Most people know that they should be learning new skills to boost their careers, yet finding the motivation to learn is difficult for many of us. Especially if you've been set a course by your job before, you'll always hear 'Have you taken that course yet, I haven't.' Or 'Is it mandatory?' Echoing around the office.
We know it's important... but learning a new skill just isn't as interesting as watching your favourite show, seeing friends, or spending time with family.
But if you've ever read an autobiography from high-powered business mogul, they all seem to have a love of learning and acquiring new skills.
If you wish to unlock this love of learning within yourself, myskillcamp has developed a guide on how to do it.
You are flawed... but so is everyone else!
Not to get all 'armchair psychology' on you, but take a seat. 💺
1) Acknowledge your resistance and difficult feelings with motivation. ...
Why are you putting it off? If you are scared of failing, or looking silly? Are you worried about the time it'll take, or if it's worth it?
Getting to the root of your resistance is the best way to solve the issue you're having. A great method to try is called the “5 WHYs’ Method”. Simply asking 5 whys when a problem appears in your mind, then you will get down to the root of the problem.
Problem: I am putting off the learning I need to do
Why: Why are you putting it off? Answer: Because I feel like I am overwhelmed.
Why: Why do you feel overwhelmed? Answer: The course looks difficult.
Why: Why does it look difficult? Answer: It's not something I've done before.
Why: Then how do you know you'll be bad at it? Answer: If I am bad at it my colleagues will think I'm stupid?
Why: Why would they think that? Outcome: You can then reflect, I am not being judged, I'm overthinking.
2) Don't question your abilities
There's a reason why eLearning is a multi-million dollar industry... and it's not because everyone else is smart. People need to learn new things all the time especially in the working world (where things are changing constantly) so starting something new and having no idea what you're doing is normal.
Get to know how you work
3) Do not blame yourself for procrastinating now and again...
Procrastination is going to happen, but it doesn't mean you've failed. Set yourself a time to resume your learning as well as scheduled breaks. Giving yourself time to relax is essential if you want your learning to be effective.
Also, when you are on a break, don't stay at your area of work, get up, have a drink, snack, exercise etc... making your breaks fun can help motivate you to learn.
4) Understand your learning style
Get to know how you learn most effectively, then use that style in your studies. Visual, auditory and tactile learners need to study in completely different way, and if you are studying incorrectly, it won't be as effective as it could be.
Plus, learning in a manner that's best suited to you is a lot more motivating as you can see the results a lot faster and it's more fun.
Take our 'What kind of Learner am I' quiz if you're interested (we'll open it in a new tab so you won't lose this blog page 😉)
Once you know your style, you can even suggest to your work that you take courses that compliment your needed learning method.
5) Set goals and reward yourself when reaching them
Finished one course in a learning path? Taken a quiz and passed? Studied for the allotted time you set yourself? Then it's reward time! Setting challenging, yet achievable goals with a reward when reached will boost your motivation to learn.
Make things work for you
6) Find a good course provider
*Psst* This is simpler to do when you know what kind of learner you are!
There are lots of course providers and teachers out there, so finding what's best can seem challenging. Our best advice is to look for a well-known course provider in the subject(s) you're interested in. If your company has an LMS/LXP, look into what's on offer and pick the best for you. Alternatively, suggest a course to your manager - they'll like the initiative and may purchase the course. You can get started straight away by checking out our list of course providers.
A good provider will have reviews and analytics on every course so they will be constantly improving the courses on offer. They will want to make their courses interesting and effective so you stay motivated (and thus come back to the course).
7) Make use of microlearning
If a course states it has microlearning (or bitesize courses) then consider it as a good option for you. As with any task, splitting it into smaller pieces makes it easier, and the same goes for learning a new skill. However, if your course has been given to you from your company and doesn't include microlearning, see if you can split the time you learn into chapters... and remember to take breaks in between! Check out what microlearning is if you want to know what you're looking for.
8) Use habit-building apps
Yes they exist! Habits usually have a negative connotation, but you can build a positive habit too, and learning new things is a great habit to build. We've collated a list of the best habit-building apps here, complete with how they work (and yes, most of them are free!).
9) Connect with others in the same boat
Sometimes, being held accountable by others who are doing the same, is all the motivation you need. Finding others who are taking the same course, or trying to learn the same thing is a great way to stay motivated. You can also swap knowledge, resources, test each other, or even build friendships around a common goal. Find forums and groups on social media or see if anyone in your workplace is learning the same thing.
Some course providers or LXPs even have chats, groups and forums to interact with other learners. Myskillcamp has just that and we've found it increases learner focus and knowledge sharing.
10) Show off your new skills
A definite (yet unspoken) perk of learning a new skill is showing it off. When you have successfully passed a course, earned an achievement, reached your overall goal; don't keep it a secret. Update your CV, add it to your LinkedIn as a skill and as a post. When people see you have this new skill they may call on you for work opportunities.
11) Set a new goal
Don't stop the love train! Once you've found your love of learning, don't stop when your first goal is reached. Find a new skill to learn and repeat the process.
12) Suggest myskillcamp to your company
Ok, a bit cheeky, but hear us out... our LXP puts the power of learning into your hands. You can pick from thousands of courses from course providers that are well-known and trusted. Plus you can use microlearning, gamification, chat to colleagues, gain achievements and so much more. And, companies only pay for what is used, so it's cheaper for them too! So why not check us out.