Learning in mid-age: a crisis or just merely fun?

Studying and learning new is like project management. Last autumn I decided I need a certification of Project Management to enhance my options to find a new job. My process started at first to analyze, which organization (meaning either PMI or IPMA). The result more often PMI certification was asked here in Singapore. Probably different from Europe in general? After that I still wanted to compare the two organizations, and finally selected PMI. And then there was decision to be made: which certification and program I want to choose. I ended up to start the studies with PMP (Project Management Professional). Since September 2015 I have passed 27 e-courses, applied to get certified (demands e-courses, a lot of PM work). What I noticed that my process was exactly from project management textbook: first initiating, then planning, executing, there has been a lot of monitoring and controlling, and now I am waiting for the closure.

I had a backflash with certification test due to PMI is renewing its material on PMP-program and particularly the core: textbook. The release is in April, but the organization has already renewed the test. Not so matching, but need to wait for a while now to have a chance to download renewed textbook. It seems that quite a lot of content is changed. Of course, there are a many delays, obstacles during the project, and what to do. Re-analyze, find a workaround, re-plan, deny the event etc.

My workaround is to study something else meanwhile, with given time-out. I started a new program provided by Coursera. It is said that current workers and students need to learn eternally new. Maybe so, but even though I have a degree on Marketing, I found very intriguing to start a new specialization program of Digital Marketing. Globe is changing, so must I. Sort of funny, but my steps were exactly same than finding out, which PM-certification to take. Now of course there were so (too) much alternatives, but my criteria were quite simple. Not too costly, online courses available in my time, known institution, something to be linked in practice, maybe to get global network. But still I walked the same path from initiating to executing. I am monitored and controlled, which is good, it is keeping me more or less on the track (timetable). My first module is passed, so partial closing also experienced, final closure somewhere there over the rainbow, but heading there.

Last year I also started to bake traditional sourdough bread plus rye bread. So my thought is that do I process my new things always similarly, like a proper project manager. And after not so profound analysis I realized that well, yes, most of what I do and especially what I start is usually had some project management shower. For instance my baking. I wanted to have my own bread starters (I have blogged about the experience earlier). My first intention was to start with sourdough starter reasoning (I don’t know why) that is has to be easier, simpler than rye flour starter. I studied and compared and tried many times before succeeding. My trials and errors and lessons learned with sourdough starter helped me to create simple and living rye starter (many trials though). One lesson I learned is that ingredients differ from country to country or at least flours vary from Finnish ones I was used to. But since I have had time to experience, and it has been my own personal project, I have enjoyed a lot of every phase. Baking is of course another phase! All breads have been eatable, some tastier than others, but I am glad I have kept going on with my starters (they are still alive!) and baking.

Of course not all my activities follow the path of project management processes, but for me realizing this actually helped me with my studies as well. Some of the new things I have started and learned have been discontinued – quite probably the majority, but it is also have along some continuities, like reading (since I was about 10 years old), baking – I have had different waves and phase, but since I was 13-14 years old, and now the latest learning: my starters.

20160328_204413.jpgMy newest learned craftsmanship, I learned last October, how to knit socks by watching YouTube video. Socks are not beautiful, but  at least they are hand-made.