How to Be Curious on Coursera (and Learn New Skills)

When you bet on your ability to learn new skills, ANYTHING is possible.

Joel Bein
Joel Bein

You can learn anything you want.

It doesn't matter if you're 48, or 58 or 68.
It doesn't matter if you have no tech background.
And it doesn't matter if it seems hard.

You have the power to learn. It's born into you.

Now, you may need to rekindle it.

Many of us go through conventional school systems of course, and we're essentially told, "you can't learn what you want to learn, you must learn what we assign to you."

Indeed, often-well-meaning teachers put through the K-12 meat grinder of age segregated classrooms where we are compelled to learn math, history, science, and so forth. And we're motivated by the carrots and sticks approach of getting an A or avoiding an F.

In short, we're not trusted to learn on our own.

No wonder as adults, we quickly lose the motivation and self-belief to learn new skills. It's schooled out of us!

But not forever.

You can de-school yourself.

A great way to do that is to start following your curiosity.

What tickles your interest? What would you want to learn, just for the sake of learning?

Start there.

Then go learn! (Coursera is a great place.)

Dialing in Your Curiosity

As you follow your curiosity, you can dial that in towards a career path.

What are you curious about that also other people value?

Maybe it's the learning to persuade people via marketing, maybe it's making compelling images in a design role, or maybe you get excited to listen and empathize with people in customer support.

The point is, narrow down to 2-3 role types, then you can start learning about those role types, even from ground zero.

When you bet on your ability to learn new skills, ANYTHING is possible.

“Build yourself brick by brick.”
—Tom Bilyeu

“For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

― Benjamin Button, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

How to Start Learning the New Skills

There are tons of ways to learn. Do what works for you. Education is as individual as a fingerprint.

But here are a few ideas:

  • Just start doing it. Learn by doing! Want to learn about business? e.g.Start selling t-shirts online.
  • Dive in to to courses. On Coursera, you have 7,000 plus to choose from. Even just invest 15 minutes a day on a video course, and you'll be done in no time.
  • Do trial runs on a given tech tool and play around with it.
  • Learn Out Loud by sharing what you're learning. (It could be as simple as this post I did when learning Salesforce). When you share/teach to others, you better understand what you learn.

(Any of these courses pique your interest?)

Google Data Analytics
Google Ads for Beginners
Reports, Dashboards, and Customer Success in Salesforce
Graphic Design

If not, start browsing on Coursera.

Just Start


You've read this far, and you've consumed a (hopefully) helpful post. The question becomes, will you now create and act?

Or will you say to yourself, "yeah someday I'll do that."

But "Someday" is not a day of the week!

Do it now. Just start. Build momentum with 1% progress. ; )

".... my Coursera Plus subscription motivated me to keep learning. I have a new career goal to pivot into data analysis and data science. I'm learning Python now!"
— Abigail P.

Learn Out Loud

Joel Bein

Joel Bein is CEO at Career Hackers and passionate about personal growth and self-driven learning. As a classically trained musician, he is Founder of the New Orleans Chamber Players.