First, a quick question: what is gaining knowledge associated with?
I asked this question to a group of friends as a control – the sample was not representative, so we do not claim to call it a scientific study. The answers given were surprisingly consistent and formed a sequence: studies – session – exams – September correction campaign.
Generally speaking, we are dealing with a formalized knowledge acquisition process coupled with a verification system.
Aaaa… there was something else about learning from mistakes; better for others than for your own . So it turns out that a person learns this way until the age of 25, and then from case to case, or rather from error to error. A little bit of this science …
Now it’s time for small memories of student times. Probably each of us had the dubious pleasure of attending classes with the tutor who gave the impression that his knowledge, which he passed on to students, was “stale”. There are no classic and proven concepts, presenting a historical point of view on an issue, but simply not being in contact with reality, the current state of affairs or new technological developments. It’s just that the state of knowledge of such a lecturer stopped growing long ago, now it only recreates the news from years ago. It is not worth being so “stale” – it will affect the quality of our work, our professional image, prevent the development of our companies, and will not allow us to find new fields of professional activity. There will be no benefits from the reluctance to learn.
This blog was created to help “freshmen” find their place in the construction industry.
So if we start to feel hungry for knowledge, we have a lot of possibilities to satisfy it. There are postgraduate studies and various types of training or courses for those who are attached to institutions and serve the purpose of acquiring knowledge. Their completion is associated with a diploma confirming this fact, which can definitely be written on the plus side of this form of education. On the downside, it may be necessary to find the whole weekend for classes – the result is a set of 5 days at work + 2 days at university + 5 consecutive working days. It is a real scientific marathon.
So if time is a scarce commodity, self-education may be a better solution. There will be no diploma at the end, but it is easier to find time to study when it is convenient for you. Books, trade magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites – we choose our favorite formula, the subject matter we need and we can now delve into the world of industry news.
The advantages and disadvantages of each of the above sources of knowledge seem quite obvious.
Books, especially those peer-reviewed due to their scientific and academic character, have a specific “seal of quality” – the author and reviewers sign their name under it, put their authority and image at stake in the industry. This academic character can also be a disadvantage – the book can smack of excessive theorizing, lack of a satisfactory number of case studies, not referring to the latest trends and information from the industry (publishing or reviewing cycle does its job – we will not experience the hottest news in books).
In the case of trade magazines, we also deal with an author who is known by name and surname, who must mean something in his industry, since he is published. The publishing cycle here is also shorter than in the case of books, texts for magazines are created faster. Therefore, in the industry press, we have a better chance to find industry news. We can also be sure that the information published there is of good quality.
A list of the best magazines from the sanitary industry can be found below:
Blogs and industry portals
The fastest news will reach the Internet. Changes in the legal status or projects that have a chance to enter into force, industry news, information about new technologies and products – Internet portals are the place where we can find them. As in the case of non-professional online media, we have a guaranteed speed of information delivery, the credibility and professionalism of the people writing it may be a bit worse. Maybe, but of course it does not have to – it depends on the person running a given portal, website or blog. However, this is a topic for a separate entry.
Expanding your knowledge by reading the trade press, books and websites seems to be an obvious path for independent development of your professional life. But it is also worth reaching for other items.
Standards, laws and regulations
The project must always be developed in accordance with applicable regulations. As long as we do not have to read books, magazines and industry blogs – Standards, laws and regulations are a formal requirement. Do you want to design an object in accordance with the Construction Law in Poland? You must be familiar with the regulatory provisions.
Set a GOAL
A common exercise opening a coaching session is to imagine yourself in 5 years, in 10 years, in 15 years (these may be different dates). OK, you know we want to go as far as possible and achieve as much as possible, but what does that mean in practice? Let’s get specific. Do we have them? Great! Now let’s evaluate the resources we currently have. What should we add to the current wealth to get where we plan to be? What should become our strength? What are our strengths and business cards that we want and can boast about today? We know that we do great things, but during negotiations we cannot convince ourselves that it is worth paying for them as much as we would like? We work as a team, but we feel that this cooperation within the group is not as harmonious and efficient as we would like? Well, we have ready tips on what we should work on. As in the case of expanding knowledge in our industry, also here it can help us to reach for the appropriate books, magazines, newspapers, reading online texts, blogs, etc.
Depending on our needs, attitudes, preferences, etc., it is worth reaching for authors whose writing style and the nature of the subject matter we like and who simply appeal to us. There is no need to force yourself to read something you simply don’t like. After all, reading should give us satisfaction and pleasure, and not only provide knowledge.
If your goal is to obtain qualifications and become a designer, you can read the article below:
How to get qualifications and become a designer?
Why is it worth reading trade books, magazines, blogs etc?
Yes, let’s admit, this question sounds a bit like a school bench – it would be a perfect topic for an essay, which the Polish language teacher poisoned on a great weekend. However, let’s put aside school associations and think about what it is like with this reading. Why is it worth reading? There would be some arguments in favor of this.
• We are expanding and updating our knowledge.
Here, first of all, instructional, informative, educational publications etc. are useful. We learn about new techniques, tools and possibilities. We also gain information that allows us to update our knowledge, for example, about giving up some technology, detecting errors in it or about new applications of something that was already well known.
• We have something to refer to.
The written word is an invaluable way to disseminate information. Human memory is fleeting, which we often find out too well. Thanks to reading, we gain access to information that we can refer to at any time and treat it as a certain certainty, also in disputes or when explaining inaccuracies. We do not have this comfort in the case of reaching for information provided orally, which is considered less reliable. More confidence in the recorded information at the expense of said and heard is a side effect of the Gutenberg revolution.
• We draw inspiration.
Reading is an activity that engages our brain – you can put it so briefly, without going into too much medical detail. “I have to rethink what I have read” – this is often the way we summarize the reading (unless it was very uninvolved for us on an intellectual and emotional level, it did not provide us with any new information, etc.). Thanks to reading, we will come up with new ideas, creative ways to solve problems, new approaches to an old and well-known topic. The case study described by the author may become an inspiration to use certain solutions in a new context by analogy. A separate issue, although worth mentioning, are the texts that are not an inspiration in the professional sense, and above all in the field of self-development. From experience I can write that biographies of famous people whose achievements or life path, for some reason, arouse our admiration or simply interest in this matter. We will rather find recipes for success from A to Z on the Bill Gates scale in such a biography (the price of such a book was different then), but something that can push our thinking about our business, encourage us to quit our full-time job and start our own company, remodeling your offer, influencing the way you communicate with customers, etc. There are many possibilities here and it is worth taking advantage of them. The biography of not only someone from our industry can serve as inspiration, but also the biographies of artists who usually had a hard time in life can be quite suitable for this purpose.
• We gain professionalism.
The magic of names and wise terms is something that works strongly. Citing an industry-recognized authority is one way to make sure you are right. The hint that an industry-recognized author said yes and yes in his last publication is proof not only of knowledge of industry gurus, but also of being up to date with their findings. We bake two birds with one stone. Discussing and questioning the authorities is already a higher driving school and not everyone wants to do it. Therefore, by referring to them, we can gain a significant advantage in arguing. Note that this trick is not worth reaching for if we associate a given issue more than we know. After all, we do not care about the opposite to the intended effect, and this may be the case in this case.