Anyone who’s looking to advance their career knows that there’s a fair share of obstacles to overcome to truly be the boss. From the wage gap to nasty office politics, sometimes it can be downright exhausting trying to fight for your dream job. But according to Anna Lindow, VP of partnerships at General Assembly, which provides training on in-demand skills, the secret to propelling your career forward could be as simple as signing up for asingle online class. Sure, finishing an entire complementary degree can definitely be a great way to achieve your career goals. But even us busy gals who can only squeeze in one class can see a huge benefit from learning a new skill.

To help all you ladies looking for a pay raise or promotion, we sat down with the expert herself to get the inside scoop on how taking a single class can have a major impact on your career.

Creative businesswoman working on laptop.

B+C: Why is taking a class a good way to get out of a work rut?

AL: As adults, we become bad at being bad at things. We gravitate toward things we’re already good at. Taking a class in something new forces us out of our comfort zones, which automatically shakes things up and provides a fresh perspective.

B+C: Most people complain that they barely have enough time to get their groceries, run a few errands and maybe take a relaxing bath on the weekends. How can busy girlbosses squeeze a class into their already packed schedule?

AL: The best way to stick to any commitment is to find accountability partners. Can you bring a friend with you? That will make you more likely to show up and also more likely to have fun.


B+C: Speaking of not wasting our time, how does one go about choosing a class that’ll really kickstart their career?

AL: Start by determining your objective. Do you want to explore a new profession you’re curious about, get a raise at work or make a complete career transition in the shortest amount of time possible? Once you’ve determined what you’re looking to get out of the experience, you can match the offering in terms of time commitment, difficulty, cost and format. Many education organizations, including General Assembly, offer admissions counseling to help you choose the right fit.

B+C: Is there a notable difference from taking a class online as opposed to in-person?

AL: Today’s technology allows us to deliver amazing learning experiences online. If you can get to a campus, there’s always something special about in-person interaction, but if not, you can achieve the same learning objectives through classes taught online.

B+C: Does taking a class benefit your resume, your skills… or both?

AL: Absolutely both. Your resume is a reflection of your skills. I like to advise our students to find ways to demonstrate their abilities. In today’s professional world, employers are interested in seeing how you can apply your skills, not just how they’re worded on a resume.

Young woman using laptop in a café

From web development and web design courses to UX, data analysis and digital marketing deep dives, you’ll find at least one course online through General Assembly that impacts your career or helps you explore an interest. We also love learning new skills online through Udemy, Coursera and Lynda, or — for more creative classes — try Brit + Co and Creative Bug. If you love that in-person learning experience, General Assembly has offices in 11 US cities and seven international cities. Or check out your local community college’s course catalog.

Have you taken any additional classes that positively benefited your career? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)