The second reason to learn something new is for helping others. As I mentioned in my last post the InDesign skills that I learned mostly on the job at my business made me the go-to coworker at my day job. In other words, because I had gotten pretty good at the program I was then able to help people who needed it.
2. Helping Others Helps Us
Back when the internet was new to most of us, I was working for an advertising and promotion agency. I foresaw that learning web design would be a useful skill to have. My boss at that job was not seeing it that way so I had to learn it on my own. Eventually I convinced him to cover the cost of a course on HTML. With that class (on a series of CDs) I was able to get up to speed enough to design our first website.
Once the site was up and running the Account Execs could sell the agency’s “expertise” to our clients. It wasn’t long before I was designing the first website for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, one of our biggest clients.
That says to me that learning something new can have real career advantages, even if you do it mostly on your own time and on your own dime. I was at that job 10 plus years after that and I look back on the experience when I need motivation to invest time and money into learning something new today.