We need so many different skills to survive in both our work and personal life. Making it so important to keep our brains fresh and active by trying new things and acquiring new skills from time to time.
Working in marketing I sometimes feel the pressure to keep my knowledge and skills up to date and my C.V. competitive. And I have done this by learning to teach myself valuable skills such as Excel, Photoshop and SEO (Yes, I am a marketer who is self-taught in SEO, as for Excel I wish I had paid attention in lectures).
I’ve also recently taught myself to cook, I used to absolutely hate cooking when I was a student and I lived off instant noodles and pasta and cheese (typical student!). Not healthy but easy to make dishes, but this has all changed now and I am the owner of countless healthy cookbooks and I am mega proud of my cooking skills and how far I’ve come with them.
So, I have decided to put this guide together for you with some actionable tips and encouragement, to help you teach yourself new skills.
Choose Relevant Skills
What I mean by this is, make sure it is a skill that you know you will need, for example, one that will make you better at your job or one that you can use at home such as cooking, knitting or sewing etc. That way you will be more motivated to follow it through, practice it and put into use.
Research and set a goal
Research what is required, if it is something like learning a new language you will need books, activity books etc. Set yourself a goal, define what is you want to be able to do and when you would like to be able to do it.
Set yourself a time to do it
We all have busy lives, but if you really want to learn something commit to it and set aside time each week. This can be 2 hours a week, one hour a week etc just slot it into the diary and dedicate this time to your learning.
How much time you want to spend is up to you and how tricky the task your learning is. For example, when I was learning to cook I did this daily and when I was teaching myself to be better at Excel, I already had the basics so I set aside 2 hours every Friday to watch tutorials and practise my excel skills.
Read as much as possible, no doubt whatever it is you want to learn there’s a book written about it somewhere.
My second favourite search engine. This was a tip I got from a friend in college, she said: “anytime I don’t know how to do something, I watch Youtube tutorials and follow the instructions”. This has been a lifesaver when it comes to photoshop and other work related tasks. Give it a try.
Put what your learning into practice regularly, or you will get disheartened or forget what you are
reading. Seriously, practice makes perfect. The more you do a task the more familiar and comfortable you will get undertaking it.
I just love this website, it has talks, conferences, meetups and shows for just about anything in most countries and cities. So, if you are seriously dedicated to what you are learning maybe there’s a cheap, how to tutorial in your area where you can go, learn more about the skill you are trying to teach yourself and meet new like minded people. (I call that win-win).
Does a friend of yours already know how to do this, for example you know how to code, but she knows all about photoshop. Then maybe you can team up and swap skills or you can team up and learn the skill together. Like everything in life, it can be more fun when you have company
And finally, persevere. Don’t get frustrated and fall at the first hurdle, keep going and you will get there.
About Your Guest Blogger: Teresa Walsh is a Marketing Executive at Cazana.com. Cazana is a UK startup that is making buying and selling used cars more enjoyable and safer. Teresa has 3 years marketing experience, specialising in SEO and Social Media marketing. She is a Yoga lover who enjoys regular cups of tea.
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