What we don’t lack today is the availability of information! What we often do lack is the availability of time to learn all we would like to or need to know.
How can we integrate learning into our work lives given the very real time constraints? Here are a few ways for you to make learning a priority for you.
- CONVERSE with colleagues – what are 2 or 3 vital trends in your industry, company and the world of work that are shaping the future? Discuss how you can learn more about those trends and what they mean to you and your career.
- CHOOSE two things you want to learn more about, develop skills in, or become more conversant with. These could be technical or “soft” skills or perhaps one of each. Write your goals: “Over the next 3 months I will deepen my knowledge/skills in a. and b.”
- ALIGN your goals with your current work by taking on a short term assignment or project that stretches you in the areas you have chosen.
- IDENTIFY a mentor or coach who can support you on the journey. Calendar at least two meetings, coffees or lunches over the 3 months in which the topic is your learning progress.
- TAKE NOTES along the way. Keep a notebook of what you’ve learned and the potential impact of that learning on your career.
In order to be a continuous learner it is not necessary to read a book, take a class or add another degree — those are commitments that take time and as a result we can put them off indefinitely when time is scarce.
Try something simpler as in the 5 steps above, and don’t put off your learning!