Technology is changing faster than ever before leaving some career switchers, long timers and even the noobs (understandably) overwhelmed. Here’s the thing though - because of that fast moving technology it’s also easier than ever to learn new tech, refresh old skills and also to let people know that you are now a pro on that software that everyone is clamoring to use.
While you may be sitting there worrying “But, technology moving faster than me, how do I even begin to stay up to date? AGGHHHHH” take heart. You can do this. It only takes 4, yes four, baby steps.
Learn what you need to learn
Deal with overwhelm
Find your best way to learn
Take it one course at a time
Step 1. Learn what you need to learn
In the case that you have no specific end goal and have all the time in the world to learn just for the fun of it ... know that I am supes jealous of you BTW. Otherwise, you need a plan. If you are looking to advance in your current role, change careers or just want to make sure you’re not falling behind, you need to find out what tech is the newest and most widely used. Luckily there are a few ways. You can check out job descriptions on job hiring sites, you can look at the skills of colleagues with a little LinkedIn creeping or you can ask your manager/HR if there is a software they feel would be beneficial for you to learn and grow. Many companies even have Learning & Development programs in place to help you learn new technologies.
If you are looking at job descriptions, see where the gaps are. Does that chick with your dream job have basically the same credentials and years of experience as you but is a badass at ObscureSoftware3.2? Learn it. Does that new role you're eyeing require a whole new suite of software? That's your goal.
Step 2. Deal with overwhelm
Did you learn that there are eleventeen different programs for you to figure out and you don’t have any idea where to begin? Or has the idea of learning new tech has made you completely rethink your career choice? Did you get super excited about learning ALL. THE. THINGS. and want to do them ALL now?!?! Are you looking at your already booked calendar and wondering… “How the???”
It’s ok. Honestly. Take a step back and remember why you wanted to learn some new technology in the first place. Just focus on your why.
Step 3. Find your best way to learn
Everybody learns in different ways. Some people need the accountability of a classroom while others want to sit on the couch in their underwear and do it online. Some people want an structured online course (again, no pants) but others want to DIY it on their own through free resources. However you learn best - do all you can to find a course offered that way. Check out your local community college for actual classrooms or resources like Lynda.com, Skillcrush and Treehouse if you want to sneak some learning in on your lunch break.
4. Take it one course at a time
Did you do your research and find out that you need to learn FIVE freakin’ new programs? AGGGHHHHH. Breathe. You can’t learn them all at once and nobody expects you to. Just start with one. Are you the type who likes to start with the little things you can accomplish first and then move on to the big chunks? Great - start with the smallest, easiest thing to learn first. Do you hate keeping the trickiest problems waiting? Fabulous - start with the one that feels most challenging to you. However you choose to attack your learning, just remember that you only need to just start.
Alright, so now that you know why you want to learn, what you need to learn and how you're going to learn you just need to do it. Like nowish. Go on... get out of here.
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