New job? Lots to learn? We've all been there
Posted on March 16, 2017
A few years ago, I changed careers and moved into IT consulting. It was a big adjustment since I knew consulting, but not the IT part.
The first few months were tough. I knew how to be a consultant, but not knowing the tech side was becoming a problem. I couldn’t really participate in conversations because I didn’t understand the terminology, so I spent most nights trying to research the things I hadn’t understood during the day. I had no resources beyond my work colleagues, the internet and the bookstore.
Learning was a nightmare -- I had no idea where to start and no idea how to build on what I was learning in a meaningful way. For example, in what order should I learn about infrastructure stacks? Should I learn about the servers first or the applications that run on them? What keywords did I need to learn so I knew what everyone was talking about?
In the early days, I used to keep a word doc titled, “Consultant Glossary” (I wish I were kidding) where I wrote down tech words that I didn’t know, like “metadata,” so I could learn what the words meant and be able to pepper them into conversations appropriately later.
Hardest of all, there wasn’t appropriate level information available. Sure, there was always the basic stuff or the advanced stuff, but what about information for mid-career people like me? Where was the mid-level knowledge like how to use a pivot table without explaining what a column and a row are? In 2008 when I started my IT consulting career, MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses didn’t exist. Since then, companies like Udemy were started as a response to the massive need for continuing education for mid-career professionals. There are so many good educational resources out there. If you want shorter bite-sized videos with quizzes, they’re available. If you’re looking for the structure of a college level course, it’s available.
But this explosion in resources has led to a new problem: the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a casual learner or you’re looking to upskill, how do you find the resource that best matches your learning level and subject? I joined CareerWaze because they are solving that exact problem. At CareerWaze, we run a skill assessment to gauge your skills, then based on your interests we create a learning path to bridge where you are with where you want to be. If you’ve ever found yourself where I was, check us out at careerwaze.com.
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