In my previous organization, I had the opportunity to train many. From undergraduates to postgraduates. From beginners to well-experienced ones. From Engineers to MBAs. My training experience with each one of them turned out to be quite profound. Even after teaching them the same tasks and responsibilities some of them performed very well while the others found it very hard to catch up.

You might think it was the different levels of experience or education that played a vital role. But after a careful perusal of the same, I realized that the level of experience didn’t have any part in the said results.

Now, how is that possible?

I received the answer when I started analyzing their working patterns. The trainees who did much better in executing the tasks were the ones who were not shy of clearing their doubts. They were the ones who didn’t mind spending a few extra minutes to work on what they learnt.

To my surprise, they were the ones who not only performed the given tasks but also figured out alternative ways to get the same tasks done efficiently.

I do not hold the card of being ‘well-experienced’ in the industry. But I have worked my way up to earning a position dreamt by most ‘experienced’. So I do know there is only one thing that’ll help you surpass ‘Experience’. It is ‘Self-Learning’.

Being once undervalued, Self-Directed Learning is now the most sought-after skill in any industry.

A mind with the willingness to learn definitely attracts admiration.

You may not agree but you might have experienced the same early in your life. At school, when every student in your class is taught the same thing, how was it that some had better grades than the others? How come they understood things better than the rest? How come the teachers favoured the ones with better scores?

What is it that makes the difference?

Is it because they are smarter than the rest?

The answer to this question is — Yes, they are smarter than the rest. But as Nicolas Cole pointed out, they are not born smart. They put in the extra efforts so that they could be smarter than the rest. Hard work is never undermined. Extra efforts always inspire appreciation.

“My parents always taught me that my day job would never make me rich. It’d be my homework.”

Daymond John, CEO of FUBU.

It is very easy to work on something you are trained to do. What separates you from the rest is the additional element you bring into your work.

“Don’t be addicted to money. Work to learn. don’t work for money. Work for knowledge.”

Robert Kiyosaki

In this day and age, it’s no longer about learning the things which pay your bills. It is the thirst for learning things that are not liable to pay your bills at the moment but the knowledge alone will be very beneficial to you in the long run.

In the book — Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the author, Robert Kiyosaki, tried to point out the fact that being a good writer might have got him the title of being a ‘Best Writing Author’ but in order to become a ‘Best Selling Author’, he had to step up and learn the principles of Writing & Marketing altogether.

We are fortunate to live in the digital era where we have so many ways to acquire knowledge on the themes we desire. With so many integrated information platforms & easily accessible online courses, saying “I don’t know anything about it” have become a sign of indolence.

We are in need of people who have the physical and mental drive to sustain themselves in the ever-evolving era of business. People who are not only working towards shaping the organization but also working towards their own personal drive.

Having a personal aim is a sign of ingenuity.

Gone is the time when people were known by the company they work for. Now, the company is known by the great leaders whose vision shapes the organization and who influences many more to share that vision.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

Ronald E. Osborn

Your degree might get you through the interview. It’s the ability to acquire knowledge alone that will drive you to your success.

Originally Published At The Ascent