Back in the days after completion of Senior Secondary School exams, it was a norm for most parent to enroll their child in vocational schools to learn a skill or trade. It was a difficult moment for the teenagers deciding what to learn having never been exposed to such art.
When asked about the occupation a child would love to dive into in the future, the default answers of many are “I will love to be a doctor, lawyer, accountants or Pilot”.
Suddenly, upon finishing school, he or she is expected to pick up a trade without any inspiration or desire. Just borne out of the need to use up available idle time while awaiting university admission.
Some are lucky, during their training, they develop interest and nurtures it into a profitable side hustle, for many others, another time waster. I remember nothing about the fashion designing school I had enrolled in for over a year. Such a bad luck!
Know The Vision
The first requirement to making a right choice on what skill to learn is to have a vision board. An image of your goal, your plans, what you desire to accomplish within a given timeline. The purpose of this is to know your “why”. When you feel like giving up, your reason nudges you to keep going. With a roadmap in mind, identifying skills and certifications relevant to accomplishing the goal becomes easier.
Identify The Knowledge Gap
Now I know what is required to accomplish my goal but how do I compare vis a vis my skillset? This gives rise to a need to re-evaluate one’s skills and knowledge gap. “I want to be a thought leader, however; I can’t speak in public”. How then do I influence? That is a skill deficiency being recognized. An obstacle that can hinder the vision from materializing.
Cost & Benefits of Available Alternatives
There are extensive resources on the internet today. The world has gone so global that there isn’t an excuse not to know if there is a strong desire to. There are numerous companies and agencies who offer professional trainings on different area of expertise. YouTube, LinkedIn amidst many others are quick go-to for fundamental ideas.
Make a list of available options and the criteria for selection. The quality of offerings and values each option will deliver, their costs and convenience, past records, and reputation. How would each alternative bring me closer to my goals? What makes A stand out from B? Why do I need to pay premium for a training charged at low costs by another? Does the price commensurate with the value offering? Those are the critical questions to be asked without bias or prejudice to make a rational decision. The “where” is as important as the learning itself.
In all of these, be mindful not to be a jack of all trade who knows all but hardly an expert in any. Stay focused and consistent keeping your eye on the vision board. Believing in yourself; in your growth, your capabilities, and your future!