• Team Furlonteer

Lockdown: A time for learning

Updated: Aug 24

Skill sharing and online learning has been a huge part of furlough life for many people. But getting started is no easy feat, especially when there’s so much to choose from. This year John was furloughed from his website content role and later made redundant. Like many of us, he needed something more than baking to get him through 2020.


John has been busy keeping his skills up to date with online courses and more recently joining Furlonteer HQ as our website editor. To save you the hard work of course hunting, he has put together a resourceful list of online courses (and they’re FREE).



“Being Furloughed and then made redundant was a shock to the system. The total change to my work routine and home life was weird to the say the least. Within a couple of weeks I’d turned to baking bread after finally getting hold of flour and yeast, then it was cakes and soup. But there’s only so much baking you can do and I was getting bored. I’ve worked with website content in one form or another for a while, so I decided to do some online learning around it. I was now out of work, so keeping my skills up to date became a priority.


As the job market becomes even more competitive, it makes sense to keep your skills up to date. Studying also gives you the chance to learn new things, upskill and demonstrate your commitment to continuous professional development. Being able to focus on work type subjects and discuss things with fellow students was important to me” - John Roughley



Choosing your course

The good news is there is a ton of FREE course material on the web. Whatever subject you’re interested in, you're probably going to find a course on it. Research your course carefully and it sounds obvious but decide what it is you actually want to learn. Read the course description and outline and compare them with similar courses from other providers. Being able to interact with other students was something I wanted for example, rather than just reading and watching content.


Being able to interact with other students was something I wanted, rather than just reading and watching content.


John’s favourite course providers

This is a list of course providers I’ve used and I’ve found all of them to have high-quality courses:

  • Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Google Digital Garage This is probably the best digital marketing course I’ve come across. It's very comprehensive and is accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University. I can’t recommend it enough.

  • FutureLearn has a wide variety of courses, including Business Management, IT, Science and everything in between. I completed a few of these courses and if you’re interested in online content, the Introduction to Content Design by the Government Digital Service is excellent.

  • OpenLearn has FREE courses from The Open University, with introductory to advanced level courses.

  • The Beginner's Guide to SEO, MOZ Everyone should read this introduction to Search Engine Optimization, whatever area you work in.

  • Furlonteer resources has a variety of links to help you develop your personal and professional skills.

I’m continuing to learn and I’ve decided to start some software-specific courses. Shopify and Hubspot are next on my list to complete!



Gaining experience

I hope these links have helped you in some way. Have you also thought about using your existing skills as a Furlonteer? I’ve found it so rewarding being able to use my skills again and contribute in some way. Being in work mode never felt so good.



If you’d like to use your skills and volunteer with a charity, then sign-up now!


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