The huge gap between theory and practice

Its 2:40am and I’m sitting at the nice executive table in my studio apartment, a place I have come to consider my “work space”. I’m working on a marketing plan I asked myself to draft earlier today, or rather yesterday. And as I try to make this plan out to be something practical and valuable to both my learning process and that of my company, I cast my mind back on the last few days and think to myself, it’s a huge gap between theory and practice.
I had recently taken a job at an online shopping company and had opted to work in the marketing department. For me, online marketing was just it, couldn’t have gotten better than that in my little world of logic.
Stepping in armed with my supposed “wealth of knowledge”, I sat at my desk to start work on the most important aspect, to me, the email campaigns.
But after a few minutes I came to realize I was not fully prepared for this, it just wasn’t what I had expected. It was a much bigger challenge, but then truth be told, it was a whole lot of fun.
I haven’t come here to relay my entrance scene at the work place, I just wanted to let you know that everything you have learned out there is valuable, but not as valuable as when you can put theory to practice. It’s just quite a different ball game all together. So here are a few tips to make sure you don’t leave one behind and carry on with the other

Find somewhere to practice your skill

I always didn’t really like theory courses through my schooling years, felt like I was being cheated of pure unfiltered practical knowledge. And though that was partially wrong, it still applies to all things online.  If you can’t practice it, then you can’t hone it.

Be ready for a shock

Believe me, things are never what they seem. We always have a picture in our minds while working on small scale projects, going through countless hours, digesting research on industry findings, expecting an ideal environment to work with, but guess what, it hardly ever happens that way. Companies are preoccupied with several different tasks and severely understaffed, placing less emphasis on detail. So where you expect to see clarity you would find ambiguity, where you expect perfection you would find imperfection. My advice, take a deep breath and just keep living, things would straighten out with the right input.

Be willing to learn

You have to understand that what you read and what you see, most times turn out to be quite different. Most sources of information assume some basic ground rules are already in place for their audience, well those ground rules are not always there in practice, sometimes you have to start your little project from the ground up.
One thing is for sure though, the guy with no theoretical knowledge but a whole lot of practice knows more than you ever will at the moment, so kill your self-pride and learn all you can.

Create a concise plan

In my opinion, a cause well planned for is a cause half way through success. If you must become or do something reasonable, you need to have a well-documented plan for it. Some ideas never come until you put pen to paper, trust me.
Draw up a weekly or monthly plan for yourself, something to keep you on a clear path for the year, or a part of the year, but have a big goal in mind, you should always have a goal behind another goal. That way, you can keep track of success and ways to not succeed.

Follow through – Build, Measure, Learn

The point in everything that has been said here is to help you build applicable knowledge. To be sure of that, when you accomplish a task, test it to know for sure that you reached your desired outcome, then come to a conclusion on what you have learned, for good or for bad.
We all hope to find an ideal world someday, where everything is just how we want it. But till then we must create that world for ourselves, and there is no better path to take in that regard than the path of action.

Happy holidays everyone.
I wish you all a merry christmas.

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