#QuarantineClub: Here’s the ultimate guide to upskilling at home!

. 7 min read . Written by Priyanka Sutaria
#QuarantineClub: Here’s the ultimate guide to upskilling at home!

You have the time. And we have the resources to help you upskill in quarantine!

It seems as though we might have quite a bit of free time on our hands, at least for a while.

If you’ve been feeling restless lately, it’s probably because being cooped up (however good the reason, and however incredible the privilege) has removed all outlets for your energy.

Whether you’re a student who’s had to put future studies on hold, or someone with an office job which has been scaled down thoroughly—upskilling is for everyone!

And this is the ULTIMATE resource guide to upskilling—at home!


  1. What is upskilling?
  2. How to apply for jobs: Resume, portfolio and remote interviews
  3. How to upskill as a freelancer
  4. How to upskill as a full-timer
  5. How to upskill as an entrepreneur
  6. Post-pandemic financial planning for women
  7. How to pass time in quarantine
  8. There’s upskilling, and then there’s downtime

I am Priyanka Sutaria, and I am a content creator with Kool Kanya. As a student of lifelong learning, I have dedicated a major part of my adult life creating opportunities to learn new things. I’m an amateur explorer in this field, but if you’ve read (and enjoyed!) my previous article where I make a case for lifelong learning, then you’ll love this comprehensive guide on all-round upskilling!

Part 1: What is upskilling?

Put simply, upskilling is the gathering of new skills.

Who can upskill?

Honestly, anyone! It doesn’t matter what your age is, or your career. All that matters is what you are interested in, and whether you have the time and energy to pick up new skills and learnings.

What are the benefits of upskilling?

Some benefits of upskilling include:

Polishing present skills to improve the self: A content writer could learn search engine optimisation, a photographer could pick up new editing tricks.

Picking up brand new skills adjacent to your current skill set: An HR professional could get trained to create more diverse and inclusive workspaces.

Creating a breeding ground for new opportunities: Someone who is about to enter the workforce could add real-world skills to their portfolio before applying for jobs.

Why should you cultivate a lifelong relationship with upskilling?

I’ve always believed that lifelong learning is a gift that keeps on giving.

And what better to give yourself during this lockdown period than something that requires no stepping out, and also fills in your empty calendar.

Shush the voice in your head that tells you that learning is a chore, and watch your life get enriched by new ideas and information!

Here is where you can pick up all the little tricks to make learning a part of your everyday life: Upskill yourself: The case for lifelong learning

Part 2: How to upskill on the job

Hard truth: We know many people would prefer to upskill in areas that are directly related to their field of work.

And why not? It’s a great combination of utility and learning!

Kool Kanya has an amazing bunch of resources on how to upskill on the job, and we’ve made it all simple by compiling them for you.

How to apply for jobs: Resume, portfolio and remote interviews

First things first… a lot of people are concerned about entering the job market this year; as freshers, as well as those who are either looking for a job change or have been laid off in this trying period.

A good resume is the one thing that can help you stand out while applying. A well-designed portfolio is another.

So if you’re looking to create (or refresh) your resume CV, here’s how to go about that: Five simple and useful tips to make your resume pop! (Bonus: there’s a downloadable template in here!)

Another resume concern is filling in gaps in your resume, especially if you have to restart after motherhood: How can you fill the employment gap on your resume?

As for portfolios? Well, it’s 2020 and we are no longer sending in a cluster of links, or a disorganised cloud folder! Get your portfolio act together with this comprehensive guide on building and maintaining your portfolio: How to create an online portfolio that will get you a job in 2020

Lastly, an application is followed by an interview. Here’s how to nail your remote interview so that you can score that job you’ve been eyeing!

How to upskill as a freelancer

One of the ways to stay on top of the freelance game is to upskill.

Times are uncertain, and a lot of freelancers are feeling a little lost. First, here’s a little something (straight from the horses’ mouths!) to help you feel better about the current state of freelance under lockdown: Women freelancers speak: How to survive and thrive during the lockdown

Now, onto the juicy stuff!

Freelancing means networking, and networking means putting yourself out there. As we social distance, in-person networking is out of the question.

BUT you can export networking to social media! Here is how:

  1. Learn how to build your brand, online.
  2. Use that brand to market yourself on Instagram (i.e., the new marketplace of ideas)!

If you are thinking about starting out freelancing in 2020—you’re brave! And we’ve got your back!

First, read up on how to become a freelancer in India. Then, click on the corresponding link to find out how to become a freelancer in the field of your choice:

  1. Content writer
  2. Photographer
  3. Makeup artist
  4. Graphic designer

As for freelance content writers, we have a little something extra:

  1. Writer’s block? Click here for some quick tips on how to come up with new ideas!
  2. Learn how to do keyword research to ensure your work gets published.
  3. And here’s how to get ranked on Google for the topics you’re writing about.

Last but not the least… looking for free courses to upskill as a freelancer? Here are the Top 10 free courses to sign up for as a freelancer.

How to upskill as a full-timer

Full-timers know well and good that time is of essence when it comes to expanding one’s skill set. So we’ll keep it short for everyone who has less time and needs the best information!

First up, dream jobs. They don’t come to the laidback. Put your best foot forward by upskilling on the job: How upskilling cross-functionally can land you your dream job

Secondly, here are some of our best work-from-home resources. Find out:

  1. What’s your work-from-home leadership style
  2. Why we need to broaden our definitions of work
  3. What your working style should be according to Ayurveda

Finally, you definitely need to join our quarantine club. Here are some online courses you can take as you sit at home wondering when this lockdown will end! These courses range from learning new languages to design thinking to investment training.

There’s definitely something here for everyone!

How to upskill as an entrepreneur

Don’t we all dream of being the boss? Well, entrepreneurship is exactly that.

If you’re someone who is about to start a business, or thinking about it… we applaud your courage, and we give you the lowdown on how to start out!

First up, you need inspiration! Especially because of how uncertain stuff looks right now.

Get encouragement and insight from women who have taken the plunge, quit their corporate jobs, and started our solo. Click here for Kuheli De’s journey and here for Disha Aggarwal’s!

You could also find empowerment by reading Srestha Chatterjee’s story of starting a business while in college!

Next, you need to know the basics to build a small business. Click here for:

  1. 12 ways of getting your business funded
  2. Learning how to apply for a loan
  3. Schemes which support women entrepreneurs.

You’ll also need to legitimise your business:

  1. Learn how to register your business
  2. Learn how to market your business

Kool Kanya also has some special sauce for the top small business industry for women in India: Running a home baking business

And lastly, let’s not forget content creators, who are basically running small teams to produce unique and exciting content for their platforms: Here’s how you can stay on top of your game while social distancing

Bonus for Kool Kanyas: we’re hosting a 2-day (paid, but completely worth the investment) digital marketing webinar to help you market your small business! Follow us on social media to stay updated!

Part 3: Post-pandemic financial planning for women

With the economy about to take a big hit post the pandemic, and yet another recession in the works; there is no better time to brush up on your financial know-how.

Here’s how you can create financial goals for yourself as a 21st century working woman.

Kool Kanya has a comprehensive beginner’s guide on saving and investments:

  1. Everything you need to know before you start investing in your 20s
  2. How you can budget on a tight salary

If you don’t have the time to sit through videos, grab a quick read on:

  1. Whether to invest in gold vs stocks
  2. How to invest in mutual funds

Finally, we’ve all heard stories of salary cuts and cancelled appraisals. Here’s a guide on when it is okay to take a salary cut (and when it is not).

Part 4: How to pass time in quarantine

Look, we know that organised upskilling might not be your thing. We get it… it’s hard, and the effort might not pay off in the way you hope it might.

So here’s a way to take this up in a more relaxed way:

  1. Here’s a list of books that will help you feel less adrift
  2. Our readers’ recommendations on the most inspiring books you could possible read
  3. A whole gallery of books women should consider reading before they turn 30

Another great way to upskill is to keep up with the news, and we’ve just launched our own little bulletin called #KoolKanyaNews! Catch up on the latest on the front page that’s for women, by women.

Conclusion: There’s upskilling, and then there’s downtime

There is no time like now to start learning and growing, and upskilling is one of the most direct ways to do that.


BIG DISCLAIMER: You do not need to fill every empty waking moment of your quarantine.

While it might be good to keep yourself occupied, sequestering some time aside to do just nothing and watch a fun TV show, or indulge in some self-care, is not frivolous.

As important as it is to chase your goals and keep momentum during self-isolation; it is just as important to take time off to unwind and relax.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘perform’ while we remain under lockdown. Your mental and physical wellbeing is just as important. You can always come back to this guide whenever you decide that you want to give upskilling a go!

Quarantine Club is Kool Kanya’s movement to create a sense of community online during these difficult times. By sharing the things we love with you, and vice versa, we hope to keep the light at the end of the tunnel aglow. Join us—share your quarantine recommendations!