Owner Career SkyRocket LLC| Certified Professional Resume Writer| Career Coach
“Formal education will make you a living; Self-education will make you a fortune” Jim Rohn
Degrees, certifications, and trainings are all very important for professional development. However, through my experience, I have come to the conclusion that many people underestimate the power of self-learning. I was talking to a client just last week and he kept saying “I don’t have a degree, but I spend countless hours learning on my own” . To be great at anything, you have to be dedicated as a life-long learner. Self-Paced Learning is a very important part of the process. Here are 4 ways in which self-learning can be just as effective as the more traditional options of degrees and certifications.
Old fashioned reading has not lost its place in our society. The amount of information available to us now is a great benefit, if you use it. Don’t go a day without reading something. If you desire to get better at a particular craft, one of the easiest and cost efficient ways is to search for reputable blogs from industry leaders, and read them. Search the internet for related websites that feature the kind of information you’re looking for. If you don’t want to travel to the library, you can buy books on your phone or tablet in an instant.
2. Online Courses
Another good way to hone your skills is through the use of online courses. There are some really good choices out there and often times you can find courses for FREE! Udemy, Coursera, and Lynda.com are the ones I have used in the past. You will easily find a course that meets your needs on one (if not all) of these sites. I appreciate the opportunity to take courses that may not be directly related to my field of study. For example, since I write on a regular basis with my blog, I’ve taken a look at some of the grammar courses. I want to better position myself to use words accurately, since I will continue to write in the future. Most online courses offer a very active blog, podcasts, and Webinars that provide value to their audience. You can read the reviews of former students before signing up to any of the courses to make a more informed decision. These courses are taught by industry experts and offer access to the instructor, as well as the ability to go back to completed sections. If you are an expert in a certain area, you can even offer courses on these sites.
Working with people in your field can be of great benefit when it comes to getting better at your craft. We can always learn from someone else. One of the worst mistakes a person can make is believing that they know it all. There is always room for improvement, and growth can be enhanced when you work with others. Be sure to connect with industry professionals and build relationships. Join professional organizations and collaborate with members. I can definitely say I have learned a lot from the members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Professional organizations provide invaluable guidance and are on top of the latest changes in the field.
4. Practical Experience
Getting better at anything requires a decision to spend a lot of time engaging in activities that improve your skills. People who have become known for being great at their craft has also been known for spending an exuberant amount of time learning. Most often, you don’t hear about these people spending all their time enrolled in college courses or obtaining certifications. These people spend most of their time self-learning. I am not downplaying the importance of college degrees and certifications, they certainly can benefit your career. However, I believe that people don’t understand the importance or the impact that self-learning has on a person’s career. I plan to pursue a few certifications in the near future. However, I will always engage in self-learning activities as well. I am a life-long leaner.
There is nothing that helps you get better and learn more than practical experience. I learn something new every time I receive a new client. That’s because each person brings their own set of experiences and background. We all want perfect clients who pose no challenge, but working with individuals that others would consider challenging, can benefit you professionally as well. These experiences have made me better at my craft. All the reading, collaboration, degrees, or certifications won’t do any good if you don’t put them into action .