Author: Manoj Agarwal, Director of Digital Services, Hays
I am hoping you enjoyed 'Step-2: Develop a vision and clearly articulate it' and did the exercise at the end of the article. If you have not read the previous steps and happen to land directly on this step, I would recommend reading those first. Go to the end of this article to see a link to all previous articles. I have reproduced the link to last step here:
Step-3: Understand your chosen subject and stay current
I hope that by following steps one and two, you have some clarity on what you are passionate about, what you want to achieve and where you want to get to. You will also have clarity on the subject area of industry or life that your passion and vision relates to.
You now need to enable yourself to achieve this vision. Steps three and four are all about equipping yourself to start moving ahead with full confidence towards your vision.
Research your chosen subject area. Learn everything about it. These days, learning and education are free. Reading books is the cheapest and best form of education.
Start writing about it and start talking to people about your chosen subject.
Geek on it. Find people who are passionate about the same subject as you, join and build knowledge sharing network. Share the knowledge and ideas. Ask and answer questions.
Learning about the subject that is close to our heart is a very fulfilling exercise. It increases our sense of achievement. It makes us humble and makes us confident in our own abilities.
Most importantly, stay current on your subject. World moves fast and it is all too easy to become irrelevant if you are not constantly updating yourself.
Set aside at least one hour every day to read, research and generally geek out on your subject. You might think that you don't have enough time to devote to this on a daily basis. Think again. You have time to watch the TV. Time to spend on social networks. Time to watch or listen to the news or events on which you have no control.
Try and get up one early than usual and you have got the hour you need for self-learning.
Develop a habit of continuous self-learning. Build it as a lifelong passion.
If you are knowledgeable in your subject and stay current, people around you will notice this. You will become known as the expert in your subject area. People will come to you to help them solve their problems. You will be consulted when decisions are made and your expertise is required. You will feel valued, respected and recognised.
You will also develop an ability to help and coach others in your chosen subject.
I have seen some amazing ordinary individuals who have created deep technical expertise in cutting edge techniques and technologies purely through self-learning, in less than twelve months. They are now an authority in their chosen area of expertise and are called upon by others to help solve complex business problems using these technologies.
You do not need a job title to become an expert in your subject. You do not require anyone’s permission to become an expert. Internet and Google have democratised the access to expert knowledge, you just need to find it. It is free.
All you need to do is to learn all the time and keep learning.
Try and find honest answers to the questions below to help you understand your subject and develop a lifelong learning habit
- What subject would you like to become an expert in? Try and be specific. For example, if your answer is food, what type of food? organic food, healthy foods, baby food, reducing food wastage etc.
- What three things you will stop doing to find one hour a day for your self-learning?
- Who are the three people you know of, who may have a common interest in your subject?
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