Learning new skills

When is the best time to learn a new skill?

  • When you predict that it will be in demand.
  • When demand from potential clients/employers is around 10%.
  • When demand from potential clients/employers is around 25%.
  • When almost half of potential clients/employers expect it.
  • When well over half of potential clients/employers expect it.
  • When you know you’ve been rejected for not knowing it.
  • When someone has hired you to use it.
  • When someone is paying you to learn it.

0 voters

If you like multiple answers, tell us your 2nd choice, or even your 3rd choice.

If none of the answers listed reflect the way you feel, please share your alternative answer.

What factor would most-likely change your answer above?

  • The time cost of learning the new skill.
  • The financial cost of learning the new skill.
  • The financial cost of not knowing the new skill.
  • The likelihood that you will enjoy using the new skill.
  • The likelihood that the new skill would make the world a better place.

0 voters

Extra credit: Let us know why (if any) answers above are ridiculous.

For me, it’s a balance between interest and its relevance to a skill needed for a job. If I have no interest, I likely won’t want the job. If it’s something I’m interested it, I’d likely be looking for that kind of work.

Really, though, it seems like I spend half my time learning new stuff, acquainting myself with revised stuff or reacquainting myself with stuff I haven’t needed in months (or years). The ability to constantly pick up on new and different skills, software languages, website frameworks, software applications and various content management systems seems like a skill in and of itself. Seems we’re all expected to know everything.

Wow B. Both of your answers surprised me. I imagined you would think that learning after hired would be too late, and that learning for interest would be too idealistic.

There has to be a balance. A person needs expertise in what the job entails or that person won’t get hired. And one needs to be practical and choose a career with a future. I like to ride mountain bikes, but there’s no way I would have ever made money at it. Luckily, I always liked designing things too, so I put in the time, got the education and probably made the right choice in not pinning my future on a pro biking career.

But I see no point in studying up on things one doesn’t like in order to get a job that isn’t enjoyable and fulfilling. I could have gone to medical or law school and be making five times what I’m making now, but I would have hated every minute of the past 30 years.

As for learning after being hired, isn’t that sort of a requirement — this field doesn’t stand still. Maintaining a fascinating with what’s just around the bend isn’t just idealistic; it’s a practical personality trait that helps prevent obsolescence.

Even though design involves a whole lot more than art, I’d be willing to bet that most of us went into this field because we’re an idealistic, artsy and creative bunch. I really don’t see any way to succeed in this business without being idealistic and having an innate compulsion to improve things. A non-idealist designer seems to be a non-starter to me. That kind of person would be better suiting for a career in plumbing, auto mechanics or managing a hedge fund.

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Never stop learning. When you have a free half an hour, hone your skills. When you have a free afternoon, find something you’re not good at and learn how to do it better.
When you have enough time, learn a new skill - not new to you, like woodcarving or knitting, a new technique you just read about or heard about. Futureproof your employability. When I started in this business, there were no personal computers. I kept learning new skills and I’ve never been out of work.

I want to learn how to enjoy my free time better.

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This is how I enjoy my free time lol.

Sadly, this is something one has to learn.