After being in our careers for a while, we can feel stalled. We have skills, and we deliver well. Why do we need to continue to develop? We don't have Sith lords and Jedis around, but because we are living in a constantly-changing, rapidly-evolving digital age, it's essential to keep learning new things all the same. The more adaptable and flexible we are in learning new things, the more likely we will be creatively resourceful and even steadfastly adamant in dealing with it when life throws a challenge our way.
Whether you're just starting your career or counting the days before retirement, learning is always a valuable asset. If you are always learning, you are preparing for the success you are aiming for. So, how to set yourself up for success?
Have a goal
You have to want to learn. What motivates you to develop a continuous learning habit? It could be a passion for self-improvement or natural curiosity. You may not want to learn for the sake of learning but to learn to do things.
Sometimes the motivation needs to be boosted by any number of down-to-earth reasons:
- To seek inspiration, you're trying to solve a problem, and you need something, you don't know what exactly, to inspire you
- To change your current situation, you're unhappy with the status quo, and you want to find a way to change it
- To self-improve, you have an inbuilt desire to do better
- To drive your career forward, and win
- To feel valued and contributing
- To stop feeling embarrassed of skills gaps
- Fear of missing out on something important
If the primary motivation to learn something new isn't there, no amount of other tricks will work. If the above reasons do not convince you, try this: you're placing a bet on your future career.
Plan the steps ahead
Without a plan, you may find that you focus so much on the daily tasks that you struggle to progress towards your long-term goals. Consider taking some time to write down the steps you will need to take to achieve your goal and identify the steps you can take each day to reach your goal.
Find a learning style that works for you
Learning can take many forms, and not everyone learns the same way.
- Visual This learning style associates information with images. Visual learners learn best when reading and viewing demonstrations, graphs, flowcharts, and brain maps.
- Auditory Hearing learners are the people who learn best when information is enhanced by sound. They enjoy lectures and seminars, listen to music while studying, and write songs about memorable details.
- Kinaesthetic This tactile learning style makes it easier for people to remember information when performing activities. Laboratory experiments or role-playing games.
Empower yourself with various sources and tools
While enrolling In a school Is an excellent way to learn, everyday life carries many opportunities to learn.
Learn from a mentor
Find a role model that you'd like to learn from. If you can, meet with them and ask them questions, such as what helped them succeed and if they have any suggestions for someone hoping to follow a similar career path. The purpose Is to understand why they do what they do and If that could be beneficial to apply It to yourself.
Meetings and workshops help you learn new skills and information and give you the opportunity to meet new people to build your network. Depending on the industry, you may see new technologies that can benefit your business or hurt your potential customers.
Improve your soft skills
Many companies are interested in candidates with excellent communication skills and the ability to work well with various people. You can find books or online lectures on communication, leadership skills, management, or time management.
Use tutorials and tech-enabled tips as you work.
Many software now have a dedicated tutorials section. When you don't know how to do something, please don't abandon it and look for the answer. Being an expert at handling specific software Is a considerable asset for many companies.
Put the skill Into motion
Volunteer for new projects featuring any topics you've just learned, or take on extra responsibilities. You can join company-wide Initiatives meant to solve Issues you're not used to working on.
Give It time
Instead of cramming, go back to new learning for regular practice. So, for example, if you're trying to dive into a new topic, set up daily notifications about new content or remember the most crucial information at a particular time. Get in the habit of pausing to absorb before moving forward so this new knowledge can become long-term memory. Of course, the most effective Is to apply this new knowledge.
What can prevent continuous learning is the limited belief that we are not intended to be good at something. Others are, of course, more talented in this area, so you should leave it to them. On the other hand, you may believe that everyone, including you, can continually improve through learning and practice.
Always be curious. Don't be afraid to explore different topics. Be Inquisitive, and if you are sincere, there will be people who will help and support you on your journey. Experiment, try out new things. Maintain the momentum. Keep learning and keep reflecting.
Email + Marketing Operations Specialist
Technical native with ninja-like project management skills. She drives technology like she built it and specialises in smoothing out the digital experience. Disorganisation is her nemesis. A beer aficionado, she can be found brewing (and sampling) craft beers.