In corporate setting, a lot of people depend a great deal on their employers for their own growth. When it comes to consolidating the skill-set or acquiring a new skill in their area of work, they wait for someone to come and train (read ‘spoonfeed’) them.
During a recent interview I conducted, I asked the candidate about specific/basic skills to which the candidate responded, “I never got a chance/opportunity to work on that in my current job” or “I was never given training on that”. Such statements tell a lot about a person’s commitment to their work.
Here are a few important reminders:
- The pursuit of personal mastery is a personal one. It is nice that your employer supports and pays for some of those trainings. But ultimately, it is your responsibility to put those lessons into practice. Your growth is about you, and it is personal.
- It starts with commitment. Unless you are committed to learn, no learning can happen. Training doesn’t guarantee learning unless you are committed. Commitment also means that you have a deep sense of responsibility for your work and knowing that constant learning will help you do it better.
- Initiative is important. Once the training is done, how much do you experiment with the subject? To put lessons into practice, ability to move beyond the fear and initiate is vital. You don’t need anyone’s permission to grow.
- So is choice. As a mature professional, what career path you select, what will you study/learn, who will you learn from, where will you learn from are all important choices. Leaving these choices to someone else may be a risky affair in the long term. No one knows you as well as you do.
- Resources are abundant. Fortunately, we are living in a world where a lot of high quality learning material can be accessed for free. Online conferences, blogs, free events, high quality technical resources, eBooks are all free. So, access to quality material is no longer a competitive advantage. What you do with them is.
- It is worth the investment. Instead of waiting for anybody else to pay for your training, pay it yourself. It is a worthy investment, not only because you increase your value as a professional, but it also helps in building a high self esteem. Constant learning helps you remain focused, positive, optimistic and hence, happy.
W. Edwards Deming nailed it when he said: “Learning is not compulsory – neither is survival.”
So, here are a few critical questions that we can (and should) ask ourselves periodically:
– What did I learn in past week/month/quarter/year?
– How did I evolve as a professional?
– Has my learning helped me in expanding my own capacity to contribute?
Join in the conversation: Have you encountered people who rely on their employers for their growth? What have you learned from people around you who take complete responsibility of their professional growth?