Self-learning for Mandela Month
The late former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela taught the world the art of caring for others. As a result, South Africa celebrate his kind deeds the whole month of July – since it’s Mandela Month. Where kind deeds are extended to the less fortunate in the spirit of the Nobel Peace Award winner.
As the “enitiaters” – as my colleagues and I are often called. Bra Willy, our boss, challenged us to take the Mandela month spirit and apply it to “self”. For me, it proved to be a lengthy process of self-introspection. I had to look at my finance career in a digital marketing work environment. Honestly, I did not even know where to start, my mind caught a train to Blankville. As I was processing the topic of self, my lessons from my boss on self-learning came to mind.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson, Rolihlahla Mandela 1918 -2013
Where it all began: technologically impaired to self-trained
I worked at a construction company prior to joining enitiate where I used Pastel accounting. The University of Johannesburg gave me a headstart on Pastel accounting and this wasn’t a hassle for me because I had notes to refer to. The digital way of doing things has never been my strong point – I always made my friends laugh by calling myself a ‘technologically impaired individual’, (it was bad on this end) . In April, 2015 when I joined enitiate, I walked into a whole new work environment where digital is the only way of executing anything from Admin to Finance. “There is no paper trail” (No use for paper), my boss would often say.
I was introduced to a new accounting system called Instant Accounting which is offered by First National Bank for its business banking customers. There was no accounting or finance personnel when I got to enitiate, but I at least expected to be schooled on the basics of using Instant Accounting.
Self-learning internet tools
My first few weeks at enitiate felt like being thrown into a pool of water , I felt like I was drowning. Working on Instant Accounting was a bit hard as I had no one to school me on the “how to”. But it is through lack of being schooled that I had to know and understand. I work with sensitive information and I knew I had to deliver when I was asked to generate an invoice – that was my first task. I had to fiddle to learn. I started using the internet more and explored notes and practical tutorials on how to use Instant Accounting.
The tools that helped me on the internet were:
- Webinars – web-based seminars which give you a detailed tutorial on the subject you are seeking knowledge on.
- YouTube – web-based video platform where millions of people share information on specific topics.
- Google – Google is a search engine that gives you information on virtually any subject matter you could possibly search for.
I must say I have learned quite a lot from the above tools, they have been a university that did not require any amount of money or lecture attendance. I can safely say education is not always expensive and self-learning is the new form of education.
My Mandela month contribution for 2016
Nelson Mandela who said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. So for Mandela month my contribution to society is imparting the knowledge of self-learning . It works and it’s a degree that doesn’t need money or sitting in long lectures all it requires is:
- The yearning to learn, and the
- Time to learn
I’ve found that learning things yourself gives you knowledge that you can never forget. Teach yourself to better yourself. Happy Mandela Month everyone!
What is your Mandela month contribution?
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