Life long learning; How do you do it?

The Internet – There is a wealth of online resources out there to help you learn. Listen to podcasts,download eBooks, take online course or join forums to discuss and get help from others.

Ask at work–Good employers will support you as you up-skill. Employees with professional training and certifications can enhance the company’s offer to its customers. Internal training, subsidising external training, time off to you can pursue your own learning are all ways your current employer can help.

Set a path – Set clear goals for your learning both in the long term and short. Join a course that will give you the basics of say Python, then a data science course with the longer term goal of using it as part of your work, say to analyse some data. A clear path with a particular application in mind will make your advancing skills more visible to both you and others. Take your learning seriously and keep it relevant, and you’re far more likely to stay on track.

Set expectations – It is you who will benefit from new knowledge and skills, but still it requires focus in the mists of all the other demand in your life. Set clear achievable objectives along the way, perhaps focus on learning something that you can use everyday. Don’t keep it a secret if you tell others,like your employer, what you are doing they can be more supportive. Set expectations and reward yourself.

Do it – In today’s connected world there are many opportunities for becoming aware of, and participating in, new activities. Online forums, you tube, eBooks, audio books, paper book, lectures and on-line courses are in abundance and very often free or very economical. Watch a youtube video at lunch, listen to an audio book on the way to work. Then when a subject resonates and you want to learn more, join a course, join a group, join a makerspace and try it out. Chances are there will be some, most, of the people there who are just like you, looking to learn more. You can learn from them and they will learn from you.

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