Acquire new skills to survive 2019
To thrive and survive in the new millennium, you have to acquire new skills. Formal education is no longer enough to gain employment; you have to acquire new skills.
I entered journalism as a proof reader on the Nigerian Tribune, Ibadan in 1962, courtesy of an industrial attachment programme of my school, the International School in Ibadan, a staff school of the University of Ibadan.
Nowadays, technology has eliminated the proof reader in journalism. It has also eliminated the typist. Now, you have to type, proof read and sub your stories before sending it for publication.
As it is in journalism, so it is in the workplace in general; many job titles have become obsolete. Thus, skill-based, informal education alone cannot get you jobs in this 21st Century.
Drawing is our first skill. It is an art form that takes many years of practice to master. It is a broad skill that can be broken into sections.
The smaller sub skills take too long to learn. Sketching techniques are sub skills that are applied to paper and software.
Colouring techniques, line art, photoshop, illustrator are their software usage.
Pencil gripping, controlling line weight, faces of people, creatures, objects and scenery are other drawing sub skills.
Shading techniques, realistic, cartooning and caricature styles, technical drawing, architecture, electrical, engineering, structural, scientific and many more.
Since drawing is a broad skill, learning it starts from any of the sub skills mentioned. With 30 minutes paced practice per day, five days a week and three months, you will master it.
Following tutorials online consistently, you will be surprised how fast you can become good at most of the sub skills.
Being more productive is my second skill. Productivity by definition means making the most of the 24 hours you have in a day. This is an ambiguous skill, because productivity is an abstract concept.
Progress then is measured on time saved and the quality and quantity of results accomplished.
Being more productive is not all about work; it is about spending time doing what matters to you. That can be time spent with family, friends, working and entertainment.
The sub skills of being productive include clearly identifying your purpose, clearly identifying your values, adopting the growth mindset, developing self-awareness, focusing, going into flow, getting limitless effect and crafting smart goals by working smart.
Working smart, as the linchpin of productivity, means you truly understand the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule); using the Eisenhower Matrix, planning your career and managing your time prudently.
Your road to acquiring productivity skills comprises mastering the use of the keyboard, track pad or mouse and typing faster on computer or phone.
My story on productivity is interesting. After ‘media employer won’t pay salaries habit’ took root in Lagos in the turn of the new millennium, I started writing for The Guardian as the only solvent tabloid at the time. We submit our manuscripts to be typed by a pool of stenographers.
Now, writers have to type their scripts by themselves. That forced me to type my columns by myself.
At the beginning, I type from scripts, but now, I type direct from memory and faster than ever before. These changes improved my productivity.
At a time, I could only produce an article per day. Now I write two essays per day. L
earning the skill of productivity has accelerated my productivity a hundred fold. Like me, you have to learn new skills to survive this Fourth Industrial Revolution.
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