The Importance Of Learning New Skills
The economic condition in Nigeria seems to keep dwindling; there are few jobs, thereby leaving many unemployed. Unfortunately, it seems that even those working are not spared of the looming, unforgivable hardship that is sweeping through our nation, such that people are owed wages and salaries after months of working tirelessly. Moreover, the world seems to keep advancing, and even Nigeria has joined the trend. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gradually taking over some people’s jobs. For instance, people are no longer hiring or needing gatekeepers any longer; there are now automated gates that can be controlled via remotes. More so, in the next few years, chauffeurs will no longer be needed as there are currently automated cars that can drive you around without someone steering them. So, at this juncture, only skill acquisition can bring full liberation. You can learn computer skills, catering skills, fashion designing and tailoring, shoe making, interior and exterior designing, etc.
WHY LEARN A SKILL?
Acquiring a skill or skills is very important, and this importance cannot be overemphasised. This is because the situation in our country, Nigeria, and Benue State in particular, has made this conspicuous. Learning a skill in a state like Benue has become an alternative means of survival; it’s like being able to breathe freely without needing an oxygen tube and mask. The advantages are:
- It is a means of self-employment:
In a state such as Benue where there are fewer employment opportunities, one would still need to work to survive, and what if the government does not provide jobs? YOU WOULD HAVE TO CREATE A JOB FOR YOURSELF. So, if you learn a skill and begin to utilise that skill, then you are automatically self-employed. The good thing is that when you expand your skills and need more hands on deck, you can employ others, and this will also create an employment opportunity for others, meaning that you can become an employer with that skill of yours. On the other hand, even those who have government jobs and are working cannot tell a different story; civil servants have been owed salaries for several months without pay, and this has caused a lot of hardship to these civil servants. Worse still, even without being paid, these workers are expected to earn a living for survival. This is where the importance of skill acquisition comes in; anyone can earn a living if he or she possesses skills that can fetch them some money.
- For diversification:
Diversification for wealth accumulation is important. Sometimes, one source of income may be insufficient to give you that pecuniary advantage or freedom, and the best way may be to engage in a skill aside from one’s monthly salary (which is usually not enough to solve the many looming financial problems). One can possess a variety of skills so that both of them can pay off concurrently or so that when one fails to pay temporarily, the other can stand in. One can be a civil servant and still learn skills such as coding, UXI, and even fashion design. These different skills can bring diverse incomes, which, after accumulation, would solve the problem of poverty.
- You become valuable:
Being valuable not just to yourself but to society is another important factor that the acquisition of skills can provide. When you are skilled at the things you do, people will always need your services, and this can fetch you success, new relationships, money, etc. The value that you can offer to people through your services can best be acquired if you learn a skill and apply it appropriately.
- It helps in boosting economic growth:
This instance can be seen in countries such as China and Japan, where the majority of the citizens possess one skill or another and produce goods from their skills. Now, imagine that the majority of Nigerians are skilled and many partake in the production or manufacture of products and services, or that the majority seem to carry out innovative exploits with these skills. The growth of the economy will surge upwards. In fact, let’s narrow it down to Benue State. Imagine the Benue people with diverse skills and more learning other skills. People will no longer wait for government jobs as they will be self-employed, which will in turn boost the economy of Benue State.
- It eliminates or reduces idleness:
You must have heard this saying that “an idle man is the devil’s workshop.” This is because someone idle is not productive; productivity also comes from being skilled. Thus, when you’ve acquired a skill that you are practising, it keeps you busy and far away from negative thoughts, and even when you are temporarily not rendering services, you keep thinking of how you can improve. But when a person (especially one who is not employed or self-employed) is idle, negative thoughts gain easy access to his mind, and that is why we have many such idle and financially crippled people who are into armed robbery, drug and drug substance abuse, cultism, pilfering, etc. Learning a skill or skills and practising them eliminates or reduces the risk of idleness.
- It gives you a sense of satisfaction:
You can enjoy both inner and outer satisfaction when you’ve learned a skill and, over time, become a master at it through consistent efforts. There is an inexplicable satisfaction that surpasses all human understanding that can be gained from skill acquisition. You feel happy and good after performing a task; it gives you a good sense of satisfaction.
Conclusively, there are several advantages one can get from skill acquisition, and the reasons above are just a bit of these. If you are unable to learn a skill as a parent, you can pay for your children to learn one skill or another at an early age, since the earlier the better. However, it’s never too late for anyone who is willing and interested in learning a skill; you can start now! So, pick yourself up, take that step, learn that skill or those skills that you desire, and become the best version of yourself because YOU CAN DO IT!
Photo Credit: SkyHub, Makurdi, Benue State