As the New Year approaches, expect your inbox, TV screens and letterboxes to be invaded by an absolute avalanche of aspirational advertising material for services and products promising to help you make 2020 your best year ever.

But before you spend a small fortune on tickets to see a so-called guru who’ll whip you up into a frenzy before selling you a slim volume of snake oil self-improvement tips for the equivalent of a month’s salary, or wasting your hard-earned cash on speed networking sessions that are such a whirlwind of manic activity that you leave barely remembering your own name, much less your new contacts’, please pause for a minute to take a proverbial chill pill!

There are several awesome, authentic ways to enhance your life and career prospects without compromising your self-respect and sending your credit card into meltdown. And what’s more, you can engage in most of these activities from the comfort of your own home.

With that in mind, here are four convenient ways to further your career in 2020.

  1. Join a MOOC

MOOC means Massive Open Online Course and these free and fascinating online resources have been offered by a wide variety or established and new educational bodies and corporate entities for several years now.

The quality varies and they typically have no formal academic value, but if you do your research you’ll probably find one of these freebie offerings that provides bona fide knowledge on a topic of professional interest – browse Class Central’s MOOC comparison ratings to see what floats your vocational boat.

  1. Enroll with The School Of Life

The School of Life is an emotional intelligence organisation which helps individuals live more fulfilling lives and choose careers wisely by considering philosophical, psychological and creative concepts from history’s greatest minds.

It has physical campuses across the world, but you can benefit from its sage approach to everything from finding a career which has meaning to balancing work with love by tuning into the accessible videos on its YouTube channel. Find out more at theschooloflife.com.

  1. Get To Grips With Storytelling

‘Storytelling’ has been a thought leadership buzzword for several years now, but most of what you’ll read online will never explain the tricky technical elements of telling a story that’s genuinely engaging.

However, take a John Yorke Story course and this renowned screenwriter will train you to use the classic five act story structure which audiences around the world find gripping and addictive – check out his website for online courses on storytelling for business, videogames, script development, business and more.

  1. Take a Distance Learning Degree

A higher education degree can still be one of the most reliable ways to climb the career ladder in your current company or sector or migrate to a totally different field.

And when you enroll with the likes of ARU Distance Learning, you’ll have the kudos of a British degree and the convenience of being to study remotely in your own time, thus earning while you learn and taking care of your family and financial responsibilities.

Any one of these four convenient career-boosting plans could genuinely make 2020 the year you achieve your career ambitions – in a steady and sensible manner without a get-rich quick con artist in sight!

So ends our list, but please share your own career development tips in the comments section.