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Some people are willing to learn a new skill. Not necessarily because they want to solve any problem but because they think such skills are in high demand. So, they want to learn it and perhaps break through financially using such skills. Yes, nothing is wrong with going for skills that are in high demand but everything is wrong if you just jump into such skills without proper assessment. There are basic things you must know before learning a new skill.
A study of 17 Harvard and MIT online courses on diverse topics, offered on the edX platform between fall 2012 and summer 2013 reveals that course completion rates remain abysmally low (only 43,196 of the 841,687 registrants).
Some reasons for losing interest are probably because the skill is complex, the process wasn’t what they expected or because they suddenly realized that they are not cut out for such skills. Well, as great as those reasons may be, it all boils down to one thing; they had no passion for it in the first place. As much as passion is not enough, it keeps you at something.
Here are some things you must know of before learning a skill.
1. There is no guarantee that you’ll be as successful as the other person.
Many people jumped into learning a skill because they saw someone who was successful at it and became famous and they decide to try their hands on it. While it’s okay to be inspired and motivated by other people’s success, you must know that there are no guarantees that you’ll become successful like them or that you’ll be exposed to the same opportunities they got exposed to as a result of their skills.
2. You must have a vision, mission and goals before jumping into the training.
Some people learn skills that will improve what they are already doing, they are learning new skills to complement their career and in most cases, they learn skills related to what they are doing but others start learning a new skill because they got inspired to, for such people they don’t just need to start learning a skill, they need to clearly define the problems they want to solve with such skills, they should outline their vision, mission and goals. This will be a guide and also be a motivation to complete the learning process.
3. Nothing comes easy.
Do not think that because you want to learn a new skill, it will come without a price. Even if you are getting the skills for free, it will require commitment, diligence and time. If you aren’t willing to make it a priority, then it will be a waste of time.
4. Practice still makes perfect.
I know a lot from people who had undergone certain training both in our free and paid classes, I also know a few who I have closely coached. The only ones successful in it are those who didn’t stop practising. There are things you won’t be taught, you can only grasp them in the place of practice. Without practice, you are only stuck with what you were taught for a while before you begin to lose touch with it.
5. There is no absolute learning, the world is progressing, so you must progress with it.
The skill you are learning or willing to learn isn’t enough. Shortly, things will change, methods will improve and you may need to upgrade yourself. For example, in digital marketing, the industry is changing every day as new marketing tools are released while the other ones are improved. If you learnt digital marketing a few years back but never practised, then you may not only need a refresher course, you’ll need to compare the current demands with what you know. You must keep learning.
6. It’s one step at a time.
Yes, you’ve learnt the art of blogging but it doesn’t mean you’ll become the next big thing in the blogging industry, it doesn’t mean you’ll become the next Linda Ikeji. Successful people didn’t just become successful by accident, there could be accidental opportunities but it takes one who is prepared to take advantage of such opportunity. You should know that it’s one step at a time, it may take some months of consistency or even years of work.
7. Skills are not enough.
It’s not enough to learn a skill, you should also understand the concepts of personal branding, business ethics and other things that are necessary for success. Jobs won’t suddenly come because you learnt a skill, you’ll have to brand and market yourself and market your skills, you have to learn how to get and retain customers or clients, you have to know what tools you need and get them.
There are more things you would need to know as you embark on your career journey. However, we hope that these “7 Things You Must Know Before Getting a New Skill” can add to the information that you seek.
Let me know what you think.
Onyedikachukwu George Nnadozie is the creative director of Funtrick Technology, an author and a public speaker. Aside from his creative job at Funtrick Technology, he takes time to write on his personal blog, George’s Diary. He also founded FunIQ Skills Academy, an online learning platform where he teach Digital Skills.