Learning a New Skill

by: Michael

What do you get from learning a new skill?

New found appreciation

Having gone through the design process, I’ve a greater appreciation for almost everything I see today. It’s fascinating to think the amount of thought and effort that goes into products. I can imagine that UI/UX designers go through several iterations before settling on a final design.

With frustration comes persistence

No one likes to not be good at something. It’s human nature, but like the old saying goes “We all have to start somewhere”. If you feel like the task you are facing is a dead end and there is no way out, chances are someone, if not everyone, who is in your particular area has faced the same thing. It’s just a case of someone more experienced than you has already come across this before. If they found a way out you can too if you stick at it.


At the start, I found myself doing a lot of research on design articles and principles rather then getting down to work. There is always a fear of not being fully prepared for the task at hand, but in reality you learn as you go. If there is something you aren’t sure of you can look it up, as opposed to reading about everything but not doing anything.

What do I need to know before learning a new skill?

Have Determination

Starting from square one in your new trade is never easy. For us adults, there is always a rush to get good at something fast. It’s a misconception that because we are more mature we should be able to learn at a faster rate. I mean if a child can do it why can’t I, right? A child has no expectation of being the best, so will progress at their own rate. An adult has preconceived ideas that they want to be at this level by X amount of time, putting added pressure on themselves. It’s more about putting your ego aside and letting it happen rather then forcing it.

Seek Guidance

After picking your respective field to pursue, now it begs the question, where do I start? No matter what new trade you’ve decided upon, having someone who has gone through what you are about is very helpful. They can advise you on what areas to prioritise over others. They can also pass on previous experiences that they wish they had known about when they first started and hopefully you can pass onto others.

Set a Goal

This will give you something to aim for and help you stay focused. A mentor can help you set short and long term goals as well as help manage expectations of what they think can be done in a given period of time. Once you have the foundations laid out and you know what needs to be done to help you get to where you want to be, the only thing that is stopping you is yourself.

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