Contrary to what you thought while you were in school trying to learn how to do it, memorizing textbook information is a skill you'll need to use your entire life. All careers are learning experiences whether you're flipping burgers at McDonalds or the head of scientific research at a major university. Staying at the top of your game in any field requires retraining information as advances are made so you might as well get good at memorization, because it's the single best way of retaining useful information. If you don't already have a photographic memory, this article should provide some helpful tips on getting good fast.
Don't Memorize Everything
What most people don't realize is that memorization is only helpful if you're retaining useful information, and a large portion of any textbook is explanation and filler. When you're memorizing, go right for the meat. If you're training to be an electrician, for example, zero in on phrases like "Compression Lugs are for two hole stud type input power connections" and memorize that. Read the section on the history and development of compression lugs, but don't memorize it. It's enough to understand where they came from.
You should also make sure you know what you'll be using the information for, because that will help you decide what's relevant enough to memorize and what isn't. If you're training for a real estate license, get an old copy of the exam or see if they provide a pre-exam training test from which you can study. If there's a question on detached homes you can go through your textbooks for relevant facts on the subject and make sure to remember them. You might also find it helpful to speak with real estate training professionals, so you can see what you are reading in real time action.
Make a List
Memorizing facts in-context can be helpful if you'll be expected to repeat paragraphs verbatim. This may be the case if they're staffing government jobs or you're applying for a position of a court stenographer. However, verbatim memory dumps aren't the only use for memorization. You can also use it to study for any test by compiling relevant facts about a subject into a numbered list and then memorizing the list. It's a proven effective study technique, because the number association lets you know if you've forgotten anything.
This technique can be especially useful in any profession, like the law, where there are a lot of rules or regulations to remember. Legal language is often complex and overly verbose, so in order to make sure you've got the main points down pat you can pull them out and make a memorizable list. For example, bar exam tutors need to keep up to speed on changes to their local local laws, and this would be easy if they just had to modify a bulleted list rather than memorize a whole new Act. Just ask Strategic Bar Coach about how often the California bar exams change and how they keep up with the ever changing information!
Memorization works but needs topping up in order to stay verbatim in your head, so review your lists every week or so to make sure you've still got them down.