Longterm goals often require you acquiring new skills or upgrading your knowledge. In a world where new knowledge is generated at an astounding rate, one can feel overwhelmed. It is no longer a safe option to rely on overburdened HR departments to ensure you get the training you need to stay relevant on the job. You either shape up or ship out.
If you have a goal, then you understand the importance of planning. Your career goals are likely not short-term goals you can achieve in a day but lifetime goals you consistently update as you make progress and new information becomes available to you. Whatever field, you have chosen to go into, achieving mastery is not something you are likely to see overnight.
To illustrate this point, the difference between who becomes a Master Musician and who remains an amateur is not determined by talent but by simply how many hours of practice a budding musician is willing to put into learning the craft.
An article I read online says you need 10,000 hours of practice to become a Master at any skill. That’s slightly over the total number of hours in a year! However, the keyword is mastery, many people are not looking to become Masters in a particular field but would like to be skilled enough to perform a task better or use those skills to solve a particular problem. If that is you, depending on the complexity of the skill, I’d say 20 to 100 hours of practice might be enough to get you started. It is always possible to learn more on the job as you go along and from working with others.
Regardless, how many hours, it takes, upgrading yourself to be able to perform better at the work you do should be part of your personal development plan. Unless you stay relevant in your field, your job will either be taken over by someone with the skill you lack or your competitors will force you out of business? What’s your next move?