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Setting a Skills Roadmap

by | Sep 25, 2020 | Self-Help

Setting a Skills Roadmap

by | Sep 25, 2020 | Self-Help

In today’s advanced age, most of us have access to an almost unlimited amount of information right in the palms of our hands. News articles, Wikipedia pages, YouTube videos, blogs, and technical journals are chock-full of useful information. We can use this information to our advantage. Have you ever heard the phrase “knowledge is power?” With such accessible resources at hand, we could all be constantly learning marketable skills. By doing some research and developing our own progression through these skills, we can create a skills roadmap that we can use to exponentially increase our abilities!

Step One: Brainstorm

Before you can create a skills roadmap, you must think about a few things. The first being what it is that you want to do and why. This is one of those difficult questions that sometimes takes years to answer. Don’t overthink it. It could be answered by simply stating things like “I want to learn how to write poetry because I always enjoyed reading it” or “I want to learn more about the stock market because I want to make some extra money over time.” Whatever you pick doesn’t have to turn into your life’s work. It could simply be a way to make money or enjoy yourself.

Step Two: Research and Identify Elements

Most fields, industries, specializations, and/or hobbies are not made up of one single skill, but rather several skills. Once you have a general direction that you want to go in, do some research about that particular thing. For example, if you wanted to write poetry, it would probably be best to start by researching different types of poetry. Then maybe you could look up famous poets and their styles. Once you’ve identified those types and styles, you might also want to increase your vocabulary and word knowledge. Do some research and identify the different elements or sub-skills of whatever it is that you would like to do.

Step Three: Create Your Roadmap

Now that you have identified a set of elements, you should structure a homemade learning plan around those things. Don’t go too crazy trying to force all of these new things onto yourself. Most of us are already very busy and don’t have very much extra time to spare. You’ll have to use your judgment about how you’ll set it up, but here’s an example that fits with the poetry idea I mentioned:

Week 1 and Week 2: Types of poetry
  • Spend one hour a day researching the different types of poetry.
  • Bonus: Try to learn 3 new words every day.
  • Haikus, ballads, sonnets, epic, free verse
Week 3 and Week 4: Famous poets and their work
  • Spend one hour a day reading different works by established poets.
  • Bonus: Try to identify different types of poetry from prior research.
  • Shakespeare, Dickinson, Whitman, Angelou, Yeats
Week 5 and Week 6: Practice
  • Spend one hour a day writing different types of poems.
  • Even if they’re not good or you can’t come up with much, just write.
  • Bonus: Try to find something from your day to inspire your next poem.

This is a very simple example. You can structure your skills roadmap any way you like. Just try to find a healthy balance that you can manage. I recommend trying to spend at least one hour a day learning new skills. Just be careful not to overload yourself.

Step Four: Get to Work!

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to get started! Pick a day to begin your journey and start learning. As is with most new skills, expect there to be some difficulty at first. You might be intimidated or unable to focus. The key here is consistency.

If you devote one hour a day for 60 days towards learning, that’s sixty hours of learning! After a while, your skills roadmap will become part of your daily routine. Learning will become a habit. You can also feel free to change or modify your skills roadmap as you progress through it. Maybe after Week 4 you decide that you want to spend a little more time reading poetry by Edgar Allen Poe, go right ahead!

Once you start learning, don’t ever stop! Keep practicing and learning and creating. There’s an almost infinite number of skills for you to go and learn. These skills can help you to find jobs, make money, have fun, and get more out of life! Good luck!

What are some skills that you would like to learn before the end of this year? Let me know in the comments.

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Photo Credits: Unsplash.