Do you love learning for the sake of learning something new? If so, that’s great. But what’s even better is to learn something new for the sake of your purpose.
I’m grateful for the learning philosophy of the company I started my career with. The organization was really committed to learning and development, and invested a lot of money in training their professionals. One thing I did for that company was to help create new learning paths that were designed to help accelerate engineers and technicians along their development plan. Every time I created a new learning strategy, I asked the question: are we developing them with the right skills? Is this a course that is of value to them, and is this the right time for them to take it? If it wasn’t an emphatic ‘yes’ then we’d take another look because this was never about training for training’s sake.
As I began to craft learning strategies for individuals and organizations, I reframed my question to: Are we growing them in the right direction? Is the learning that we’re prescribing beneficial to their career development? The same question is relevant in our own personal and professional growth. There are lots of ways to learn: online programs, live instructor-led classes, and books we can consume. These are all an investment of our increasingly precious time and attention (not to mention budgets) so before you leap into any learning opportunity, check to ensure it aligns with your vision for yourself and your career. Ask yourself, am I growing in the right direction?
I apply this learning philosophy to myself, my purpose and my career by strategically upskilling and challenging myself to continuously improve. As I mentioned in my last blog, relying on knowledge and skills we may have acquired 10 years ago is not going to cut it in today’s fast-paced environment. As McKinsey highlighted in its work with the Consortium for Advancing Adult Learning And Development: “For most people, it’s likely that the job they’re in now will not exist in the future—or at least not in the same form.”
Committing to a learning experience is also a great way to build in some accountability, so that you show up for yourself – your future self! I know from experience that completing a program is a great feeling. I recently achieved my EQ Practitioner Certification from SixSeconds after wanting to validate, grow and maintain my Emotional Intelligence expertise. This certification joins my PMP and DISC certifications which have been invaluable in my work helping teams, individuals and organizations to develop. For the future I’m excited to be embarking on a program with Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education – to deepen my expertise in supporting my clients to embed racial equity practices in the workplace. To complete my fall of learning I’ve been accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program – to take my 15 years of entrepreneurial experience and use it to better support business owners in their growth and development.
I’m excited to share insights from these experiences with you and to continue growing in the right direction. Are you?
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