From Warren Buffet to Kobe Bryant, it has been said the absolute best thing for you to do as a professional is to invest in yourself. For some, that is reading about or researching a specific topic to learn something new. The goal is to get the learning juices flowing in your brain and expand your knowledge toolbelt. One of our Core Values at Source Allies is “Be an Expert.” We live this value everyday and it is a focal point as we bring on new teammates at Source Allies. We constantly encourage teammates to invest in themselves and have even helped them with this in the past!
In this blog post we want to give you some of the advice we give all our teammates about becoming an expert. This is a constant journey that in most cases will never be completed, but trying to get there is the fun part! We’re here to give you several suggestions about how to start and continue your journey to mastery!
Even before COVID-19 changed a lot of things, online courses were starting to take off. The opportunities you have to learn about any imaginable subject have increased dramatically in the last year. Before the pandemic Coursera and Udemy were the primary players in the industry. Udemy offered the well known Complete Java Certification Course. Now giants like LinkedIn have joined the party with LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn’s library of courses continues to grow very quickly with some great content. Lastly, one of the newer players is Masterclass. Masterclass has multiple payment options as you pay for what you think you’ll be able to commit to. They also have courses taught by celebrities, which is appealing to a lot of individuals.
Much like studying independently, taking these courses offers an avenue to expand your knowledge and continue on your journey to mastery. But just like graduating from a school, you get a digital certificate to show you put in the work to complete the course. If you already have a diploma, these can be great ways to supplement those. And if you don’t, the certificates would be a great way to show you’ve learned the skills that are needed to get a new role or position.
Industry conferences have been around for many years. They’ve continued to grow in number and attendance for the last several years. During the past year where many things were virtual, conferences followed that trend. Now you can attend most conferences from anywhere in the world! This is obviously a huge advantage for conference goers. These days you won’t be paying for a plane ticket, hotel, food and probably drinks when you go to the pre or post conference parties. While there is still “entry fees,” the conferences that We’ve attended are drastically cheaper because of the fact that they are virtual.
While there are endless amounts of ways to chase mastery in your personal and professional life we wanted to give you one that is, at times, forgotten about. It usually sits right across from you(hopefully 6 ft away from you) and you can gather information from it almost any time you want. What are we talking about? Your teammates! Think about it, depending on where you are in your career, your teammates have probably worked for different employers, worked on many unique projects and overall had diverse experiences. Your teammates are the most convenient resource on this list, don’t pass up the opportunity to learn from them!
So how do you do this? Well, first off, ask questions. If you are stuck or something is holding you up on your project, ask questions. We think there has been a stigma around asking questions, and a lot of time can be wasted on being scared to do so.
Secondly, see what your teammates are doing outside of work. Are they going to any specific user groups or a part of any clubs? If they are, tagging along with them is an easy point of entry for you as a new member. As scary as this may sound to some of you, follow them on social media. If they appreciate a specific group or activity chances are they will like, re-share or post about it on their social media channels.
The list above is by no means exhaustive. It’s simply a list to get you started or possibly give you a few more ideas about how to learn more and become better at whatever it is you’re looking to become better at. Mastery is a journey that never truly ends. Things change daily, especially in the tech world and that means there is always something new to learn. Dedicating yourself to learning will get you as close to mastery as you can be. It’s also a lot of fun!