By Rebecca Rosen Lum
Perhaps more than other journalists, freelancers require and benefit from a wide and ever-expanding range of skills. A freelancer’s schedule might encompass producing materials for a nonprofit organization, launching a blog and reporting a deep-dive story with graphic and video components. One of the many benefits of membership in the Guild Freelancers, a unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, is access to training.
Whether you’d like to learn Final Cut Pro or Podcasting, InDesign or conversational Japanese, you are eligible to take these and many more courses through Lynda.com, an online company offering thousands of video courses in software, Web design, photography, business skills and many more subjects. Our parent union, the Communications Workers of America, pays for its members to upgrade their skills on Lynda.com.
Lynda.com is a bit complicated to navigate. But the wide variety of courses presented by experts more than makes up for the difficulty.
Access to Lynda.com happens in two-week cycles. Register first, and when your training dates come up, a CWA staff person will send you an email containing your access code. After you’ve completed your course, you can repeat this process as many times as you like, planning two weeks in advance. Lynda.com’s offerings are deep as well as broad. Under photography, for instance, you’ll find 574 courses and 26,308 video tutorials.
Interested? Follow these steps.
REGISTER WITH CWA’S TRAINING ACADEMY
1. Go to cwanett.org.
2. Click on the “resources” button on the right side of the blue navigation bar across the top.
3. Next to LYNDA.COM select “Click here to register.”
4. Select “Lynda.com 2 week session.”
5. To select the desired two-week session by date, click on “add to cart.”
6. You will then need to formally register yourself and/or your family. Click on “New Students.”
7. Members will need to create a “Student” or “Household” profile – NOTE – there are links to instructions on profile creation. Selecting and creating the profile happens AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.
8. Members will find a Form-Fillable page. You must enter all your info, INCLUDING UNION AFFILIATION and LOCAL #, and choose “Submit.” (We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, CWA Local 39521.)
9. CWA will send an automated registration confirmation to the email address provided, for the Training Session Dates chosen.
TO START TRAINING WITH LYNDA.COM
1. Before / at the start date of the reserved two-week training period, CWA staff will send your Group Access Code for Lynda.com.
2. You must then REGISTER DIRECTLY with Lynda.com using your own user name, the original email address with which you registered at CWANett, and this Group Access Code.
3. You will now be registered with Lynda.com and have access to ANYTHING on the site for the two weeks.
4. If you want to extend the period or register later for another two weeks, just LOG IN TO CWANETT and choose another available two-week block. Availability might not be immediate, so PLAN for your training time.
You must be a current Freelancers Guild/PMWG member to utilize Lynda.com free, so please be sure your dues payments are up to date.
Contact Kevin Celata in Washington at email@example.com.