Learning is as necessary as oxygen. After all, nothing is static --- no work context, no individual life and no profession. If we don’t continue learning, we lose credibility and struggle to adapt.
“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” --B. B. King
At smith & beta, we help employees find their inner learner. This learner within––a receptive, curious and courageous self––is sometimes deeply buried through criticism or unrealistic expectations at work. Our programs chip away at corporate culture’s biases against “not knowing,” and help employees evolve their skills and improve their confidence
However, admitting one's shortcomings can be very difficult, especially in today's ultra competitive work environment. The thing is, the wisest people who have ever lived - such as Socrates and Einstein - openly admitted to the limits of their knowledge or expertise. A good place to start is to truly understand how your skills best serve your profession today and map how that will change in the next six months, year, etc. Most professionals are hesitant to admit the details of their deficiencies, but happy to ask for more education on the job.
“Please describe the ocean in which we are drowning.” - Anonymous client
A commitment to learning on the job takes focus, time management and courage. At times, learning can be scary, we admit. But, the overall benefits of being open-minded, having a vision, being passionate about a field, pursuit or cause outweighs the initial plunge into the grey fuzziness of “figuring it out.” It is imperative employers not only support this culture of learning, but also work hard to develop it. And, employees must understand that it is up to them to evolve and actively engage in learning each day.
So, how do you start to love learning on the job?
We begin by making time and space for education. Not an easy task, but necessary to remain competitive. Think of it as an investment in yourself. Simple things like picking up a book, taking a class, attending a local meetup or asking your boss about attending a workshop can lead to you increasing your understanding in your particular field. But it all starts with you. No employer will provide all the resources, but the smartest employees know that curiosity and motivation are key.
In 2017, let’s take on a LOVE of learning like never before. It’s our responsibility. Let’s begin to take charge of own LOVE of learning and ask for education. Make time for learning. Embrace the unknown. Take a chance. Experiment with a completely new skillset. Get out of your chair and explore.
All great companies make time for learning. And many are putting talent development at the top of their list for 2017. Education is not an optional part of work. What we gather, immerse ourselves in, share, explore and make all contribute to a higher level of impact on the job and creation of new forms of work.
So, let’s start LOVING learning.