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How to Learn New Skills as an Adult

by Melanie Peterson

We’re often told that learning is a young person’s game. Their more supple minds are apparently quicker on the uptake, getting them attuned to all sorts of skills and knowledge far faster than an adult would manage. But even if this is the case, that doesn’t mean that learning should stop entirely when we reach adulthood. We all still have dozens of years which we can put to use to pick up new skills and enjoy more knowledge. Here’s how you can best learn new skills in your adult life.

Evening Classes

One of the big obstacles you feel is in your way to learning something new in your day-to-day life. You’re busy with your job, and the hours in between are spent sleeping or relaxing, and unwinding. But this needn’t be the case. For one of those hours that you spend in front of the television, you could sign up for an evening class that’ll help you pick up a new skill – be that a language or a tradecraft. So why not search for the skill you’re interested in – you’ll certainly find classes in your local city that you can attend once a week, slowly building up knowledge and talent. 

Online Learning

Then there’s online learning – something that existed before the pandemic but has since skyrocketed both in terms of availability and interest. You can learn anything online in the modern world – you can take online saxophone lessons in the morning and learn Arabic in the evening. You just need to find these educational providers, buy the equipment, and settle down in front of your computer for tuition from some of the world’s finest online tutors. It’s a great way to learn without having to head to an educational center once a week. 


There’s nothing more powerful than settling down in an armchair with a good book when it comes to long-term skills acquisition. Though they can feel difficult to get into at first, educational books can take you on fascinating journeys, stimulating parts of your brain that you might otherwise find difficult to activate when browsing the web. And there’s something wonderfully tactile about learning via books – getting your hands on paper that contains so much knowledge. Of course, Skills-building requires patience and effort, and books require that too – so it’s a nice confluence that you can take advantage of when you’re picking up a new skill. 


Finally, it’s always worth flicking through your contact book to find people who might be able to help you learn something new. Whether that’s an old school friend who enjoys cycling on the weekends or a colleague who can get you into chess, there are always interesting people around you who can help you pick up skills and have fun at the same time. So, reach out, make contact, and be prepared to learn with your friends and acquaintances – you never know where these experiences might lead. 

Learning new skills as an adult can feel like an uphill battle, but you’ll find different ways to acquire new capacities while having fun with these tips. 

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