So many things to do.
So much content out there. Different influencers telling you different things. Your friends doing different things. Your parents saying different things!
Many people have asked me questions along the lines of what they should be learning, especially now with the ambiguous environment.
When I get repeat questions, I decide to blog about it.
There are multiple factors that go into consideration when you are deciding what to learn. It's more an art than a science, so it's difficult for me to give you a framework. But I do difficult things. So here it is...
Reverse engineer what others need
This is more important than the concept of passion.
Look at the market. What's going on? This is subject to change.
Currently, small businesses are dead. How can you help them? How can you leverage what you know to revive them?
The way to make money is to provide value. The way to provide value is to identify pain points and solve them.
So look at the market. Identify what people need. Look at freelancing websites, what services are people paying for?
Can you teach it to yourself?
You need to be able to learn FAST. And for that you can't do a degree.
Google is your best friend. "How to learn X?"
Read the top 5 blogs about the topic. Identify top resources to learn the skill. Is it courses? Is it blogs? Is it a few Udemy courses? Is there a good textbook to master?
Now you basically know the best ways to master the skill required to fill the value gap.
Do you like doing it?
While "passion" is irrelevant, you should have some liking for it.
Is it related to something you used to like? Is it related to some side project you did during your engineering degree? Do you have a flair for it? Can you see yourself doing it for 6 hours a day? Answer these questions and select the right skills.
There are many value gaps in the market. You should be able to identify some that you like.
Build supportive skills
This part may come later in the process when you have a fair idea of the skill and want to dive deeper. You should have done some basic research and learnt some foundations of the skill by now.
What do you need to learn to master this skill further? What are some ancillary skills that will help you become better at your craft?
Sit down with a notepad and write things down. Google. What else can you do for people?
I taughy myself Machine Learning, I learnt linear algebra on the side.
I forayed into business, I learnt copywriting.
Sharpen your blade. Next...
Connect with people who are where you want to be
This is more easier now than ever.
Once you have achieved beginner level broad knowledge of your skill, send 10 LinkedIn requests daily to people who are currently doing what you aspire to do.
"I'm a newbie web developer and I'm looking to connect with some people who can guide me, your profile looks interesting. Let's connect?"
Easy. Easy. Easy.
Connect and discuss things when you are stuck. Don't annoy them. Do your own research and ask educated questions.
No one wants to help someone who doesn't help themselves.
At this point you should be well on your way to getting better at what you do. Your next steps here on may vary. Get a job. Do freelance gigs. Always remember, job security is a myth. So choose options that make you as independent as possible
The CWTL Framework:
- What do businesses need?
- Is it self teachable?
- Do you see yourself doing it?
- Start learning
- Build ancillary skills
- Get mentors for doubts and roadblocks
This is roughly the framework I use to decide what to learn. This is mostly an implicit process I follow, I have now codified it into a framework for you. Good luck!
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