First off, if learning a new skill is a goal that you have set for yourself, then I applaud you! That is a fantastic goal to have and is one that will bear fruit in due time should you remain disciplined.
The keyword there is “disciplined”. Without it, your goal will simply be a dream. Learning a new skill takes time, dedication, and unwavering discipline.
I went from being a guy with zero marketable skills to having a career in the tech industry. Completely self-taught.
I earned my spot in this industry with a lot of sweat and tears. If I can learn a new and profitable skill, then so can you. And that’s exactly what I want to help you with today.
How to learn a new skill
I honestly believe that the most important thing to have when learning a new skill is self-belief. You really have to believe that you can make it to the end for you to have any shot at accomplishing this goal.
Without, you’re doomed to fail right out of the gate. Sure you may feel motivated at the beginning, but motivation only lasts for so long. Then, it’s just you and your level of discipline.
Now, there are actually several levels to learning a new skill that I would like to list out down below for you:
Level 1: Learn and master the basics
In order to develop competence in a skill, you’ll need to start off with the basics first. Spend as much time as you can at this level.
The reason is that the more advanced levels of any skill are built upon the basics.
If you can build a solid foundation then the more advanced topics will be easier to understand. Sometimes even the basics can seem overwhelming, but you just need to remain focused and take your time.
Utilize several different sources to understand a single concept if you need to. Remember, this isn’t a race. Keep your focus on learning and mastering one single concept at a time.
Only when you feel completely comfortable with one concept are you allowed to move on to the next one.
Level 2: Read up on the more advanced portions of a skill
So let’s say you’ve completed Level 1 and are feeling really confident about the basics of a new skill, it’s time to level up.
In level 2, you’ll attempt to read up on a more complex part of the skill you’re learning to see if you’re able to understand it.
Also, don’t feel like you’re stuck with reading a book or articles, since you can also utilize video and audio. I just mentioned reading first since it’s usually more of a condensed form of knowledge.
One thing that I do want to point out, is that Level 2 totally depends on the skill you’re trying to learn. Some skills just don’t have much depth to them.
Level 3: Practice your heart out
This is the level where you take the knowledge you’ve accumulated so far and put them into practice.
Without practice, the information and knowledge you’ve gained will slowly fade away. True mastery of any skill comes from consistent and deliberate practice.
For example, when I was learning how to code, I learned that it was best to practice each new concept right after first learning it.
When it comes to coding/programming, practice is absolutely crucial. Every concept builds upon each other.
And without daily practice, you’ll quickly struggle with the more advanced concepts. My advice is that regardless of what skill you’re learning, figure out how to incorporate practice from the very beginning.
Level 4: Document your journey by starting a blog
I absolutely, 100% believe that anyone can start a blog by simply documenting their journey of learning a new skill.
In fact, even though I have this listed as Level 4, I believe this should be done starting with Level 1. Blogging your journey is beneficial in so many ways.
However, that requires a whole separate blog post to go over all of the reasons why.
So, when it comes to starting a blog, just keep it very simple. It can be super easy to overcomplicate things. For example, don’t stress about how fancy your site should look. Or, don’t worry about how you can monetize your site.
Your primary focus is content and that content is your newfound knowledge and experience. Learning a new skill is a perfect excuse to start a blog.
So what do you blog about? Well, that’s super easy! Write about everything that you’re learning. Talk about what you learned each day and share your ups and downs.
For example, if you’re learning how to code, write a blog post about each new concept that you’re learning. Share what you know about variables, functions, loops, arrays, etc.
If you’re totally stumped on a certain concept, share that too! The whole point of this is to document your thought process and knowledge. Don’t overthink this, just do it!
Level 5: Completely immerse yourself in the world of the skill you’re learning
Find all of the best YouTube channels, blogs, books, and podcasts about your skill. Whatever skill you’re learning, I’m 99% sure there’s a ton of other people who learned it too.
Those people will have most likely produced some sort of content to share their expertise in that particular skill, with the world.
By consuming all of this content, you’re signaling to your brain that this is the kind of information that it needs to store.
This will help in your own journey of learning this new skill since you’ll learn new ideas and ways of approaching problems.
Level 6: Make it a habit to review your notes
Aside from deliberate and daily practice, reviewing your notes about the stuff you’re learning is critical. This habit helps to further engrain concepts into your long-term memory.
Let’s be real here; other than learning an awesome and new skill, you still have a life outside of this. Sometimes, life gets in the way and you end up forgetting some things you’ve learned.
And without a system in place to address these kinds of issues, you can end up getting frustrated enough to quit.
That is totally preventable by preparing for those moments ahead of time. So, remember how I mentioned that you should be blogging your whole journey? Well, those blog posts you’ve made are your notes.
Go back and read them over. You can also update those blog posts with new and more clear information that you’ve learned about a specific concept.
This is also a great way to see how far you’ve progressed since your first day of learning your new skill.
Benefits of learning a new skill
There are all sorts of amazing benefits to learning a new skill. We all have our own personal reasons why we seek out to learn a new skill. Some are for personal enjoyment, and some are out of necessity. I’ll discuss some below.
The first one that comes to mind is confidence. I can really relate to this one due to experiences in my own life.
Before learning how to code, I was stuck working in dead-end jobs. I wasn’t earning much, and to make matters worse, I ended up losing my job.
To make matters worse, I got let go on Christmas week. I was shocked, furious, depressed, disappointed, you name it and I most likely felt it.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and seek out a marketable skill to learn. It took me a while to figure it out, but I decided to learn how to code.
I put in countless hours to learning this skill so that I can have a “real job”. And, it paid off. I learned enough to get hired at a tech company and the rest is history.
This definitely helped to build my self-confidence. I realized I wasn’t a loser like I always told myself (a really bad habit I had). I’m not really awesome at coding, but knowing where I came from, I have no shame.
I can definitely get better if I really wanted to, but as of right now I feel good about what I’ve accomplished so far.
Learning a new skill and actually doing well with it can give you a huge boost of motivation. This motivation can lead you to learn more skills that can further enhance your confidence.
There’s something powerful about realizing that you’re actually pretty good at something. It gives you a little pep to your step and helps you to get out of bed a little bit faster in the morning.
Always believe in yourself and stay positive to the best of your abilities.
If you develop the ability to learn new skills and excel at those new skills, you become highly marketable. In today’s business world, being able to adapt and learn new skills is the key to success.
Those who refuse to change and update their skills are the ones who get left in the dust. If you prefer to go down the route of working for someone else, then understand that employers want to feel safe when hiring you.
They want to have the assurance that you can adapt to how they do things and are able to learn new skills quickly when required.
The same also applies if you own your own business. Your competition is always looking to do things faster, better and, cheaper than you. You’ll need to adapt to this fast-changing world in order to survive.
Increases your brains power level
Learning a new skill actually raises your brain’s power level to over 9000! (Sorry, had to include a Dragon Ball Z tribute there).
No, but seriously, there’s an article by Lifehacker titled, “The Science of Practice: What Happens When You Learn A New Skill” that is totally worth checking out.
Basically, learning a new skill helps to rewire your brain and causes it to learn things faster and better than it previously did.
Which makes sense since your brain operates like a muscle. The more you work it out, the stronger it gets.
How long does it take to learn a new skill?
Some people say it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill. While others claim that 2,000 hours is sufficient to become proficient (I just did a rhyme!).
Honestly, I didn’t track down how many hours it took me to get good enough with code to get hired at my first tech company. All I did was put in the work.
Really, it comes down to your purpose for learning a new skill. Why are you even doing it in the first place? Is it to become the absolute best guitar player on Earth?
Or, are you learning to play guitar to hopefully form your own local band in 1 year? This is where perspective comes into play. You first have to figure out your why, and then the rest will fall into place.
If you follow the 6 levels of learning a new skill that I wrote about earlier, then you’ll do just fine in learning a new skill. How long it will take you to learn a new skill depends on a few factors.
Above all, it comes down to discipline. I also mentioned this at the beginning of this post, but it’s important enough to be mentioned again.
Discipline comes down to you creating a structure of rules for yourself to follow along with making short-term sacrifices in order to obtain long-term gain.
Set up a study and practice schedule and follow it religiously. However, it’s important to remind you again that this ties in 100% with your “why”.
If your “why” is strong enough, then your level of discipline will also strengthen alongside it.
Being competent means that you’re able to do something successfully and with efficiency. It comes down to have the skills and ability to complete a task the right way and on time.
So when it comes to how long it will take to learn a skill, it depends on how long it takes YOU to learn the information. Everyone’s speed of learning new information is different.
Some can learn things a lot faster than others. For others, they learn best by taking their time to consume information.
If it takes you a while to learn a new concept, don’t worry about it. Learn at your own pace. Remember to check out that article by Lifehack if you haven’t done so already. It’ll help to inspire you to keep pushing with your learning.
Learning a new skill is awesome and I hope this post helps you on your journey. If you enjoyed today’s post, please consider sharing this on your favorite social media platform.
Also, comment down below what your favorite part of today’s post was. I would love to hear from you!