Four Ways to Keep Learning As a Professional
Once you start your professional career it can be hard to work out how you can keep learning and developing as a person. Time is hard to come by, and your job will always take more time if you have it available. This makes finding the time to focus on learning or development very difficult. The catch is, it’s tough to move up the professional ladder if your knowledge isn’t continuing to grow. Thankfully, developing as a professional isn’t impossible and there are plenty of ways to keep learning as a professional. If you’re looking for the perfect way to continue your development, try these tips to keep learning now.
Post-graduate degrees and qualifications are one of the best ways to continue learning as a professional. Looking into additional qualifications like a counselling Master’s degree, or a relevant field to you is a great way to continue learning. The post-graduate study combines the theoretical aspects of your area of study with real-world scenarios and case studies. This application of the course content means you often do assignments or work on examples from your workplace. This is the type of development you need to help you put the content of the course into a context you live and breathe every day. This style of learning is hugely beneficial to professionals as it allows you to showcase your learning and new skills almost instantly. This kind of application will help show those around you how much you’re developing and growing in the workplace.
A great and very underrated way to learn as a professional is through networking. Attending networking events will introduce you to a whole host of individuals from industries or positions just like yours. This connection and discussion will naturally lead to topics around challenges you’ve faced, the success you’ve had and other key things that will provide deep insights. By hearing these stories from other professionals you learn new ways to attack a problem or new customer segments to target. Learning doesn’t have to look like a traditional or formal structure, it can be as simple as talking to other people in a similar position.
Networking is also great for building your profile, and by demonstrating an eagerness to hear and learn, you may find yourself the subject of an offer or two by attending these events. Networking events are also great for meeting successful people in your industry through panel discussions. You’ll get the chance to ask some probing questions that can help you learn from both a professional and personal standpoint.
Peer to peer
Learning as a professional doesn’t mean you always need to look outside your organisation. Try setting up a peer-to-peer learning circle at your workplace. There will be plenty of people who have been on professional development courses or attended conferences. Instead of letting that new knowledge and information sit with one person, encourage sharing in an open forum. Hearing from your peers is a great way to share knowledge, and put learning into the context of the business you work at as well. Set these sessions for lunchtimes and make them optional so people don’t feel pressured into attending. You want the people in the room who are keen to learn or share, that way everyone gets the best out of the sessions. Peer-to-peer learning is a fantastic way to share insights and often resources from the courses everyone attends.
There is a plethora of information available online, whether it’s courses or simply finding course materials from others. Professionals share information all the time and are willing to advance others by putting it centrally online. Use simple platforms like YouTube to learn from incredible people through professional channels. There are also so many resources you can find for free online that will help develop certain skills or offer a course to hone your skills in a particular area.
No matter what skills you want to work on, there is likely a resource for you online. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking to learn for free, there will more than likely be a low-cost option to purchase a course. Online learning is a great choice for professionals who are time-poor as you can learn at your own pace. This means you can tackle the courses piece by piece over many weeks or months, the ideal solution for the busy professional.
No matter what industry you work in, or what skills you want to acquire, learning as a professional is possible for everyone. Whether you opt for a formal qualification through post-graduate study or learn from those around you at work, there is an option for everyone. If you’re chasing that extra knowledge or information to help you continue to learn as a professional, try using these tips to get there faster.