Warren Buffet has a saying, “Knowledge builds up like compound interest”. I am a big believer in that. In today’s rapidly evolving world, we must constantly expand our knowledge is the best way for personal growth in the long run.
Many of us might be well aware of the benefits of learning. But it tends to remain a lofty goal that is left unaccomplished.
While many of us have a strong drive to learn, we often also get stuck at the start line:
“How do I actually go about learning new skills?”
Outside of traditional school, many of us might be unsure of how to start learning. We need to learn, how to learn.
In fact, the world today offers a golden opportunity for learning.
There are resources available for a low cost (or even free) all over the internet today. If you are reading this article now, chances are you have easy access to these resources as well.
What’s stopping you?
“But I don’t even know where to start!”
Here’s the place to start. Here’s a simple three-step process to help you gain clarity and inspiration to start on your own learning journey:
For the very first step in learning a new skill, I would recommend structured learning methods. When you are clueless about a topic, it is ideal to have some form of guidance alongside.
These structured courses are your guidance. They are typically developed by subject matter experts. Their main benefit is the established framework that you can follow and understand the foundations needed for a topic.
These courses also often come free of charge, especially for basic courses. There are plenty of resources online that provide basic courses and information, in both written word and video formats, for a variety of topics.
Where can you find these courses? You have platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera that offers a range of courses, teaching about all types of topics under the sun.
You also have platforms that offer specific types of courses: For example, marketing professionals will be familiar with platforms such as Google Academy for Ads, Hubspot and Facebook Blueprint.
Another fantastic free channel to leverage is Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), where you can enroll in free classes and programs about all kinds of topics.
Of course, there are also many paid offline courses locally in Singapore. But thanks to Skillsfuture credits that Singaporeans over the age of 25 have, these courses are essentially free or highly subsidized as well.
At this foundational level, simply try to absorb as much information as you can, while keeping in mind the topic’s different foundational pillars. Once you have learned the basics, it’s time to delve deeper.
After you have completed these basic courses, you are probably raring to go with these newfound skills. But we have only experienced the tip of the iceberg.
Basic courses give broad overviews and frameworks of the topic. The next step is to delve in-depth into specific aspects of the skill you are learning.
Here, I would highly recommend self-learning through different online resources. Here’s what I would recommend: You can start by following and learning more from industry blogs, relevant YouTube channels, and newsletters. To have a deeper interaction with these communities, join Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups or even Telegram groups.
Another good way to explore these topics deeper is by meeting and learning from industry practitioners. Find interesting, relevant events via Facebook Events or Eventbrite to go for. You could also take up memberships with communities such as NewCampus that allow you to learn and interact together with a likeminded community.
The beauty of this deep dive is the autonomy to manage your own learning. What’s next?
Now that you have all this knowledge under your belt, the best way to make use of your knowledge is through practice.
Only through practicing and performing these skills can you find out the depth of your mastery, and areas for improvement. This can similarly be done in many ways:
If you are still a student, take up relevant internships to start working on these skills. If you want a taste without the commitment, consider part-time internships or Adhoc voluntary projects as well.
If you are out of school, my recommendation would be to start your own side hustle with these skills. By actually working on these skills, be it for free or for profit, you can experience the steepest learning curve and grow in the shortest amount of time.
The best way to learn is to through action.
There are plenty of opportunities to learn and practice new skills in today’s internet world. Not knowing where to start, or how to learn, is no longer a valid excuse.
Don’t waste these golden opportunities. Start learning and investing in yourself right away.