“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
― Isaac Asimov
Do you know that according to the statistics and research your occupation will become out of date in ten years? Have you ever wondered why the percentage of self-educated people in the world has grown so dramatically? Regular jobs are changing, and the universities nowadays cannot respond to all the demands laid down by high-paid job positions. Self-education has become a cornerstone of a successful future. Self-studying can be combined with a regular lifestyle if you follow some simple rules. What should be done in order to keep pace with the world?
Start Studying a Foreign Language
In the modern world, knowledge of several languages became a must for every educated individual. For many people, it became a way to share their ideas and help other people with education. A lot of new ideas appear in English or other popular world languages. English is considered to be a universal language of the Internet. However, Spanish, German and Chinese are gaining more popularity every day.
Almost all modern scientific terms came from the languages mentioned above. Therefore their knowledge is crucial for taking part in different international seminars, conferences, meetings, etc. There’s another reason to start learning a foreign language: often the translations are bad. It may take several years to get an appropriate translation of a matter you need. Just look atthe world statistics concerning studying English worldwide if you do not believe us.
Create a Balanced Information Diet
Like a pupil learning how to write and read, everyone should start from basics. You can find a lot of lists of books everyone should read, but if you are in a hurry, check out the list ofthe most influential business books arranged by the “TIME” magazine. Do not forget about liberalization. Reading about things that interest you is alright, but you should remember the eternal basics. Here is the list of the most popular topics for leaders’ self-education:
- Personnel management
- Innovation management
- Running own career
- Labor productivity management
- Methods of problem-solving
- Conducting and creation of the relationship
- Time management
- Corporate culture
Use Appropriate Sources of Information
Now there are lots of different websites providing free online courses that cover everything beginning with business and ending with playing the guitar. Mostly they are in English, but you may be lucky to find such a source in your native language. Try to find as many lists of useful resources on the Internet as possible. Subscribe to blogs or use specialized software for it.
Self-education can appear in different shapes, and the solution of any problem can become a chance to learn something new. Never face a riddle without even a shallow search on the Internet. Specialized forums (like Quora or LinkedIn) can become a useful source of knowledge and help you with some tasks. Communication within the topic of interest can be a form of knowledge consolidation. Talking with real people will help to obtain real-life information which is usually inaccessible in books.
Learn for Free from Those Who Sell
- Take parts in conferences. Today you can easily find a conference or seminar on the topic you are interested in. The aim is not only a free coffee but to speak and listen to interesting professionals.
- Attend webinars. The modern concepts of content marketing imply that you need to teach a person before selling them something. Do not underestimate that.
- Meet people on the interviews. If you are a manager, sometimes the best way to discover the real problems of the topic you are interested in is arranging an interview with a professional.
Time Management is a Clue to Effective Self-Studying
If you go to work by subway, the most suitable option for you is press. If you like long walks or going out with a dog, try to use audio books or podcasts. All in all, you need to learn how to combine different activities and spare every free minute for getting knowledge.
Save Some Time by Reading Effectively
Many people like big books (they should cost their money, shouldn’t they?). However, they sometimes consist of several ideas and lots of irrelevant examples which are not suitable for real life. For little money, you can subscribe to a website with book summaries. Many of these sites have free subscriptions and will send you book summaries. Read overviews on the Amazon. Find a book you are interested in and look through the comments. Every time there will be a person who tried to make a short summary of the book – the essence of that 20% of the book that forms 80% of its value.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to improve your knowledge and life. Indeed, self-education is a tough and long process, but the results will be seen very soon. In our modern world with streaming technologies simple books cannot provide you with all needed knowledge. So there is no other way but to teach yourself. After reading this article, you know where to begin and what to do.