ad collaborative post // What constitutes a “valuable” skill will be different for every person. For some, the term will be specifically reserved for those skills that allow them to earn more money. For others, the value will be more socially driven. Then, of course, there are those who seek skills that offer intrinsic value – the pure act of developing skill is where the value lies.
No matter which of these paths resonates with you the most, the following tips will help you find the value you’re seeking.
1. Utilize the Knowledge of Others
Whether you’re planning to learn Japanese, fire spinning, hip hop dancing, or programming, you can always find online tutoring capable of supporting you in your journey. These tutors have been students themselves, so they understand not just the skill itself but what it feels like to try to acquire it.
This means they’ll be able to help you through all the confusing aspects that would otherwise set you back. A tutor is an invaluable resource, and those who engage one are far less likely to give up on their new skill and far more likely to progress at a rapid rate.
2. Choose Something You’re Genuinely Hungry to Learn
That programming course may seem like a logical choice for career progression. However, if you hate sitting at computers for long periods of time and don’t like detail-oriented work, you’re probably going to get incredibly frustrated.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should never try to push yourself out of your comfort zone. What it does mean is that you should turn your attention to skills that you have enough passion for that you’ll be able to push through the tough times.
3. Immerse Yourself in a New Field by Joining Groups/Clubs
For most people, learning is far more enriching and enjoyable if you’re going through the process with other students. Joining groups and clubs will give you this camaraderie while also introducing you to experts in the field. In this way, you get to share knowledge and support while learning from the mistakes and successes of others. You’ll also get to share in a pool of motivation rather than trying to chug along on your own supply.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
To hone a new skill and set it into your long-term memory, you must practice with regularity. Doing so will ensure that each study or practice session builds on the last, ensuring you’re always moving forward. Practicing sporadically is almost as bad as not practicing at all because you’ll find that you’ve forgotten so much that you need to go back to basics each time.
So, set aside some time each week to hone your new skill. For language learning, this could be just 15 minutes a day. For martial arts or dance, it could be two to three one-hour sessions a week. For work-based skills, it could be a weekly session with your mentor and two study sessions.
Of course, all this practice won’t be helpful if your technique is off, which brings us to our next crucial point.
5. Your Practice Must Be Perfect!
If you practice a new skill using poor form, you will be locking in that improper technique. This will create more work for you down the track as you won’t just need to lock in the right technique, you’ll also have to unlearn the mistakes you’ve developed. So, before you launch into a regular practice routine, it’s crucial to be absolutely certain that you’re doing things the correct way.
Follow the tips above, and enjoy the process of developing your new skill.