Learning isn't something "extra"; it is part of our every day being.
When you work at a University, you may think that learning only takes place when you are in a classroom or enrolled in degree program. However, learning is most often NOT a formal event, designed by someone else.
Below are 4 reminders for how you learn everyday on the job:
- When you observe a colleague: When you watch or overhear someone else completing a task. We compare and contrast our behavior with others. Watching others gives us ideas of how to do our work differently or reinforces what we already know.
- Through your work tasks or projects: We also learn by doing. When you take on a new project, you may not consciously think about the skills you will use or build to complete it; however, you may naturally ask questions or seek out resources to help you fill in your skill gaps.
- When you ask for feedback from a colleague: Our co-workers are valuable teachers and advisors! You may naturally solicit alternative perspectives or tips from colleagues when you debrief an interaction or consult with them on a project or task.
- When you give feedback or exchange ideas with a colleague: Teaching someone else is a powerful learning experience for you. Share what you learn with others to reinforce the concept and to build up your own confidence and comprehension.
Here's a quick, non-scientific self-assessment. Do you...
- Consciously pay attention to how others approach their tasks and projects?
- Write out the skills you build through your work tasks and projects?
- Give yourself credit for the skills you build through your work tasks and projects on your Performance Evaluation or on your LinkedIn profile?
- Have a colleague(s) or a peer group to give and share feedback and ideas (informally or formally)?