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It is possible to study while working!

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You are an employee and want to develop new skills at the same time to become an entrepreneur? Here are our tips for getting there.

For fun, to improve your skills, to diversify, to change careers, you can study at any time in your life. Whatever your professional or personal situation, with good organisation, clear objectives and a good dose of motivation, it is possible!

5 steps to get started

Step 1: Identify your goal

Leisure, diversification of services, strengthening of an expertise, retraining, etc. Never neglect this aspect, without framing at the start you will not succeed.

Step 2: choose the subject (and/or prioritise)

If it is for a hobby that you want to learn, think about the subjects you can read/listen to/speak about for hours on end, a subject that has always fascinated you. If it is in the context of an expertise, it is up to you to evaluate the subjects that could reinforce your legitimacy and your skills, etc. If you have several ideas, prioritise! What training would be essential to achieve your objective?

Step 3: identify potential constraints

You need to define a budget that you cannot exceed, assess the time and flexibility you have available, etc.

Step 4: research and choose

Give preference to state-recognised training courses that lead to certification, especially if you want to develop your activity as a coach. Then think about contacting former participants to get their feedback. It is also important to know yourself well in order to choose the best format for you (we'll talk about this later)!

Step 5: register (at the right time!)

Be careful, if you want to register for certain courses, you need to do so well in advance, check the deadlines and documents that may be required of you, the terms of the course and the payment deadlines.

How to get organised?

Once you have registered, you need to get your daily routine in order. The bad news is that there is no magic formula! Try to build a system that works for you. You have to know yourself, find out what works best for you. When and how do you learn best (in the morning, in the evening, by writing, reading, listening)? Exactly like with a freelance status!

I' m not a miracle worker, but I can at least share the methods that work for me 😉:

Tip 1: prepare a workspace dedicated solely to your course, specific tools (a shelf reserved for this topic in your bookshelf, a part of your office, a folder in your drive, etc.) to make a clear distinction between your daily work and your course.

Tip 2: Make a REALISTIC plan with your objectives to be reached: year by year, month by month, week by week, day by day, according to your possibilities and preferences. You can build your schedule with notion if you are a digital addict or on paper to put up in your office, if you prefer to write by hand.

Tip 3: Identify your preferred learning style very quickly: reading, writing, contextualising, etc. One method that often works well is to put the information you learn into action, by re-explaining it to your friends, doing practical exercises, etc.

Tip 4: Anticipate exams/courses/presentation sessions as much as possible to plan ahead. It is important to have an overview of your deadlines!

Tip 5: Work in groups and/or join discussion/working groups on your subject. This is possible with discord for example, or simply on social networks.

Tip 6: Learn more often but for less time. You can regularly train your memory with flashcards on quizlet.

Tip 7: the key elements of each lesson should be transcribed into written and/or audio notes. goodnotes allows you to create very practical paper files.

Tip 8: Capitalise on travel time. Audio lessons in the car, reading on the train or plane...

Tip 9: Take pleasure in learning! It's good to remember this even in difficult times. It helps to keep you going.

The format: online VS in person

There are many distance learning courses. Here is a table summarising the advantages/disadvantages of both formats.

Distance learning has its advantages:

  • Most flexible option on the market
  • No accommodation/travel costs
  • Rhythm that is suitable for full-time employees
  • (Sometimes) cheaper price

... and disadvantages:

  • Loneliness
  • Less or no individual follow-up
  • More difficult to interact with the trainers

Just like the face-to-face training has its own advantages:

  • Better learning experience
  • Easier to work in groups
  • Easier to communicate with trainers

As well as its disadvantages:

  • Less flexible
  • More time consuming
  • Budget for travel/accommodation

Make sure you find out about the recognition and added value of the course you choose (in relation to your field of activity) and its format:

  • E-learning: the courses are available on a platform, either to be downloaded or viewed (videos, texts, etc.) online. This gives you autonomy in a very practical way.
  • "Videotraining”: you have compulsory virtual classes but you do them at a distance
  • Hybrid" or "blended learning" solutions: you are both autonomous and you have to make progress on the courses but you also have compulsory face-to-face sessions

You should make your decision based on your personal situation, taking into account the constraints mentioned above, your personal preferences and your preferred learning style. Are you comfortable with the idea of reading courses independently or following videos? Or do you need to attend a face-to-face course? It's up to you to see what compromises you can make to successfully combine your business and your training!

Is there any financial support for training?

In Luxembourg there is no training allowance like in France, for example. However, you do have access to "individual training leave" if you work in the private sector (as an employee or self-employed). You can enquire about this aid, which allows you to obtain up to 80 days of leave over your entire career, without exceeding 20 days per two-year period. You may use this time to revise and take exams, for example. Please note that you will not be able to carry out an internship during this period.

Do I have to tell my employer?

If you are an employee, you are free to tell your employer if you want to. A training course should never interfere with your daily professional activity, but you can choose to talk about it in a transparent way or keep it to yourself. Be careful, if you want to start an activity in parallel with your job after your training, you must obviously get your employer's permission! In any case, honesty helps to maintain an atmosphere of trust.

Developing yourself is essential to progress, and while it may be recreational for some, for others it may be a necessity! This is a personal decision, you have to ask yourself the right questions... We won't tell you that it's easy, but everything is possible! In fact, like entrepreneurship, it's hard, but many manage it!

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