Posted by Dave on January 19, 2010
I want to learn how to draw, but I have absolutely zero artistic aptitude. For example, I would like to be able to look at something (for example a tree) and be able to produce a reasonable facsimile of a that, rather then my current child’s drawing that could possibly be a tree or an elephant or some other unknown object (Hint:I am not a good partner to have playing Pictionary).
I am also a bit of a fantasy-book nerd and get envious when people can read a book and draw a character based on what they read (I realize this is weird, but this is something interesting that totally defeats me). Drawing and art is the exact opposite of everything I do in the rest of my life, which generally involves a lot of numbers and analysis and might be the reason why I want to learn how to do it, to get out of my comfort zone.
I was speaking with my brother last week who has a seasonal job, which generally involves him being laid off for 2-3 months of the year. He was talking about finding another career that would involve more steady hours, rather then 60 – 80 hour weeks in the summer and minimal work in the winter. With that in mind I came up with a couple of careers/trades that I would probably do if I wasn’t working where I was beyond my new interest in art. The added benefit of these jobs are that the skills could be applied to my own life, which would save me significant dollars.
1.) Auto Mechanic: I spend between $2,000-$4,000 per year on car repairs, probably half of that is labour. If I were to take a few courses or learn how to fix my own car, I could probably save at least $1,000 per year by doing the work myself. If I were to drive for 30-40 years, that works out to a lot of money. I realize that this is a very skilled trade and requires some specialty tools, but even if I could learn to fix my car some of the time it would save me money and fill up some of my days when I retire early.
2.) Finishing Carpenter: Having just bought a house, I have muddled through several home improvement projects (mainly by viewing You Tube videos). Yet I can honestly say I really have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. A lot of the skills learned in this job could be used around my own house, which could both save money on hiring as well as add value to the home through better craftsmanship.
There are probably other similar skills I could learn, but these are the ones I could come up with and are most applicable to my life right now.
Since I graduated from University seven years ago, I have continually taken at least three courses per year from Universities or Professional organizations. To me, the alternative to learning would be playing video games or watching television. I could get involved in a less structured learning environment (through self-teaching), but my workplace pays for me to take courses that are work applicable and at this stage in my career. My intention is to gain skills that I don’t already have in order to allow for greater employ-ability from both internal and external job postings in my field.
How about you, do you have any skills you wish you had, or have learned as an adult that you wished you would have had earlier in life?