Are you looking for another career, a sideline job or extra retirement income? Many at home jobs are entry level positions but if you want to move beyond that, a bit of ingenuity may be in order.

Here are some strategies that can bring you the knowledge you seek and the income to go with it.

Skills, skills and more skills

Where you are today in your job or career doesn’t have to be where you end up. With outsourcing virtually and overseas by companies as well as constant improvements that result in downsizing, it is best to become as indispensable as possible. Knowledge is job security. This goes for working in an actual office or in your home.

So, how can you gain the knowledge you need to make you a better employee? Here are some suggestions.

Put in the time – Try to spend at least an hour a day investing in a new skill. An hour might seem like a lot of time for busy schedules but we spend at least that in traffic or waiting for kids to finish extracurricular activities. Put that time to its maximum use by choosing a skill you want to learn first and then constructing a plan for achieving that goal.

Take classes – Local community colleges offer a variety of specialized classes in a number of disciplines. Because you pay per class for most they are quite affordable. If you have opportunity, choose classes that lead to a certificate, diploma or degree.

Webinars – When time is of the essence, webinars are useful ways to gain knowledge. As long as you have a computer, tablet or laptop and an internet connection, these classes go where you go. Many are free or have a nominal fee.

On the job training – Many companies offer continuing education opportunities. To improve your skills, stay current with not only company requirements for education but also any extra CE credits they offer.

Go back to school – If you are already pursuing an at home work opportunity, the flexibility may allow you to attend school for an advanced degree in a subject that will open up more career doors. Some companies offer tuition reimbursement for classes related to your current job.

Join online forums – Forum groups related to your area of interest offer advice, opportunities and business connections. You could find a mentor who is willing to guide you in your pursuit of a career.

Internships – A company you’ve always wanted to work for might not have any job openings but you could entice them into taking you on as an intern. Unpaid the work may be but the experience you obtain will be priceless.

The more that you know, the further you can go in your chosen job field.