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8 Tips For Learning A New Skill

Regardless of your age, new skills are a value as a professional. You might have the necessary skills to perform your job, but as the industry changes new tech is introduced and new methods are established. It is important to be able to stay up-to-date. Boomers are often criticized for being unwilling to learn new things on the job. However unfair that criticism may be, you need to be able to prove it wrong. Not only that, but continuously pushing yourself to learn and grow as a professional helps you stay engaged in your work. Teaching yourself a new skill is certainly not easy, but if you’re willing to dedicate the time and effort to learning, you’ll soon have a new addition to your skill set. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Structure your learning.

The obvious first place to start is by setting out a game plan. There’s a significant amount of time that needs to be dedicated to learning a new skill and you must ensure you’re putting in that necessary time. If you tell yourself you’ll work on it when you can, it could either drag on for far too long or be pushed aside and forgotten. Set up a schedule for when and how you’ll do the work. Having this structure will help you from going off track and wasting time.

Be realistic.

While structure is important, don’t feel the need to set a deadline for yourself. You can have expectations for how your progress is going, but be realistic with those goals. Understand what is necessary to accomplish your goal then base your timetable off of that. You want to stay disciplined, but rushing the outcome isn’t helpful in actually retaining the skill. Also, be realistic about your end goals as well. Will you have mastered the skill? Unlikely, but having a solid understanding of it to build off is a fine goal to have.

Be open to different learning methods.

When learning something like this, you want to have every avenue of learning at your disposal. You might say, “I’m a visual learner” then seek out methods that fit your perceived needs. However, that’s cutting off so many effective and informative ways of teaching. Studies have shown that the theory of different learning styles doesn’t exist. You might have preferences, but if you want to really learn the skill, you need to be willing to challenge yourself with new methods that might be more effective.

Understand the skill before you begin.

It’s likely that, whatever skill you wish to acquire, it’s more complex than it seems on the surface. Take riding a bike for example. On the surface, the skill is being able to sit on a bike, pedal and ride it. But what’s the most important aspect of the skill? Is it balance? Speed? The type of bike? Understanding the whole picture allows you to identify the best process of learning the skill.

Don’t be too narrow in your focus.

Similar to the above point, you can’t look at the skill too narrowly. Maybe you want to use the skill for a specific reason and you seek to learn it from that view point. That only teaches you one aspect of the skill, not the whole thing. Say you were trying to learn how to play the guitar – don’t approach it by trying to learn how to play your favourite song, but rather learn the basic chords that build most any song.

Take it in parts.

You’ll probably know well that tackling a large task is easier to manage in smaller chunks rather than trying to take on the whole issue as one. The same is true of learning a new skill. When you have a good overall sense of the skill, you can then break it down into sections that build on each other. Work on one and when you feel comfortable with it, you can use it to learn the next section. Trying to take it all in at once will probably mean you’re not absorbing key elements.

Test yourself as you go.

As mentioned already, this will not be a short process. When you have a long-term task at hand, it’s important to have some way of measuring your progress as you go. When you make your schedule, add regular progress tests along the way to see if you’re staying on track. This can help you to determine if you need to amend your timeline, as well as which aspects of the learning are working, and which need work.

Don’t neglect the mental aspect.

While your focus on learning a new skill is likely the technical aspects, it’s important to recognize that there is a mental barrier that most of us have to deal with. It can be intimidating trying to learn something new. Especially when you’re starting the process with basically no knowledge, it can seem like a pretty big hill to climb. This is when you need to give yourself that mental kick in the butt and remember all those times you have successfully learned a skill from scratch. This is just one more thing you’re adding to your arsenal so don’t let the process scare you off.

If you’re looking to get back in the professional work, sign up for FREE with BoomersPlus. We help match experienced professionals with job opportunities that fit your skills. To learn more, visit our website at https://www.boomersplus.com/ or email us at info@boomersplus.com.

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6 Ways To Continue Your Education As An Adult

Through our life and experiences, we are always continuing our learning no matter what. However, our education tends to change once we leave the school portion of our life behind. Our careers offer continued opportunities to learn as a way of becoming more successful in our jobs, but much of that learning takes place early in our careers. What opportunities are left for older adults who hope to continue their education?

Going back to school, while a great avenue for adults, is not an option for everyone. As we get older that passion for learning becomes stronger and many adults look for ways of exploring new areas, gaining new knowledge and expanding their education. While opportunities of our youth might be behind us, there is no reason that should stop us from furthering our education no matter our age. Here are just some of the ways you can continue your learning and maintain a fulfilling education.

Find areas that interest you.

When pursuing further learning the best place to start is with something you have a genuine passion for. When you have a vested interest in the subject, it helps to motivate you further to learn more. Consider your interests then narrow it down to areas of curiosity. What are the questions you’ve always wondered about your favourite subjects? Explore those questions and let them take you into new areas of discovery. Sometimes teaching yourself something can feel like a chore no matter your dedication, but anchoring your learning in something you love can keep you engaged and passionate about the process.

Dive deeper in your career.

Another great place for exploring new learning opportunities is with your current career. As mentioned above, to develop the skills and expertise we need to excel in the job takes a great deal of learning early in our careers. We may still learn new things throughout our professional years, but we become confident in our work and tend to become less engaged in the learning aspect of the job after some years. But there’s always more to learn, not just as a way of remaining engaged with the work but also to improve as a professional. To reignite your career-focused learning, try to step away from the surface-level view of your job. It’s not just about learning the necessary skills to do your job effectively — it’s about staying informed about the industry as a whole, looking forward at its future, researching new methods and approaches to the work. If you have a genuine interest in your work, why not explore it a little deeper?

Expand your reading list.

No matter your age, keeping up with reading is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Many people read leisurely just as a hobby and so their usual reading material isn’t necessarily the most intellectually challenging stuff. Don’t get me wrong — there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a good page-turner murder mystery for fun, but how much is it teaching you? To get a little more out of your reading time, try to introduce some more variety into the process. Learn more about a current news item, delve into a unique period in history, or just pick a book at random. Keeping reading as a hobby is so important, but adding some new things to that reading list can help make the experience even richer.

Attend conferences and seminars.

Along the lines of your expanded reading list, be open and willing to hear from the experts. Find a subject you want to learn more about and look for opportunities to hear from professionals with expertise in those fields. A great way to do this is by seeking out conferences and lectures from these types of experts. Listening to someone with a deep knowledge and an obvious passion of a subject can really help to draw you into the content and get you engaged. These events can also be a great way to meet new people who might have a shared interest. Hear from an expert then talk with peers and fellow curious people about it all. Community can be a fantastic avenue for learning.

Take on new skills.

One of the best ways to learn is by doing. You can read up on just about any subject all you want, but practical application of that learning is the best way to make it stay with you. We all have those skills we wish we had mastered at some point in our life, so why not take it on now? It can be a hobby skill like learning a new instrument. It can be a practical-use skill like a new language. Or it could be a career-related skill. Whatever it is, it becomes a new learning experience that allows you the great pleasure of putting what you learned to use. There are few things as gratifying as being able to say you can now do something that you could not do before.

Challenge yourself.

In the end, the most important thing to remember when trying to further your education is to push yourself. We’re not in school anymore. We don’t have teachers and professors feeding us lesson plans and telling us what to read. We need to seek out our education on our own. And it doesn’t help us to remain among the subjects we’re already comfortable with. We need to move into areas that are new to us. It can be hard work, absolutely, but we all have learned by now that when something is difficult that only makes succeeding at it all the more rewarding.

For more great content and everything else in the world of boomers, sign up with BoomersPlus for FREE. Go to www.boomersplus.com or email us at info@boomersplus.com to learn more.

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BoomersPlus FAQ- Learn More About Us

At BoomersPlus, we are always striving to help as many professionals as can in finding their ideal job. Part of how we achieve that is by keeping our boomers community well-informed with our business and how it works. If you’ve been considering signing up with BoomersPlus, or are just hearing of us for the first time, no doubt you have some questions about how we can make your job search easier and more effective. To help with that we have taken a look at some  of the most common questions people ask about BoomersPlus. Learn more about what we can do for you and sign up with us today.

What services does BoomersPlus provide?

BoomersPlus matches experienced professionals looking for opportunity, adventure and community with positions that reflect their lifestyle. We help experienced professionals find volunteer, mentor, advisory and paid work opportunities. We are not head-hunters or a ‘placement firm’. Employers pay us to connect to experienced professionals because we provide a faster and more accurate alternative for job seekers than job boards. You sign up for free with BoomersPlus and then we match you to the job that fits your specific skills and experience.

How does it work?

Signing up with BoomersPlus is easy. When you create a profile, you can fill out your work history and desired work in the future, as well as several other details that help us narrow down our searches. The more information you provide, the more frequently and accurately our technology driven matchmaking service will recommend the best opportunities for you based on your profile. Once we find a match, it is your decision if you want to pursue the position we’ve matched you with or if you’d rather keep looking.

How much does it cost?

BoomersPlus services are free for all job seekers. They have been free since inception and will continue to remain free for as long as we operate. We are paid by employers to find quality job candidates quickly. There is no cost for sign-up, no hidden fees down the road, and no payment for getting matched with a job. It’s 100% free!

What types of jobs are available?

BoomersPlus provides services to a number of different businesses in many different industries, such as telecommunications, travel, engineering, marketing, technology and financial services. These employers are usually looking for executive-level professionals for shorter to medium term work placements. However, there are also opportunities for part-time, volunteer and mentor positions depending on your preferences.

What areas does BoomersPlus serve?

Experienced professionals are in demand across provinces and internationally. We have matched experienced professionals with opportunities overseas, and have empowered experienced professionals to join completely new industries and jobs.

 

As always, if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to email us at info@boomersplus.com.

 

 

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4 Tips For Learning Something New

It’s the start of a new week so what better time to try something new. Taking on a new task, or learning a new skill can be very rewarding, but usually not all that easy. Firstly, entering into a something new, without having any prior experience, means there will be a definite learning curve. There’s also the fact that some people are somewhat afraid of trying new things. However, there’s are not reasons to deny your personal growth, so check out some of our tips for trying something new today.

Make a learning plan.

If you’re a little apprehensive about trying something new, then just jumping in without letting yourself think about it too much might seem like a good way to face your fears. That’s the right attitude to go in with, but if you want to really learn something new, some planning can go a long way. Set up a plan of attack about how you’re going to start learning. Set aside time to work on it, be it in study, practice or whatever method will bring the best results. Approaching a new challenge fully prepared to give it your best effort will put you on the right path for success.

Start small.

Whatever your new learning project might be, it’s best to start with the basics. Understanding and acknowledging your own level of expertise in this area is important. Trying to tackle too much too quickly will lead to you either gaining a poor knowledge of the subject or failing to make any progress at all. Don’t be afraid to take things slowly and build upon what you learn in stages. It may take a while but it will be faster and more effective in the long run.

Be patient.

You also need to realise that you might not become the expert you want to be overnight. When you go into a new challenge like this with anticipation, that usually comes from a lack of confidence. Your confidence will build overtime the more work you put into your new learning experience. However, you need to give yourself enough time to develop. If you aren’t getting it after the first week that doesn’t mean you’re never going to get it, it simply means you need more time. Try not to put yourself under any time constraint and allow yourself to learn at your own speed.

Don’t fear failure.

The number one thing that keeps people from attempting something new is the prospect of failure. No matter your age, your success until that point, failure is something that can keep you up at night no matter who you are. While it may not sound like the most helpful advice, the best way to get passed the fear of failure is to not mind it. You need to reflect on your situation and help yourself realise failing to reach your goal is nothing but a learning experience. You now have more experience than when you started and you know what works and what doesn’t. The next time you try it, you’ll be even more prepared. Failure isn’t a bad thing unless you let it stop you.

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6 Tips For Learning A New Skill

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s a commonly used phrase that just so happens to apply to boomers everywhere.

Boomers on the job hunt are put at an immediate disadvantage by many employers who assume that older professionals are unwilling or unable to learn new skills for their work. It’s an unfair generalization, but experts insist it is a common barrier that boomers must overcome. But how do you change someone’s mind of such opinions? You simply prove them wrong. Research the newest and most relevant skills that employers in your industry are looking for and work to add that valued skill to your resume.

Now, learning a new skill cannot be brushed aside as a simple task. If the skill was so easy then everyone would already know it. But with hard work and dedication, you can have a new advantage for you job hunt. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to mastering a new skill.

Understand the benefit.

Before you get started, you should get into the right mindset to learn your new skill. You should not look at this as a chore that just needs to get done, but rather an opportunity to better yourself and your career. Do a considerable amount of research into the new skill and why you should be taking it on. What will you gain from it? How will you apply it to your work? If you discover that you don’t see its value, then maybe you should think twice before dedicating your efforts to learn it. This should not be something you enter into reluctantly.

Understand the various steps.

While there is certainly a lot of online resources to help you with taking on a new skill, but sometimes these methods are the shortcut and not too effective. It is tempting to follow the simple step-by-step process of learning, but if you follow those steps to blindly, you’ll likely lose a lot of valuable information. Consider each step and what it means to the bigger picture, question why this is important and how this will help you learn your new skill. In the end you’ll have a better grasp of your new talent and can better retain it.

Set a timetable.

A job search is a full time job and it can be difficult to add anymore responsibilities on top of that. Maybe you’re not fully done with your current job, or you have household responsibilities to consider, so it’s easy for you new skill to be pushed aside. Know this, you will not master anything if you’re not willing to put the time into it. Put together a schedule of when you can dedicate time to your research, practice and strengthening of your new skill. Stick to your timetable strictly and don’t let yourself cheat. Setting a deadline may be counterintuitive but a regular schedule is a must for successful outcomes.

Talk to experts.

It’s always wise to seek out advice when embarking on something new. Don’t be shy in asking people who have already mastered the skill in question for their own tips at how to best take on the task. Talking about the learning process with someone who has already been successful with it can help you to identify any areas you may need to work on.

Don’t get too creative.

Certainly people have their own methods for learning that they have used for years. What works for some people might not work for others. But while you should tackle this learning process in a way that you’re comfortable with, it’s probably not the best time to try something new. When learning a new skill, the tried and true methods will usually work best for you. Again, only you will know what method will work best for you, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Test yourself along the way.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. It is essential to mastering a new skill and totally necessary throughout the entire learning process. You don’t start without any knowledge and then after research and reading you one day wake up with a new talent. You need to test your skills throughout the process to see what progress you are making. Are you improving? Is it becoming easier? Are you stuck at a particular stage? Research is important but practice is where you find success.