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UPSKILLING – if not now, when?


Nearly two years ago I did something which I spent over two decades advising colleagues, clients and friends to never do. I quit a job with no job to go to. It wasn’t something I planned (obviously) but it hadn’t been right for some time and it wasn’t getting any better. So I jumped into the unknown.

As I considered my future and, more importantly, how to cover the monthly bills, I decided to do what brands are being advised to do now - this from Marketing Week and this from John Harrington in PR Week. I invested in myself to help change both the present and the future. I signed up to Marketing Week’s Mini-MBA in Marketing run by Mark Ritson. For an old dog like me, it proved to be everything I wanted it to be, and more. It has also proved invaluable in growing the consultancy I launched under the wire nearly two years ago, Sentient.

The fear of those in furlough and of friends, old colleagues and clients being made redundant is palpable. Possibly more so for freelancers, a third of whom, according to a report from PR Week, have had their income slashed by 80 per cent or more and with no sign of any help coming from the Government.

Now might not be the time for anyone to be thinking about upskilling. To be thinking about using some of the time and space to help direct the future. On the other hand, if not now, then when?

Below are links to five nutritious sites which continue to nourish my mind. Some are even free. Or take the opportunity to dwell within a virtual tour for a while. Two links at the bottom from The Guardian and Good Housekeeping have proved good for the soul.

Mini MBA in Marketing

You pay for what you get – in this case, it’s cheaper and better quality than many.

Hult Ashridge webinars – Hult Ashridge is a triple-accredited, global business school with executive education programs that are consistently ranked among the best in the world. Courses can be eye-wateringly expensive but they have a range of free webinars which anyone can sign up to.

Brand Manager Boot Camp

Created by marketing supremoes, Chris Lock and Alex O’Rourke, it’s an eight-week course that teaches the core skills for a marketing career.

PRCA Virtual Courses – the go to training facility for many agencies and now offering virtual training for people at home. Worth a visit.

IPA courses – The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising – possibly not the obvious place to go for people in PR. Which is exactly why you should go there.

10 of the best virtual tours of worlds from The Guardian

GH Best virtual tours

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People feeling good about brands

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