The next bit of advice is to learn. Constantly. Don’t ever think you’re too old, too dumb, have been out of school too long, too busy, too . . . whatever. If you want a college degree, figure out how to get it. Do you qualify for a grant? Figure out how to fill out the paperwork. Just remember that even if it will take you 10 years to get an associate degree, in 10 years you’ll still have a degree or you’ll just be 10 years older without one. Time is going to pass whether you take action toward your goals or not.
It isn’t easy! I got my associate degree over the span of 18 years while raising two little ones and working full time. But I did it!
Even if you don’t want to go to college, you still need to learn every day. And it’s much easier to do that than it used to be. With the internet, you can find blogs to follow and other information on topics that interest you. SELF PROMOTION ALERT: If you’re interested in proofreading, check out my blog at proofthatblog.com. You can download and listen to podcasts on absolutely any topic you desire. Check it out on iTunes or a podcatcher of choice. If you’re completely stumped, ask me. I have podcasts that I listen to regularly during my two hour a day commute. It really does help pass the time and I always learn something. The side effect is that I don’t dwell on something that happened at work or was posted on Facebook or was in an email. I have to concentrate on what they’re saying, so I’m paying attention to that instead of the ugly voice in my head (more on that in another post).
If you don’t have time or interest in a podcast, try books, electronic books, or audio books. There are stores that sell used books, there are free ebooks, and audiobooks can be purchased through a company like Audible or you can find CDs at used bookstores or even at Goodwill. If all else fails, get a library card and borrow a real book or an audio book FOR FREE!
The thing is you should never stop learning. Look for the association for your job position and join it or at least subscribe to their publications. See if there are certifications for the jobs you do. Figure out what things you are really interested in and want to learn more about and find groups that focus on that. Want to learn to crochet? There are groups for that. Want to learn to cook gluten free? That information is all over Facebook and Pinterest. Want to learn all kinds of life hacks, YouTube is full of them. Pinterest and YouTube are two more excellent sources of learning. If you have a problem with something in your software like Word or Excel, search on YouTube and find a video to help solve it.
By all means, read for pleasure also. I am firmly convinced that children who read are children at the top of their classes and are adults I don’t mind working with. You will be amazed at how much grammar information you pick up by reading all kinds of books. It will make your writing better and when you rise to a position of authority, your staff will thank me.
There is so much information out there that you are crazy if you’re not taking advantage of it. Here’s some homework for you. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen (or pencil). You could do this on your phone, but let’s try it this way. Start listing all the things you would like to learn more about. Now put a star or other mark beside those you are most interested in. Then turn to my good friend Google and search for information on those topics. Then search Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Periscope, Blab, and YouTube. Keep the list so you have more topics once you feel like you’ve read enough on any one topic. Think what you could learn in just 5-10 minutes a day!
As Mahatma Ghandi said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Now don’t forget to do your homework and start learning!