Level Up In Your Career In Just A Year With These 3 Completely Free Tools


Moving forward in your career can be difficult to accomplish.

Oftentimes, it requires us to further invest in months or years of additional education, extracurricular career projects and activities, and even offering free services just to get some experience under our belts. 

Again, it’s a big task to take on.

And unfortunately, we don’t always have all the time and money we’d like to invest in ourselves.

For most people, this means that we end up settling for what we can get instead of going for what we truly desire. 

This doesn’t have to be your reality.

In fact, there are tons of resources that’ll help you level up in your career for a little bit of time and absolutely nothing out of pocket. Ready to get started?

Here are 3 completely free tools to help you move forward professionally. 

Coursera: Degrees, certificates, and upskilling.

Over the last few years, learning online has become increasingly popular because of how convenient and inexpensive it can be compared to traditional, onsite learning.

Not to mention that the current platforms available are incredibly diverse and can help with various types of goals— just take Coursera for an example. 

Coursera is an online learning platform with more than 7,000 courses, professional certificates, and degrees to help you advance, start, or switch your career.

The cool thing about Coursera is that a good portion of it is free, and if it isn’t? There are ways you can make it free! Here’s how: 

  • Sign up for their completely free courses. This is a no-brainer.
  • Enter audit only mode. If you’re interested in just learning something new for your current job, you can audit a paid course. This means you won’t receive a certificate, but you’ll still be able to view all of the course material for free. 
  • Apply for financial aid. Some paid certifications and specializations offer financial aid. All you have to do is apply, explain your financial constraints and career goals, and if approved, you can start your first course exactly two weeks after you apply. 
  • Scholarships and grants resources. Coursera offers online degrees for everything from business and information technology, to arts and humanities. And while they are significantly cheaper than other degree programs, they still offer resources to help you secure a scholarship or grant to further your education. 
  • Free trials. Maybe you want to pay for Coursera in the future because you don’t mind paying $59/month to have access to thousands of dollars worth of learning material. That’s great! But before you do that, try the 7-day free trial. (Pssssttt, if you complete a program during the trial, you still get a certificate!) 


Shapr: Making real professional connections.

Networking is an incredibly important aspect of career development because sometimes the difference between where you are and where you want to be is who you know.

However, we completely acknowledge that it can be difficult and awkward to connect with other people in your field when you don’t know much about anything. That’s why platforms like Shapr are super helpful in the long run. 

Shapr is a professional networking app that is the “one-stop shop of the entrepreneur.” Here you can meet other professionals in your field, apply or hire others for a job, connect with advisors and mentors, and even raise funds for your start-up business. 

While Shapr is based in Paris, France, 60% of users are from the US. This means that you’ll be able to not only match with people near you, but you’ll also have a chance to safely secure helpful and relevant international connections as well.

All you have to do is go through the quick and easy sign-up process, make a profile with a picture, bio, and some career goals, and then you’re ready to get started with networking. 

Skillshare: Sharing your own skills. 

Skillshare for Career Development

Skillshare is an online learning platform with thousands of creative courses and classes taught by talented experts to help you learn all sorts of new skills.

And while the offerings aren’t formally accredited like college classes and courses, they are incredibly helpful for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to learn a new skill, deepen their preexisting passions, or just find inspiration from like-minded people.

Just like the aforementioned free resources, all you have to do is sign up to get started on your journey to cultivating a better skill set.

On the flip side, if you see paid material you’d love to unlock, but can’t afford it, don’t worry! Skillshare offers scholarships that give you 50% of a membership if you’re currently in school and one year free if you’re struggling financially. 

But wait, that’s not all! Some of us love learning so much that we want to ultimately be in the position to teach as a career, and Skillshare has something for you, too! Share your passions with those around the globe by teaching your own class and getting paid to do it.

Find out the deets here. 

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Senior writer and graphics editor at EmilyCottontop. Patrice has been a member of the Emilycottontop team for over 4 years. For strategic partnerships, advertising, and sponsored content ✉️ inquiries@emilycottontop.com



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