Are you interested in learning how to remain relevant, acquire new knowledge and competencies, and stay ahead of the curve in your field? I have gathered six strategies from professionals across various fields to help you navigate the path of self-learning and skill development during your career. These strategies range from embracing adaptability and new technologies to leveraging networking and mentorship. With insights from an HR Director to a Sr. Corporate Investigator, these tips will assist you in enhancing your career growth. By following these expert tips, you can remain relevant, acquire new knowledge and competencies, and stay ahead of the curve in your field.
6 Strategies for Maintaining Self-Learning and Skill Development in Your Career
Embrace Adaptability and New Technologies
In the fast-paced realm of the job market and technology, adaptability is essential.
I keep a keen eye on emerging trends and willingly adjust my learning approach as needed. Sometimes, this means stretching myself out of my comfort zone and into new areas of training and development just so that I can maintain relevance. This means, for me, learning to use new software and technology, which doesn't always come easily!
With trends in employment heading towards more of a skill-based workforce in the digital age, you have to make a conscious commitment to professional development in order to stay relevant.
As a Career Advisor and a Professional Growth Specialist, I see the importance of maintaining self-learning and skill development across all industries and sectors.
This flexibility isn't a choice, but staying agile offers exciting opportunities to learn, grow, and excel in your career.
Katharine Gallagher, Professional Growth Specialist of Education, Career, Recruitment, Productivity, Business
Schedule Regular Learning Appointments
Make time and create dates to learn. Days are hectic and busy. Just like scheduling lunch or a monthly hair appointment, schedule time to learn. Define the time parameters. Maybe start with once a week. Or, perhaps, 10 minutes a day during lunch.
Take a walk during lunch and use the first 30 minutes to listen to a learning podcast so you can get two for the price of one. Learning and unlearning are key. Decide which books to read this year. Time: Once a month or quarterly.
Be consistent and give yourself a goal. Goals can be achieved once written down. I will read one book a month or every two months, and by the end of the year, I will have read 6 books. Fill in the gaps and make it work for you.
Avid learners infuse those learnings and share them with others via social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Instagram. Learning is essential and should be ongoing. Change it up every year and make it fun. This is a priceless value to pass on to children.
Tanya Turner, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHR, HR Director, SALTO Systems, Inc.
Set Challenging Goals for Learning
I set challenging goals to keep me going. When I decided to learn Korean, I set a goal to read a short Korean book in six months. This kept me focused and motivated throughout this time period.
I dedicated at least 20 minutes each day to learning and repeating vocabulary. I have after-work lessons two times a week. I also use Duolingo (I'm on my 181-day streak already!). In my free time, I watch K-dramas with subtitles. The combination of these approaches definitely yields results.
Kseniia Mykolaienko, CMO, Parentaler
Implement the 5-Hour Learning Rule
Maintaining continuous learning in my career is anchored by the "5-Hour Rule": dedicating at least five hours per week to learning. This could be reading industry journals, taking online courses, or attending workshops.
For instance, I allocate one hour daily before my workday starts to delve into a new topic or tool. This habit not only keeps me updated with industry trends but also sparks fresh ideas and perspectives.
By ritualizing learning, I ensure it's an ongoing, integral part of my professional journey, allowing me to adapt and thrive in a constantly evolving landscape.
Richard Frankel, Disability Lawyer, Bross & Frankel, PA
Teach Others to Reinforce Learning
Teaching others is a powerful way to solidify your learning. When you explain a concept, guide someone through a process, or mentor a colleague, you reinforce your understanding of the subject matter.
It forces you to break down complex ideas into simpler, digestible parts, which deepens your grasp of the material. Teaching also encourages you to stay current and adaptable in your field because you need to explain what you know and how it applies to the evolving landscape.
Witnessing someone else's growth and success through your guidance is immensely satisfying. So, whether it's conducting workshops, mentoring junior team members, or sharing insights with peers, teaching can enhance your expertise while benefiting those you educate.
Sacha Ferrandi, Founder and Principal, Source Capital
Leverage Networking and Mentorship
Networking and seeking mentorship is a crucial strategy for self-learning and skill development. Through conferences, webinars, and online communities, I actively engage with professionals in my sector.
Building a solid professional network allows me to access a multitude of expertise, exchange ideas, and learn from others' experiences. Mentorship is also essential. I seek mentors who have accomplished what I want to do and meet with them regularly to acquire insights and assistance.
Their advice and opinions help me identify areas for improvement and provide direction for my professional development. Similarly, I give back by coaching others strengthening my knowledge and skills.
Timothy Allen, Sr. Corporate Investigator, Corporate Investigation Consulting