Learning opportunities are everywhere if we just look for them. Learning from the traditional classroom or seminar situation, online reading, or from other leaders in the industry are all great ways to stimulate your brain and keep your hand on the latest information.
However, so many in the middle years of their career life have stopped looking for learning opportunities. When we stop learning, we stop being relevant and vibrant in our work life.
The Importance of Seeking New Learning Opportunities
In a recent Forbes article, Ten Signs You’re On Your Path — And Ten Signs You’re Not, author Liz Ryan leads us through the journey of Elise, a medical secretary. She’s taken through a series of questions to help her assess her current position and find ways to advance her career. I was most taken by the ten signs of whether or not she was on the right path. Seeking learning opportunities was one of those steps.
You’re on your path when you feel like a kid again because you’re learning at such a rapid pace. You’re not on your path when you haven’t learned anything new in ages but you say “That’s okay. I’m a subject-matter expert, so I don’t have anything to learn.”
We can’t afford to sit back on our past knowledge and experience and believe that we’ll continue to be relevant in our industry. Not only are there new advances and changes in customer expectations, but we also need to seek learning opportunities so that we stay excited about what we do for a living.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy
Not only will seeking out learning opportunities help us stay engaged, but it’s also a great way to become irreplaceable within your company. One of the 4 reasons you want to be continually learning is all about the value you bring to the company:
The person who can adapt the most wins. This is a piece of advice I learned reading about fighter pilots in the Air Force. It is not about the strength of the plane. Instead, it’s the ability to react to different situations that makes a fighter jet. The best fighter pilots can adjust to more circumstances than the norm, making them much deadlier.
This same idea can be applied to our value to our organizations. If you can only sell your product, you are limited by your contribution. If you can sell, build and run operations, now you’ve become irreplaceable.
Business is constantly changing. If you are lucky enough to be in the technology world, the changes are rapid and from all directions. Just this week Uber CEO announced that we are only ten years away from flying cars. Imagine the learning that is involved in totally changing the paradigm of transportation.
- What’s the Most Powerful Leadership Question?
- How to Overcome Fear of Failure and Other Career Blocks
- How to Turn NO Into Not Yet
- The Power of Inclusive Leadership
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
Don’t miss our online resources library for eCourses, online discussions, downloads, retreats and tools for professional women. Learn more here.