Learn a New Skill and Then Master it
What if, as you finish up university, you are told that the knowledge you gained won’t even come close to helping you get a career-track job? That’s an intimidating thought that might set you back ten steps. Now, what if we told you that this holds true for the majority of Indian students graduating from the country’s colleges and universities?
According to Fuelling India’s Skill Revolution, a report by Accenture, over 3 million graduates and post-graduates enter the Indian workforce annually. While this is a healthy number, the ground reality is that Indian youth lack the necessary skills to kick-start, maintain or grow in their careers, Leading to chronic un- or under-employability. The skill gap also poses a major GDP growth risk of US$1.97 trillion over the next decade.
If all this economic uncertainty can be caused by the setback of a skill gap, we need to find new ways to work on the current skills and build new ones. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew not only how to learn a new skill but also continue to benefit from it through regular fine-tuning? Read on for tips on how to master skills, boost your productivity and up your employability quotient.
Begin with – Learning
Learning never ends. In every field, from photography to data science to culinary arts, innovation comes with mastery. This is because innovators are passionate about their workand never stop up-skilling. For every chef who figures a new approach while trying out an age-old recipe, there’s an artist somewhere whose video on painting the streets in 3D just went viral. Their secret sauce is that they experiment all the time, which leads to new ideas and unique techniques.
The first step towards being known as an innovator in your field is finding a resource that helps you stay relevant at work. You could enrol in courses taught in classrooms or if you are struggling to manage work and other responsibilities, then online courses would be your best bet. While there are many free or low cost online courses, price will not be your only criteria when choosing. Our personalized recommendations include an array of filters to help you select a learning option that best suits all your requirements. You can select a course based on the skills you wish to learn, budget, certification availability or university affiliation.
Don’t just learn – Implement!
What’s the point in learning something new and not applying it? Applying your newly-found skills at work can help break the monotony of ‘the way it’s always been done’ and also help you transition into a valuable asset. Bring new ideas to the workplace and you’ll be recognized as a champion of change. Also, you’ll get into the habit adapting for the benefit of progress – both the company’s and yours.
The best way to master your skills is by doing what the artist or chef does every day to become amazing: Apply your learnings to your work.
Even though you’re racing with time to manage the new skill, keep working towards sharpening the old ones too. This is because practicing something you already know might just teach you something new. Take Alex Korchinski, for example, who discusses the lessons that he learned from math that had nothing to do with math. The sub-skills he developed helped him become life-ready. This does not mean that practicing deviates from your learning objectives. You also learn to perfect the skills you actually meant to learn.
Keep Practicing – Mentally
While hands-on experience benefits everyone, another tool to nurture each skill is mental rehearsal. For instance, a dancer will benefit from daily practice in the studio but mentally rehearsing each step would help him tweak each movement to perfection.
While mental rehearsals cannot replace the actual experience of performing a task, it can complement other methods of implementing a skill. The best way to adopt mental rehearsing is by setting a fixed time each day to simply review what you’ve learned. Sometimes, going over it right before you begin your task can help too.
Get Together - Online
Form a group of peers who share the same career interest or who are passionate about the same topics as you. Each person’s perspective can offer fresh insights as you bounce innovative ideas off one another.
While learning to master skills take time, it is essential to sustain enthusiasm and that’s where peer groups can help. Sharing new findings and new study material keeps the learning both engaging and relevant. Inspiration for new ideas is drawn from conversations you have with like-minded people.
Be the Master – to Master it
You’ve learned a new teaching technique, now preach it! Teach a friend or colleague who practices in the same field as you. This way, they may come to you with queries or question your learnings.
This is an important step in mastering a skill. You’ll know how much you’ve grasped as you answer their doubts. This will also help you better retain what you’ve learned. Hence, you master a new skill or technique and you also practice the noble art of teaching and sharing your knowledge.
While learning a new skill is not easy, regular practice and appetite to excel combine to keep you from experiencing redundancy. So, find the patience, focus and desire to eliminate your skill gap and become an indispensable expert in your field.