Here in the USA we’re approaching the end of the official academic year. As summer approaches, anxious kids are looking forward to that perceived freedom from school and academic learning. It’s also the time of year when colleges are importing big name speakers for commencement; 2013 speakers include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Katie Couric. A quick search of the news media pulls up highlight reels, and LinkedIn has a list here. I’m sure few of us remember much about the commencement speeches we’ve heard over the years, or even who gave them but I’m sure all of us recognize that learning doesn’t stop when you leave an academic classroom. In fact, much of what you need to know in a work environment isn’t even touched on in an academic environment. What you learn now is actually relevant to your life.
Here at Brandon Hall Group, we talk a lot about learning. We study it. We figure out how companies can create it, track it, and deliver it. But how do you keep learning?
Some thoughts include:
- Take advantage of your company’s formal and informal learning infrastructure. Most companies offer learning and development opportunities. Seek them out.
- Seek out interesting people. One of my former mentors suggested asking people what they do to make the world a better place. Everyone has something to teach. Look for mentors.
- Read. Read books, blogs, magazines, and websites. With the amount of free content on the internet the opportunities for reading are endless.
- Watch. YouTube isn’t such a popular website for nothing. It has great talks, tips, and demonstrations on any number of topics.
- Participate. Join a networking group, a professional association, or an online community.
- Attend. Brandon Hall Group offers informative webinars, which are a great (and free!) way to continue learning.
The trick to making learning work for you is to make it relevant – to transform it from something that may have been a chore when you were in school but now adds real business value to what you do.
For an example of how companies can make learning a business tool for their organization, join us for a webinar on imbedded learning, where Prudential will discuss turning corporate learning in to a personalized experience.