Like most insecure men, I’m compensating for something. Unlike most men however, I’m compensating for a lack of eye sight, this can’t be fixed by driving a fancy car or living in a nice house. I’ve got to be a bit more proactive with my compensation. Alison can help with this.

So, who’s Alison? First of all Alison is a website, not a who. Offering free education to everyone. Free you ask, yes free, the website itself is supported by advertisements on the site with an additional income stream taking the form of certificates you can purchase upon successful completion of your chosen course.

Sounds good so far, yeah, I thought so too. That’s why I was really grateful to @kazziegriff for letting me know about this site. I’ve heard of resources such as lynda.com before but I have been unable to afford the subscription to it.

Just like lynda.com, Alison offers courses in a variety of subjects from accounting to woodworking and everything inbetween. If your interested in blogging but haven’t managed to figure it all out yet, there are courses on WordPress. Or if you’re anything like me, you might have an interest in programming and web development.Don’t worry Alison has got you covered, there are several courses, covering a variety of disciplines in these subjects, that will satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

If you have a lot of free time, trying to get back into work, or trying to gain access to work for the first time. Alison is a great resource for padding out your CV with skills that potential employers might be looking for. Not only that however, it’s padding out your mind with knowledge that will improve your effectiveness in subjects you have an interest in, or maybe even introduce you to subjects you might never have paid any attention to before.

Most of this knowledge is already freely available on the internet, so why do I need Alison? That’s a good question. Let me address that for you.

The first benefit of Alison over free form learning would be having structured courses. Not everyone likes hunting around the web for bits of information here and some more information there. Some people like learning in a linear fashion. Alison has all the relevant information in one place allowing you to focus on the important part, absorbing the knowledge, not looking for it.

Having the knowledge is one thing, but proving you have it is another. You might be able to link to examples of your work in your CV, this might suffice in a lot of subjects but it doesn’t translate to all, That’s were Alison comes in handy.

Once you have completed your chosen course, a record will be kept in your Alison profile, along with all the other courses you have completed. Here you have the option to buy either a PDF certificate, or a printed certificate as proof of your achievements. If you have accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, a blog, or accounts on other social networks like Twitter, you can link to your public Alison profile, where your friends and potential employers can see what courses you have completed.

This is my favorite aspect of the site. As I am currently looking for work IRL. Every way I can improve my chances I will grasp hold of, wrestle it to the ground and wring every last little benefit I can from it. So I will scour Alison for relevant courses, maybe in Admin, Business and perhaps programming (to satisfy my own personal interests) Once I have completed these courses I will link to them on my CV.

I feel, as a blind person, I have to make that much more of an effort than a regular guy on the street looking for work. Sure there’s legislation in the UK that require larger employers to fulfill diversity requirements. I don’t just want to be a tick in a box however, I want to burst out of that box and show the world what I can do.

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