10 Tips when Learning New Technology Skills
Technology continues to evolve at an accelerating pace, and failing to keep up with it can lead to a much lower quality of life. However, learning new technology skills is no easy task due to the time and energy needed for mastery, but below are some indispensable tips that will allow you to master any subject you choose.
Ten Tips that will help when learning the latest new Technology Skills
1. Start Early in Life
In his best-selling book Mastery, author Robert Greene reveals that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master any subject, whether it is a musical instrument, foreign language, or other skills. This corresponds to about eight years, and it is much easier for children to learn new skills because their brains are developing and unlike adults they don’t have to spend a lot of time and energy earning a living.
Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates started coding and working with computers as a child, martial arts legend Bruce Lee begin studying Kung Fu and acting as a youngster, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dad taught him Visual Basic during his youth. Notice the pattern? The younger you start learning, the more successful you will be later on, because as technology evolves your mastery and strong foundation will enable you to quickly adapt in a way that others can’t.
2. Choose a Subject That Matches Your Natural Strengths
Most people are either predominantly analytical, meaning that they prefer tasks that involve numbers or they’re artistically minded and prefer design. According to the field of psychology, humans are broken down in sixteen different personality types, which are broadly divided into introverts and extroverts. Each of these personality types has strengths and weaknesses, and you can take free online tests to learn your personality and then choose a field which matches it.
3. Find a mentor
Find someone that you respect and trust who recognizes your potential and can help you reach it. This could be your parents, a teacher or someone who works in the technology field you’re interested in going into. Not only can they teach you tips and tricks that you won’t find in a book, they will often have industry contacts that can help you get your foot in the door.
4. Master the Art of Dealing with People
Learning new skills won’t do you any good if you don’t learn about people. This world is ruthless and people are constantly looking for any edge they can find to get ahead, and some of them don’t mind stepping on you to get there. Learning social cues, when to speak and keep quiet, what information to reveal and not reveal, and how to forge alliances and break them is absolutely essential.
5. Develop Self Discipline and Control
It is much easier for people who have discipline and self-control to learn new skills. The reason for this is because learning something new can often be tedious, even in an area that interests you. There is usually a lot of repetition involved, and doing the same task over again can be tough. This is why so many people start learning something, only to quit later, because they lack the discipline and self-control to get through the tough parts to get to the things which are fun.
6. Guard Your Time and Use it wisely
Time is the most precious commodity you have. Those that want to master new technological skills must guard their time and watch out for time wasting people and things. Once you begin learning a skill, establish a schedule and do not let anything interfere with it unless it is a life threatening.
7. Master Your Finances
Emerging technologies are never cheap, which is why the wealthy usually gain access to them first. Those who could afford personal computers back in the 1970s and 80s had a huge advantage over those who couldn’t, and the same is true for those who gained early access to the internet and learned how to use it during the 1990s. Many of these people are millionaires and billionaires today, all because their parents had the financial resources to provide them with tools that poorer people couldn’t afford. Learn to save and invest your money rather than wasting it on worthless depreciating things that have no real long term value.
8. Continually Study Technological Developments
Technology is in a constant state of progress, and those that don’t keep up to date with it will end up like the dinosaurs, extinct. Even if you are successful and working in a technical field, subscribe to and read industry publications regularly to learn more about the latest techniques and tools, and if you detect an emerging technology which might threaten the work you’re doing, adapt to it as soon as possible.
9. Learn the difference between fads and trends
Never confuse trends with fads. A fad is something that is hot today but will be gone tomorrow; a trend is a major societal shift that will have a long term impact. For example, when the automobile was invented in the 19th century, horse carriage operators who refused to recognize that they would soon become obsolete went out of business.
Likewise, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, arcade machine operators who didn’t recognize the trend and growing popularity of home based video game consoles like Nintendo, Sega, and PlayStation also went out of business. Recognize technological trends that will make your business obsolete and respond accordingly.
10. Become a Teacher or Mentor Yourself
Becoming a teacher or mentor will not only help you give back to others, but it will also keep your mind sharp while keeping you abreast of the younger generation and what new technologies and skills they’re developing.
Take heed and follow the tips discussed above, and you will always be on top of your game. You will enter a field that is perfectly suited to your interests; live the life you’ve always dreamed of and most important of all you will help others and serve as a pillar of the community.