I’ve heard many people give not having a laptop as an excuse for the inability to learn a skill or start a business. Other ridiculous excuses I’ve heard, include not having internet data and power. Although, these same people find time to go on Instagram and also watch Tiktok videos.
I decided to share this guide to help those serious about learning and mastering a skill. There are two things you must understand, to compete in today’s digital age, you have to be part of the digital economy and to participate in the digital economy you must-have digital skills. These skills will position you for the future of work and enable you to contribute to the fourth industrial revolution.
So the first step is to research the right skills that will be a good fit for you and make up your mind to start actively learning. So let’s say you decide to learn product design or product management. Using your smartphone, the first step will be to set a goal for yourself. How long do you want to take in understanding and practising the skill?. Typically, with consistent effort, you should be able to master any skill in six months.
The next step is crucial in this process because learning requires a structure. So, plan what type of resources works best for you. Personally, I like to watch videos, then read up on them before I practice. Some people prefer to listen to audiobooks while others like to read-only. As long as you know what is best for you, you then find a platform to learn from. There are tonnes of websites, blogs, forums and YouTube channels that offer structured information and knowledge on various topics for free.
Go online and search through various platforms and pick your top three, then design a calendar for yourself. How many hours in a day or a week do you want to dedicate to learning and improving your skill. I like to use at least an hour every day to learn something new on a given skill. There is no one particular model, choose what best works for you but ensure you keep up and make yourself accountable.
While taking your online course or following guides or videos on the selected skills. It’s also key that you document or write, the same way you jot key concepts or information during a class. A dedicated notebook for such a purpose is ideal and will serve as a knowledge bank for when you want to look back or go through what you’ve been learning.
Some courses might give you tests or assess your level of understanding from time to time and others might not but regardless, always try to do exercises on your own and always practice. You can go to other websites or platforms that have practice or real exercises you could solve. The earlier you can apply skill and see results, the more confident you become.
When you have grasped the basic concepts of your skill and have taken sample tests and exercises, it’s time to get real-world support from a community. Every profession has multiple communities of people in that field who support each other through knowledge sharing, mentoring, job opportunities and career development. If you search on Google, you’ll find many of these communities. Some are free while others are paid, but if you’re determined you’ll always find a place to start.
For my last key takeaway, if after going through an arduous 6 months or a year skills development process and you feel you’re ready for the real-world experience and opportunities. Try to actively apply for roles and openings, you might want to start by doing an internship whether free or paid. It’s one of the best career hacks I’ll always recommend. Also, don’t be afraid to apply to a hundred vacancies if need be, you’ll get a lot of rejection but there is always that one opportunity that can change your life. Also, learn to network by joining virtual or in-person meetups, events, seminars or webinars.
So to those who don’t think all this is possible with just a smartphone, it’s a shame because I’ve met many people whose whole career started by investing their time and growing themselves starting with their smartphones. The world is filled with challenges, but it’s also filled with opportunities. How you look at these two defines whom you become.