LinkedIn Learning course into her schedule without too much difficulty.
“Try to fit in a course when you have downtime,” Parent suggests. “A tutorial doesn’t take much of my brainpower — sometimes I can put a tutorial on in the background and work at the same.”
Access your free account in seconds
As a University of Calgary faculty or staff member, you get free access to LinkedIn Learning — a combination of dynamic, online instructional content, videos and tutorials on the latest technology, software, business skills, creative talents and personal hobbies.
For new users:
- Activate: Head to LinkedIn Learning and sign up as a new user.
- Connect: Join your LinkedIn Learning account your pre-existing LinkedIn account to get customized learning based on your skills, employment history, connections and networks. Users can easily continue their activation without connecting a LinkedIn account.
- Share: Showcase your new skills, learnings and successes with your personal networks through your connected LinkedIn profile.
For Lynda.com users:
- Activate: There are two different entry paths to activate your LinkedIn Learning account. Either click the activation link in the Learner Activation email you received from LinkedIn Learning, or go to Lynda.com and click the activation link where you usually sign in.
- Set up: Connect your pre-existing LinkedIn account to get customized learning based on your skills, employment history, connections and networks. Users can easily continue their activation without connecting a LinkedIn account.
- Connect: Share your successes through your connected LinkedIn profile to showcase new skills and learnings.
Learn more at ucalgary.ca/linkedin-learning.