The Life-Changers

They say opportunity knocks only once, and it seems to me that a lot of people are stone deaf. I am talking about the opportunities for career success and enriched life offered by organizations in the community. How can these opportunities be ignored? Yet low enrollments cause cancellations of many excellent classes–classes that could change a life.

Helaine Jeffrey’s class called “Face to Face: Present Your Best You!” is one life-changer. Talking loud to control nervousness and using pauses for emphasis are tips I picked up

in her class offered through the Howard County (MD) Community College continuing education program. For others seeking better success in their lives, she plants the seeds that will make a difference. Interviewing for jobs and looking for friends or dates can succeed or fail on first impressions. Speaking confidently in a pleasant voice with good eye contact is the essence of that first impression. Through videotapes and practice, Helane Jeffreys helps the participants learn to present their best face.

But she’s only one life-changer in the many continuing education programs. I’ve taken classes on such subjects as Basic HTML, Photoshop, Indesign, antiques appraisal, selling on E-Bay, and many more at our community college. I’ve also learned how to make fish tacos, and my husband recently completed a course in how to do stand-up comedy. These were classes offered through the parks and recreation department. The last session was actually performing at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. He may not turn stand-up comedy into a career, but if he wanted to, he has a start.

Despite the exciting possibilities these classes present and their low cost, many have modest or low enrollments. I signed up for two classes, one on the million-dollar art market and one on preventing fraud in your business, both cancelled because of low enrollment.

Life-long education is a critical component not only for career success but also for a satisfying life. Don’t waste a second missing out on the class that will change your life.

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