It felt like -40° C outside in the middle of January. I had just moved to Edmonton, left my job, my colleagues, and everything familiar behind. I was now a stay-at-home mom and had no way to stay current in my field, or so I thought. With the dawn of social media a new way to stay in the know was emerging: webinars. I was a little nervous at first, but I thought I would give it a try. After my first webinar I was hooked. I didn’t feel alone in some snow buried wasteland—I felt like I was attending a face-to-face workshop and connecting with real people.
A webinar is a training session that takes place through the internet. People that register for a particular webinar are sent a special link and login instructions for them to access a guided presentation by experts in the topic of choice at a designated time. It requires a computer, internet access, and speakers or telephone connection. From my first webinar encounter I realized how easy it was going to be for me to meet some of my learning goals–and I didn’t have to leave my house! I made a list of topics I wanted to learn more about and then I went on the search for webinars that addressed those needs. I searched Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for companies and professionals that offered them. With each webinar I took I learned about other companies that offered them and new topics I wanted to learn.
Some benefits of webinars are that I never have to go outside in Edmonton in January! Many of them are free or offered at low cost. A great number of them will send a recording of the webinar so those who can’t attend live can listen to it on their own when they have time. During each webinar I learned at least one standout idea that I could apply to my life and career immediately. Many webinar topics I could have learned from reading an article series or book, but I learn well from hearing someone explain it out loud, and it was a great change from the usual. I’m also quite extraverted and find I draw a lot of energy from webinar hosts and attendees. When they are excited about the topic I get excited to learn about it.
Webinars helped me meet my learning goals—maybe they will work for you too!