Neharika Bhadouria, PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering
Changing fields of study can be a daunting and difficult process. However, with the right tools and resources, the transition can be smooth. In this article, we will look at some essential tools to have on hand when embarking on a journey to learn a new skill.
- Classroom/ Virtual Learning Platforms
Classroom instruction is useful to start broadening your knowledge on a new subject. In addition, the Internet has given access to education in the present day from any location in the world. Everyone has access to a huge selection of free online courses offered by sites like Coursera, edX, etc. Anybody looking to learn more about a new field or get an in-depth understanding of a particular subject will find these courses to be excellent resources.
- Professional Networking Sites
Use professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your new field. By conversing with others already employed there, you can find out more about the skills necessary to succeed in this field. You can connect with recruiters on these websites and find out about job prospects. You can use this to create a detailed plan for succeeding in this new field.
- Career Assessments
Taking career exams can help you learn more about your interests and abilities as you change careers. You can use these exams to identify potential job opportunities that match your skills and interests. To make more informed decisions, make use of professional assessment websites such as The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Strong Interest Inventory etc.
- Reading Publications
Reading publications such as journals and industry reports can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of current trends and topics. These publications can keep you up to date on ongoing innovations while also inspiring future research or projects.
- Mentors/ Counselors
A mentor or a counselor in your new field can be very beneficial. They can provide guidance and suggestions on how to navigate the field, as well as insights into the skills and experience required to succeed. Also, they can connect you to their contacts, which can aid in the development of a strong network for you. Mentors and counselors can help you develop a strategic plan and hold you accountable for your goals. They will inspire you to investigate a new area by encouraging you to take on challenges, do experiments, and explore.
- Conferences and seminars
Attending conferences and seminars in your new field can help you network with professionals while also learning about the most recent trends and developments. Numerous conferences and workshops offer sessions on specific topics, which can be a great place to learn about a topic. Take this as an opportunity to talk to as many people as you can in your field of interest.
- Peer Interest Group
Make an effort to work with a group of individuals who share your interests in the same field. It will be beneficial to schedule monthly meet-ups either in person or online. Everyone in the group should try to exchange knowledge and resources to support each other’s development. There should be a productive discussion about the challenges and come up with solutions.
In the end, it is important to remember that the ‘Journey of thousand miles begins with a single step-Lao Tzu ‘. Each step you take advances you in that field. It is okay to not know everything and make mistakes because we all learn throughout our lives and also learn from our mistakes. In addition to all of the tools mentioned, the most important tool is your own confidence and trust in yourself. So, keep your focus, dedication, and openness to new experiences in mind.