LEARN WITH AN IMPACT
Today, learning never stops. Professionals in the knowledge society need to learn every day to stay up-to-date. Follow Martin’s educational journey.
I used to learn through blogs, books, webinars, reports, newsletters, presentations & events – always keeping an ear open for interesting topics. But sometimes daily educational “snacks” are not enough. Looking ahead, I saw the impact of data and analytics in almost all areas. Even in marketing and consulting, where I come from, a deeper understanding is needed when these two very different worlds mingle. That’s why I started a 14-month education sabbatical to deepen my knowledge of marketing analytics, data science and data driven organizations. Beyond gaining know how and experience I also re-learned how to learn. Here are 6 steps to successful relearning when reinventing yourself in terms of knowledge and business impact.
6 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LEARNING JOURNEY
1 Look ahead & target
Education is an investment – in time, money, energy and other opportunities one might miss out on. But learning the right way can bring you invaluable returns. Do some mid-level research into trends to identify what are the topics that interest you, that connect to your existing skillset and that possibly have an impact on your work and private life. To learn effectively you need to shape your individual learning goal e.g. by reading up on a wide array of topics.
2 Don’t pivot, append!
Ideally you don’t change your game completely. Try to lay out a path that builds up on your existing skills and strengths. Connect your re-learning to an industry, core skillset, hobbies or compatible skills with your current job to ease transition and gain a cross functional mindset.
3 The right way to learn
There are hundreds of learning-formats. Finding the right format is not easy. Try and experiment. Online courses are great if you can motivate yourself. Look into your past – how did you learn best? Ask people with a similar learning profile for recommendations. Broaden your individual learning approach and try before you buy e.g. into a full year program.
4 Track and reflect
Motivation might run low from time to time. Setting a goal and tracking progress helps to get the drive you need. Mapping out a learning journey and having different types of learning formats from 10 min videos, light weight app content and books to full-fledged 60 min lectures – variety fills the gaps of motivation and keeps you going. Even better, you can share your learning success with others and ask them to hold you accountable for you progress in the future.
5 Learning with and from people
Identifying people in your community that know more about these topics is an essential part of learning. Reflecting together, putting your new know-how into context and mapping out the best next steps is indispensable. It takes some work to build connections – but the access to expertise and ideas you gain is essential to your personal growth.
6 Applied knowledge – Most important aspect!
Last but not least you need to apply your knowledge. School is over and theoretical knowledge sleeping in the back of your memory doesn’t really help. Get your new won know-how into practice. Flex your muscles: Find and create projects for friends, yourself, existing clients or possibly new ones to show how valuable your new skills are. A degree is nice, but cutting to the chase and applying your combined know-how shows what unique skillset you created through your re-learning journey.
Martin supports the Gedankenfabrik for more than 8 years. He is a truly global citizen and is spending time in China as well as Middle East and Europe.