Learning new skills is not hard, if…
One of the big ifs is: “what drives (or pulls) you?” Is it the work itself? or the reward of a new job? Learning today’s basic professional skills is a sure way to get a new job. Learning new skills is also a first step in starting a new career track. Technical workers who want to shift to management traditionally studied business skills. MBA at night is a traditional technologist’s to business bridge. Getting into a technology, sales / marketing, creative (writing, graphics, video or photography) by learning new skills and practicing can be less academic, more practical. For the most part a certificate or a diploma is not as useful as in the past. In the creative world most skills come from simply doing the work. Many artists work on their own and develop skills and a personal style. This is what sells others on their ability. In the last twenty years, on the technical side this is also a new path to a new career. Hackers once thought of a hobbyists or tinkerers who simply “hacked at it until it worked” are essentially tinkerers turned professionals. So if learning something on your own or in an academic program seems hard, see if you need more passion and interest to push you. Interest in something new to you simply comes from getting into the scene, learning from others or simply reading and experimenting. Developing interest is a great first step in learning.
What makes learning so hard? Why are we so frustrated after a few hours of trying to draw, write, play music, program? BLOG! Promote a business or a great idea we have? Write a start-up business plan for investors? (see an interesting book: “The First 20 Hours” by Josh Kaufman) The drive to move forward or achieve is one key element. Most people once frustrated lose the drive that came before they started. So getting that first passionate drive back is a good way to continue. People can achieve amazing results when driven by passion. The other elements that come to mind:
- Means: structure or school, teacher or guide, apprenticeship or testing with certification.
- Results: through accomplishment and feedback from others, especially people in the field.
- Tangible demonstrable activity: blog posts, performances, first job or even promising interviews.
Most people think in terms of progressing from first opening a book or walking into a class to an interview and then an actual job. This is a logical path. But jumping in the way “hackers” have been doing is also a great way to go. Hackers don’t know the theory or the basic skills but they get results quickly. Essentially they can demonstrate their skills with real work. The “Just Do It” (like the Nike slogan) method is great for many people who for some reason don’t do well with classroom or book learning.
More on motivation ideas and how to get going and keep at it next >>>