Once upon a time, I used to get mesmerized by the top performers in my profession. I used to take them as my mentors (gurus), and they deserved the position well because of their diverse experiences, nontraditional work approach, out of the box thinking and full time commitment. I used to look up to those dynamic and charismatic people as my role models. Whenever possible, I took their time to get the answers of my questions and solutions to the problems that I came across at my workplace. Their advice was like golden words to me, coming right from well-experienced and wise souls. I used to treasure each and every word like gold coins.
This attitude helped me in many ways but still I never had enough time from these busy professionals to satisfy my curiosity and unending quest for better learning. I used to wonder how had they built themselves to that height.
Then, almost 4 years back, unknowingly, a friend of mine introduced me to free online learning and I discovered many educational sites where the leading university of the world offered free online courses. I was thrilled to see lots of courses of my interest in different fields. I never knew that one day I would pursue any area of my interest so easily while staying at home and spending nothing.
I started taking courses, one after the other, and it changed all my perspective about life. The new insight and skills I acquired, I started to apply them to my fluctuating capacity. I began to transform. I have had more answers to my questions and more solutions to my challenges. The best thing was I was able to see the hidden philosophy behind many modern professional approaches and practices. Simultaneously, I felt open to new ideas and willing to experiment with the new learning. For examples, I was facing problems in motivating my writing students. Then, I came across a course at coursera.org, Teach English Now! Foundational Principles. I was stunned to know about the motivating factors that can be used to inspire my students to learn what I wanted them to master. I based my next writing training sessions on the new awareness and increased my control and influence over my classes.
It doesn’t mean I have stopped approaching my gurus, but it means I have become an independent and quick learner. Now, I do not need to get appointments with my mentors frequently, rather my less interactions have become more meaningful. Before coming to online learning, there have been many things or pieces of advice that I was unable to understand, and, time did not allow me and my gurus to go into further details.
Then, online courses appeared as keys to unlock many mysteries. The systematic learning approach in an international context transformed me into a new person until finally I explored myself. But Ohh, the career I wanted to pursue was not available at all-Professional Writing Training. Unfortunately, no writing and training programs were available in Pakistan, and I had absolutely no way to develop myself as a Writing Coach. Finally, the free online certifications and specializations in Writing & Coaching (from General Composition to Academic, Journalistic, Business Writing and Training) came to help me out. They empowered me with the writing and training insights and skills until I emerged as a professional who offered a unique service in my context.
The sites I found useful: