On our way to the top, we will definitely have to ask for and accept help from others. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, we fail to realize how much we can help ourselves. Sure it would be nice to take that class, have that certification, or attend that conference but there are so many ways to be productive while you wait for that opportunity to come.
Everyone has access to the same information, but not every one of us will want to learn the same things. In all of our respective fields, we’re all just bridges to information. We go out and learn, and then people pay us for the knowledge we have. For example, you could be a career coach; all you have to do is seek out the necessary education to do my job. But you don’t want to be a career coach; you have another purpose in life. So you go out and get the education you need, and you leave the career coaching stuff to me. I’m no better than you; I just decided to learn something different. Get it? Knowledge is the only thing that separates us. And not only does is separate us between different careers, it can separate us within the same field.
Every industry, no matter which one you’re in, is growing exponentially and we have to go above and beyond to keep up. So while you’re relaxing or catching up on your favorite tv shows, someone is passing the time by investing in his or her skill set. Even though I decided to get certified as a professional career coach, it wasn’t required. I knew that I would have to pay for it myself and that there was no guarantee that I would see any return on that investment. But I also knew that if I didn’t care enough to invest in my own education, there would be no reason for anyone else to trust my skill. Furthermore, learning isn’t always about what you’re taught in class. At this day and age, we have easy access to so much knowledge: free information online, discounted textbooks from Amazon, instructional videos on YouTube and so forth. So there’s really no excuse to not invest in your craft!
I own over 100 books (most of which I bought used), some that I’ve read and some that I haven’t gotten to yet. But I love having information on hand should I ever need it. And when I’m not reading, I’m using social media to learn new things as well. On Twitter, I follow several professionals in my field to see the articles they retweet and what hashtags they use to chat about trends in our field. I also join LinkedIn groups to see what discussions are going on and I follow blogs to find out what other people have learned. The entire world is a classroom, and I am a student of life. The next person will hire you, not simply because you submitted a good application or resume, they will hire you because you know something that will add value to their organization. So go learn something and increase your worth as a professional!
1. More school doesn’t necessarily mean more knowledge
2. Not being in class is not an excuse to not learn