Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Guide to Self-Directed Learning

A Guide to Self Directed Learning
Tom Sheppard

Learning on your own, figuring out what you need to learn and how to learn it is an essential skill to help you to successfully navigate the ever changing job environment.

If you are out of a job right now, this could make the difference between languishing in unemployment and getting a better paying job than what you had before.

If you are currently employed, this could make the difference between  getting the axe or getting promoted. 

Improving your knowledge and skills makes you a better employee, a more valuable employee, and much more marketable.  If you can improve these without your employer driving you to it, you demonstrate initiative to anyone who is paying attention.

A plan for self-directed learning is essential to your career insurance.

What should I learn?
+        If I had unlimited time and money what one thing would I most like to change?
+        What do I need to know or do to be able to make the change?
+        What resources are available to help me make the change?
+        How much is it worth to me to make the change (in both time and money)?
+        How does it relate to my broader goals?
+        How important and urgent is it to me?
+        When would it be desirable to make the change?
+        How will I know when I have succeeded in making the change?
+        What is most worth learning for me right now? (clip newspaper articles for a month then look for a pattern to determine hidden interests you have).

What skills do I need to be a self directed learner?
+        The ability to see a problem.
+        The ability to identify resources which might help solve a problem.
+        The ability to create or choose procedures to evaluate results.

How can I decide which activities I should use to learn?
+        Does it advance my purpose?
+        Is it fun?
+        Is it economical (in both money and time)?
+        Is it preferable to other available choices?

Learning Project Plan Checklist
1.     Decide what exactly I want to learn, understand, know about, become, or be able to do.
2.     Determine how and where can it be best learned.
3.     Identify what resources would be useful.
4.     Schedule it when it will be the best time to learn it, and according to what a desirable daily and weekly schedule.
5.     Set a deadline to finish the project.
6.     Find out who could help.
7.     Calculate how much is it worth to me and how much will it cost in time, energy, and money through various means.

8.     Set a measurable goal to help me know I’ve achieved the desired knowledge and determine what useful documentation or product would be useful to have at the completion of the project.
Learn how to use this information to insure your career security
Tom Sheppard
Topics Related to This Post  
Success, Goals, Goal Setting, Entrepreneur, Inspiration 
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