Motivation to Learn

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Farah and Erika will introduce today’s topic centered around motivation and action. Learning is not only limited to your academic career. Lifelong learning enables you to continuously adapt and grow through your experiences. What do you do to motivate yourself and to develop new skills and competencies?

How do you find ways to improve your skills? 

CindyIn my field of work as a digital content creator, I’ve developed skills using different design programs like Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, etc. and know that possessing these skills is not an end-all-be-all, it is ever-changing and has lots of room for improvement. To improve these skills, I like to use LinkedIn Learning (a free resource for UW students). They offer a variety of courses to help students learn the basics and fundamentals of the skill or software. I also like to watch YouTube videos for ‘how-to’ and tips for doing a specific thing in the software.

Practice, practice, practice – set aside time to practice and apply what you learned. Constant use of your skills will help you grow and improve. Find opportunities that will require you to use your skills. Ask others for feedback and take criticisms as motivation to enhance your skills.”

 - Cindy Luu, 4A Science and Business

Yes, practice! It can be easy to feel unmotivated when things don’t really go as planned. But with the goal to improve, it’s helpful to spend some time practicing and playing around what you learned, on your own time. Developing skills is hard work and does take time, but that is okay! Everyone learns at their own pace; determining what works well for you is important.

How have you built your confidence level in demonstrating your skills in the workplace/volunteer position?

Lal“When I first started working as a co-op student, I wasn’t comfortable with my own skills at all. I was really self-conscious of the possibility of messing something up. Because of this I spent the first few weeks of my first co-op nitpicking everything that I did, and I was really careful. After getting to know the job and familiarizing myself with the workplace I got more and more confident. I had the skills necessary, but I needed to get familiar with the specific position that I was in. The fastest way of doing this, in my opinion, is to take it slow the first couple of days/weeks and ask a lot of questions. Your supervisor won’t expect you to know everything immediately. The more time and opportunities you give yourself at familiarizing yourself with your environment and position, the more likely you are at getting more and more confident in the work that you do and your ability of doing it.”

 - Lal Sekercioglu, 3B Arts & Business (Visual Culture major) 

It’s normal to feel intimidated but it is important to remind yourself that you have knowledge and abilities to offer. Tell yourself that you are capable of managing your tasks and responsibilities. Even when you’re unsure of yourself, you can always reach out to your colleagues and supervisors for help. Lal outlines the importance of asking questions and not being afraid to clarify certain things.

In case you missed it, you can read the blog posts from Monday and Tuesday!