Learning new skills does not always have the result you wanted. Many people try to gather knowledge in different areas in order to get better career perspectives, but sometimes it doesn’t work out as they expected.

Most of the time, this happens because their learning method was not appropriate. Either they successfully complete a course but don’t build on the acquired knowledge or they enlist in an online course but never get to finish it, giving up halfway through. Most of the people probably fall into the latter category.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. You can approach your learning activities in a methodical way, and make sure you get something out of it. Here is how.

  1. Choose to Learn Emerging Skills

If you’re going to learn something new, you might as well learn about something that few people know about. These skills usually involve areas that are surfacing right now (AI is a good example).

A good way to find out what these skills are is to look at the latest job offerings from the top companies in your field. If you notice there is a big demand for a specific qualification, that is a good skill to start with.

You can also use your contacts or social media to reach out to people in your area of expertise and ask them which skills they feel are becoming more and more important lately.

  1. Learn Synchronously

Many people can probably identify with this one. Online courses are great because they allow you to access each lesson from anywhere, at any time you want, that is, asynchronously.

The problem with this is that the lack of a schedule does not motivate you to watch the next lesson at a specific time. As a consequence, online students start getting lazy and skip learning for a few days, eventually giving up entirely.

The best solution is to either find a course with live classes or find a partner with the same learning goals as you, so you may push each other to keep learning every day.

  1. Implement Your New Skill as Soon as Possible

Reading or listening to all the theory about something is not enough to make you an expert. If you don’t put it to practice, you’ll quickly start to forget all that you learned.

Also, actual experience in the subject puts you face-to-face with certain problems and situations that can’t be taught with theory alone. So try to find opportunities to put your skills to use right away.

  1. Have a Goal in Mind

If you’re learning a new skill just for the sake of it, it is easy to lose motivation. What do you want to achieve with that skill? What will you be able to accomplish? Is it a promotion? The new job you’ve always wanted?

Keep this goal in mind, almost as a reward for finishing your learning process. This will allow you to stay much more focused.